As Nigeria grapples with a soaring food inflation, now at 26.98%, an enlightening study in the Ecological Economics journal provides a way out. Titled “Climate Change, Income Sources, Crop Mix, and Input Use Decisions: Evidence from Nigeria,” the research by Amare and Balana from IFPRI unveils policy recommendations rooted in concrete findings about climatic impacts on agriculture.
Background: Nigeria’s economic troubles, aggravated by climate change, security issues, and forex challenges, have been further inflamed by President Bola Tinubu’s decision to abolish petroleum subsidies. In response, the President promised 500,000 hectares for farming, but the promise remains unfulfilled. Recent appointments, including Abubakar Kyari as Agriculture Minister, show the administration’s pivot towards addressing the crisis.
Findings: The study highlights the devastating impact of climate events, like flooding and drought, on Nigeria’s already vulnerable agricultural productivity. With yields of key crops like rice and maize way below global averages, and a significant chunk of the populace living under the poverty line, the nation’s agricultural sector is underperforming.
- Water Management: Invest in climate-resilient practices like water-storage and small-scale irrigation aligned with Nigeria’s National Agricultural Resilience Framework.
- Diversified Agriculture: Promote the adaptation of different crops and facilitate farmers’ access to climate-resistant varieties and advanced agricultural inputs.
- Livestock & Small Enterprises: Given their resilience during climate shocks, emphasis should be on enhancing livestock sectors and micro/small enterprises.
- Targeted Assistance for the Disadvantaged: Recognizing the differential impact of climate change on varying income groups, low-cost financial aid for innovative agricultural tech and improved asset access for the poorest is crucial.
Nigeria’s food security saga calls for urgent, well-researched interventions, and this study is a beacon of hope for a nation eager to reverse its dire food inflation trends.