The Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF) and Oxfam are making efforts to improve small scale farmer’s resilience to climate change food security.
With an initiative, Farmers Field School (FFS)aimed at preparing farmers for adaptation measure against climate change effect on food crops, small scale farmers will be able to cope with the negative effects of climate change.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of the initiative in Omo J4 Forest Reserve, NCF Chief Conservation Officer, Adedamola Ogunsesan said that though the menace of climate change and it numerous effects is a global issue, countries are beginning to develop strategic to ameliorate its impact on human lives and agricultural production to tackle issue of food security.
According to him, Ogun State like other States in Nigeria is faced with low food harvest due to lack of ineffective farming practices by farmers and inadequate knowledge to effectively manage the effects of climate change on food crop production hence, the need to equip farmers in rural communities with knowledge on how to tackle climate change induced poor yield, poor soil fertility and low nutrient retaining ability, abnormal flow of rain fall and the spread of common and uncommon diseases.
"Adaptation strategies are short and long-term changes to human activities that respond to the effects of changes in climate. In agriculture, adaptation will require cost-effective investments in water infrastructure, emergency preparation for and response to extreme weather events, development of resilient crop varieties that tolerate temperature and precipitation stresses, and new or improved land use and management practices". The initiative is also interested in how to use indigenous knowledge as adaptation strategies.
According to NCF Field Officer in OMO Forest Reserve, Clifford Omonu, the initiative requires grassroots experiments, regular field observations and group analysis. The knowledge gained from these activities enables participants to make their own locally specific decisions about crop practices and management as it affects them. This approach represents a shift from earlier agricultural programmes; in which farmers were compel to adopt generalized recommendations for a better outcome.
"The purpose of this initiative is to establish a regular Farmers Field School (FFS) in nine communities in Omo Forest as well as to train and build farmers capacities for climate change adaptation while reducing human pressure on forest resources in Omo forest. We will train some farmers in these nine selected communities of Area J4, Aberu, Mile 1 village, Osoko, Olooji, Aba kurudu, Abeku 1, Eleyele London and Abeku Temidere" Omonu said.