NISS embarks on climate-smart agriculture training in S’East.
By Ikechukwu Odu
NSUKKA—-The Nigeria Institute of Soil Science, NISS, South East Zone, yesterday, trained farmers and extension agents drawn from the five states in the zone on climate-smart agriculture, CSA.
The Institute explained that the training workshop became necessary in order to acquaint farmers with the requisite information needed in managing the soil to guarantee good crop yields.
In his opening address during the train-the-trainer workshop at the Discovery Hotel, Owere-Eze Orba, Udenu Local Government Area of Enugu State, the South East Zonal Coordinator of NISS, Prof. Charles Asadu, said the workshop was also a platform for farmers and extension agents to share their farming experiences with experts in order to get solution to their challenges and recommendations on the best practice they can adopt to successfully wage war against the devastating effects of climate change on farming.
While delivering a paper entitled ‘Climate Smart Agriculture (Module 1),’ Prof. Asadu explained that CSA promotes coordinated actions by farmers, researchers, private sectors, civil society and policy makers towards climate-resilient pathways through four main action areas; including building evidence, increasing local institutional effectiveness, fostering coherence between climate and agricultural policies, and linking climate and agricultural financing.
He further explained that CSA has three pillars which are: productivity, adaptation and mitigation.
“Climate-smart Agriculture is an approach for transforming and reorienting agricultural systems to support food security under the new realities of climate change.
” Widespread changes in rainfall and temperature patterns threaten agricultural production and increase the vulnerability of people dependent on the agriculture for their livelihoods, which includes most of the world’s poor.
” Climate change disrupts food markets, posing population-wide risks to food supply. Threats can be reduced by increasing the adaptive capacity of farmers as well as increasing systems.
“The Institute is fighting to ensure that our soil in South East are preserved and managed to guarantee good crop yields. This is also a coordinated fight against food insecurity in the country. This is because, if we cannot manage our soil, we cannot feed ourselves,” Professor Asadu explained.
While speaking during the workshop, the Programme Manager, Enugu State Agricultural Development Programme, Dr. Ogbonna Onyeisi, said the training of the extension agents was to ensure that they take the message to rural farmers for a holistic soil management in South East Zone.
He further explained that due to constant change in climatic conditions, farmers who adopted old methods of farming may not get good yield from their farms, hence the need for the training.
Also, while speaking with the newsmen, the Dean, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, UNN, Professor Peter Ikemefuna, said the essence of the training was to teach the farmers and extension agents smart agricultural practices to guarantee food security.
“This training is about how to employ good and improved agricultural practices into the farms so that the farmers could have improved productivity. We want the extension agents to disseminate information on the new technology on smart agriculture to the rural farmers in South East so that food would be in abundance in our Zone and the nation at large,” he said.
The beneficiaries of the workshop, including Augustine Ogidi, a farmer in Obimo, Nsukka Local Government Area of Enugu State and 34 other farmers and extension agents said the training has equipped them with the requisite information needed to ensure good farming practices and soil management.
Photo: The Coordinator of NISS, South East Zone, Professor Charles Asadu, with stakeholders, extension agents and farmers during the training on climate-smart agriculture at Udenu Local Government Area of Enugu State on Thursday.