Title : Comparison of climate-smart agricultural technologies in the semi-arid North East of Nigeria
Agricultural and food production in Nigeria is highly vulnerable to the impacts of Climate Change. The most severe impacts can be seen in the form of loss of arable land from floods and erosions, accelerated soil degradation and loss of soil fertility, an outbreak of new pests and diseases, shortage of water for crop production and uncertainty of precipitation that directly affect the rain-fed dominant agriculture. In recognition of this imminent threats from Climate Change to the sustainable livelihood, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations has identified Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA) for sustainable management and utilization of natural resources as one of its priority goals. Many CSA interventions are indigenous to the local communities while others are evolving and are being adapted under different ecosystems. In line with this, a study was commissioned to profile CSA technologies and practices of the three States of Adamawa, Borno, and Yobe in the semi-arid northeast of Nigeria with the view to promote those practices that have high climate smartness ranking for upscaling and for the establishment of multi-sectoral platform to promote the CSA for agricultural transformation in the region. Field observations, Focus Group Discussions and Key Informants Interviews were used to collect primary data for the study. Secondary socio-economic data were collected from various sources in the respective States, from National and International sources to develop information and communication materials for upscaling CSA in each State. The results clearly show that in these three states, most of their people (75-80%) are engaged in farming involving crops and livestock under varied production practices which contribute significantly to the respective states’ economies. The profiles further revealed that the agricultural sector in these states is struggling to meet the increasing food demand for its growing populations as it battles with low productivity arising from limited investments, low farm input use, land tenure and climate variability. In addition, the problem of flash floods, high temperatures and incidences of pests and diseases and insecurity have aggravated the irrigation and upland farmers’ losses which consequently increase the incidence of poverty and malnutrition in the states. Some CSA practices such as intercropping/multiple cropping, agroforestry, and conservation agriculture are quite widespread especially in Adamawa and Borno and their proliferation has been facilitated by ease of adoption, and multiple benefits such as food, income diversification and improved resilience. However in Yobe State CSA practices and technologies such as the use of micro-dosing, improved seed varieties, intercropping, use of planting pits, integrated soil fertility management, fodder banks are more dominant. Funding for CSA is limited in the states and Nigeria in general, however, there are opportunities to access and utilize international climate finance from sources such as the Green Climate Fund and Global Environment Facility and through readiness and capacity-building programs. These results are discussed in line with the three pillars of CSA: productivity, adaptation, and mitigation.
Keywords: Climate Smart Agriculture; Technologies; Adaptation; Mitigation and Productivity