Climate change is the global phenomenon of climate transformation characterized by the changes in the usual climate of the planet (regarding temperature, precipitation, and wind). It is believed that it is a long-term change in the average weather patterns that have come to define Earth's local, regional and global climates. These changes have a broad range of observed effects that are synonymous with the term, which is caused majorly by Human activities. Climate change includes both global warmings driven by human-induced emissions of greenhouse gases and the resulting large-scale shifts in weather patterns.
Nigeria's climate has been changing, evident in increases in temperature; variable rainfall; rise in sea level and flooding; drought and desertification; land degradation; more frequent extreme weather events; affected freshwater resources, and loss of biodiversity. As a country, the practice of rain-fed agriculture renders her vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change, extreme climatic events such as flooding, extreme heat, and drought have led to soil degradation which results in low crop yields.
Climate change is the most glaring cause of a decline in the agricultural capacity Nigeria is faced with. Extreme temperatures and unpredictable precipitation patterns threaten the productivity of more than half of Nigeria’s staple crops. The one region where climate change would actually enhance the value of crops is in Northern Nigeria-including Borno, Yobe, Kaduna, Kano, and Sokoto states. However, these Nigerian states are experiencing a drastic decline in agricultural production further doubled by jihadist insurgencies.
There is some discussion about necessary capacity building at the individual, group, and community level to engage in climate change responses, there is much less attention given to higher levels of capacity at the state and national level. The effect of Climate change on Agricultural productivity in Nigeria is with no doubt on the extreme end of negativity, tailing the dangerous ends of shortage of food supply/ food scarcity, insurgencies and war, downsize in economic growth and malnutrition in children and adults at large.
The question of “what can be done” arises, How can we enhance agricultural productivity as a country? In what ways can we curb the adverse effects of climate change? In 2017, Nigeria signed the Paris Agreement, an international deal aimed at tackling climate change. It has validated the agreement in 2017 and has pledged to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 20% by 2030 with the condition of 45% of international support. The question on the hearts of so many people that year was that of skepticism, if we could truly reduce gas emissions by the stipulated time and if it would be effective enough to reduce the rise of climatic change in the west.
Reduction in food waste has proved to be an effective way and method in enhancing agricultural productivity despite the change in the climate. When you only buy what can feed you and your family and avoid the need to be buy in panic or out of feelings, it allows for food to circulate effectively around the ever-increasing population in the world. Effective Food storage and waste reduction are included in ways we can enhance our productivity as a rain-fed agricultural country.
The effective use of irrigation systems can be put to efficient use by farmers, considering the fact that climate change basically brings more drought than rain. If the irrigation system is practiced effectively, it could bring about the changes desired to enhance the agricultural productivity of our nation. We should also consider a shift in mechanized farming, where more technological ways are sought after to better the agricultural standards of the economy. For instance, the Greenhouse system of farming could be a deviation from the norm of a rain-fed system of agriculture in the nation.
In conclusion, the race to an agriculturally productive economy starts with us as individuals when we contribute our one cents in action to the standard of what is right as a nation.