FG to mitigate impact of climate change by enhancing soil fertility
The Federal Government has said it will mitigate the impact of climate change in the country by enhancing soil fertility in order to promote food security. Dr.Ernest Umakhihe, Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, disclosed this in Nsukka on Saturday during a keynote address at the 47th conference of the Soil Science Society of Nigeria (SSSN) at Nsukka. The theme of the conference was Tropical Soil and Water Resources Management: Climate Change Mitigation for Functional Ecosystem Services and Food Security. Umakhihe said, "Enhancing soil fertility and food security is one of the mandates of our ministry and we have been taking the issue seriously to achieve the mandate. Our ministry has made a lot of contributions towards climate change mitigation to help maintain the soil productivity and achieve food security. Government has responded in many ways on issues of climate change mitigation through a series of interventions and collaborations with relevant ministries and agencies. In the past few years, the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, through the Department of Agriculture, Land and Climate Change Management Service (ALCCMS), has invested so much on climate change mitigation strategies. In the areas of water harvesting, small-scale irrigation techniques, land and water conservation, and management strategies in many parts of the countries have recorded good results, he said. The Permanent Secretary, represented by a director in the ministry, Mr. Oshadiya Olanipekun, appealed for collaboration among all stakeholders to ensure improved agricultural productivity. He explained that climate change had resulted in loss of soil organic matter, reduction in moisture content and loss of soil structure. Disruption in rainfall intensity affects water resources and food production are already a threat to ecosystem services and food security, he added.