The Health of Mother Earth Foundation (HOMEF), has advocated for the use of agroecology as a viable means to combating the numerous environmental challenges in the country, as well as curb the ravages of the climate crisis.
HOMEF made this call during a workshop organised in conjunction with researchers, policy experts, representatives of the Ministry of Environment as well as the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.
During the workshop, policy experts underpinned the importance of agroecology in climate change mitigation/adaptation as well as in ensuring food sovereignty.
The policy experts noted that there have been numerous recommendations on how to address the issues of climate change, adding that none has been able to effectively resolve the effects of harmful substance on the climate.
Speaking, the Director of HOMEF stated that Agroecology helps in reducing the bad effects fossil-fuels have on the climate.
According to him, the government must implement policies that outlaw productions that emit harmful gases into the atmosphere.
In his words, “Climate change increases the vulnerabilities and uncertainties of Nigerian farmers while agroecology reduces environmental footprint of agriculture as opposed to fossil-fuels driven industrial agriculture. We must desist form production measures which disrupt ecosystem balance and which pump greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.”
Speaking also, a food sovereignty Activist, Mariann Bassey-Orovwuje explained that agroecology is a bottom-top approach which harness local/traditional knowledge as well as scientific innovation in agriculture.
According to her, agroecology uses a range of practices including mixed cropping, crop rotation, composting, agroforestry, biological pest control, cover cropping, biomas recycling etc. which do not only help to optimize and improve yields but help with resilience to the impact of climate change.
In her words: “Agroecological initiatives aim at transforming industrial agriculture by transitioning existing food systems away from fossil fuel-based production largely for agro-export crops and biofuels towards an alternative agricultural paradigm that encourages local and national food production by small and family farmers based on local innovation, resources and solar energy. This implies ensuring the access of peasants to land, seeds, water, credit and local markets through the creation of supportive economic policies, financial incentives, and market opportunities; as well as the scaling up of agroecological technologies.”