Looming Food Crisis: Varsity Don, Onwuka Urges farmers to Embrace Climate-smart Agriculture

Looming Food Crisis: Varsity Don, Onwuka Urges farmers to Embrace Climate-smart Agriculture

Varsity Don, Prof. Mabel Ifeoma Onwuka, has urged rural farmers to embrace climate-smart agricultural practices, to conserve the environment, improve their yields and ensure food security in the country amidst looming food crisis.

The Professor of Soil Science who disclosed this during All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN) 2024 Agriculture Fair/ Exhibition in Umuahia, Abia State, expressed worries over indiscriminate use of chemical fertilizers, on farm lands, adding that it pollutes underground water.

The Director, Centre for Gender Youth and Child Development (CGYCD), Michael Okpara University of Agriculture Umudike (MOUAU), Abia state further identified;
indiscriminate bush burning, cutting of trees, illegal waste disposal/management, gas flaring among others as causes of climate change.

In her keynote lecture entitled; “Climate change: Innovative technologies for sustainable farming practices”, Prof. Onwuka maintained that everyone should be intentional in reducing the carbon footprint and its impact on the environment, through climate-smart agriculture.

Prof. Onwuka who also decried the food insecurity in the country and the degraded/fragile soils in the southeast Nigeria, enjoined every household to go into home and micro-garden in order to cushion the exorbitant cost of food items in the market.

The founder, Hope for Farmers, Women and Girls Initiatives (HOFWGI), also taught Abia farmers Biochar Production; describing it as a black code in agriculture, which does not encourage green house gas but enhances soil fertility and boost crop production.

Earlier in his remark, a university don, Prof. Ike Nwachukwu, decried that Abia State is not producing enough food for its domestic consumption but depends on Benue State and Middle-belt for food supply.

The inability of the state to feed itself, Prof. Nwachukwu said portends danger to the state and southeast region of Nigeria.

He urged government at all levels to take agriculture seriously and encourage young people to embrace farming to ensure food security.

Prof. Nwachukwu who further described agriculture as a goldmine, lamented that there is nothing significant Southeast region is producing, insisting that they are at risk of food crisis.

In his words: “It is time to shun politics, take advantage of agricultural institutions in Abia state and make farming a worthwhile venture to ensure food security in southeast and Nigeria at large”.

In his vote of thanks, AFAN chairman, Umuahia South Local Government Area (LGA), Mr. Uche Onuoha, thanked Prof. Onwuka and Prof. Nwachukwu for sharing their research findings with them, adding that they would always leverage on agricultural institutions’ innovations to improve their farm yields.

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