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    FG, NGO urge farmers to stop open field burning to mitigate Climate Change

    The Federal Government, in collaboration with Self Help Africa, a non-governmental organization (NGO), has urged smallholder farmers to reduce open field burning as a measure to mitigate the effects of climate change.

    This call was made during the inception workshop of the “Abatement of Short-Lived Climate Pollutants (SLCPs) in the Nigerian Agricultural Sector” project, held in Abuja.

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    Open burning in agriculture refers to the deliberate setting of fire to agricultural residues or fields, often for purposes such as land clearing. This practice also encompasses activities like managing crop residues, pest control, and preparing fields for planting.

    During the workshop, Mr. Temitope Fashedemi, the Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, highlighted that open burning has traditionally been used as a cost-effective method for agricultural management.

    However, Mr. Fashedemi, represented by Mr. Osadiya Olanipekun, the Director of Agricultural Lands, emphasized that this practice is unsustainable and can lead to air pollution, soil degradation, and contribute to climate change.

    He noted that Nigeria stands out among countries in its commitment to reducing SLCPs and addressing climate change impacts. The inclusion of a National Action Plan to Reduce Short-Lived Climate Pollutants (SLCPs) like black carbon, methane, and hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) in the updated Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) underscores Nigeria’s efforts.

    Mr. Fashedemi also mentioned that the SLCPs project aims to benefit 500 farmers and 35 extension officers, with training, demonstration, and capacity-building activities planned for Gboko, Benue.

    “The results will be packaged and shared with extension officers and key influencers from other Local Government Areas and States for implementation to reduce SLCPs across the nation,” he said.

    “I urge all participants to take this good news to their respective locations. Climate change is a reality. It affects the sector in a negative way, and this project presents an opportunity to mitigate its effects.”

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    Earlier, Mrs. Joy Aderele, the Country Director of Self Help Africa, Nigeria, explained that the SLCPs program is an 18-month pilot program working with 500 farmers to reduce open burning.

    She said that Gboko Local Government Area in Benue would serve as a pilot to demonstrate successful approaches to reducing open field burning.

    Aderele stated that Self Help Africa is dedicated to the vision of “sustainable livelihoods and healthy lives for all in a changing climate.”

    She added, “Air pollution in 17 countries across Africa contributes to more than 50% of pneumonia deaths, as reported by the World Health Organization (WHO).”

    “Together, we can ensure that the project contributes to achieving the goals of Nigeria’s 2019 National Action Plan to Reduce Short-Lived Climate Pollutants (SLCPs),” she concluded.

    Agro Nigeria

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