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Subsidy: OAIC wants support for smallholder farmers to boost economy

Officials of the Organization of African Instituted Churches (OAIC) have called for urgent and systemic support smallholder farmers to cushion the effect of rising fuel…

Officials of the Organization of African Instituted Churches (OAIC) have called for urgent and systemic support smallholder farmers to cushion the effect of rising fuel price and address food insecurity.

They made the call Thursday in Abuja, during a press briefing on Climate Change Adaptation for Smallholder Farmers in Nigeria.

The International General Secretary of OAIC, Rev. Nicta Lubaale, said Nigeria and several other countries in African region were grappling with the devastating consequences of climate change, despite being responsible for a mere 3% of the greenhouse gas emissions that drive global warming.

He noted that smallholder farmers play vital roles in Nigeria’s food security and the broader African economy.
Lubaale emphasized the need for social safety nets, insurance, and support systems to safeguard smallholder farmers’ livelihoods in the face of climate-related risks and the dwindling economic fortune in Nigeria occasioned by depreciating naira value and fuel price hike.

According to him, the global community and other stakeholders must take responsibility and be willing to provide compensation to regions affected by climate change.

“Nigeria and other countries in the African region bear the brunt of the greater impact of climate change, yet they have contributed only 3% of the greenhouse gas emissions responsible for climate change.

“Those who are responsible for causing loss and damage through carbon emissions must take responsibility and be willing to provide compensation to affected regions,” Lubaale.

He also noted the importance of international policies that address the loss and damage caused by climate change, particularly repetitive flooding, which has become a major challenge for these farmers.

“Supporting smallholder farmers is crucial to improving production and ensuring food security. By providing them with the necessary resources, knowledge, and infrastructure, we can empower these farmers to enhance their agricultural practices and increase their yields.

Also speaking, Elder Israel Akinadewo, the President of OAIC, Nigerian Region, stressed the importance of providing action beyond prayers.

He noted the need for involvement of faith-based organizations at the technical level to minimize the impact of climate change on smallholder farmers to enhance economy and boost food security.

“Many smallholder farmers have faced tremendous problems due to flooding, and it is our duty to address these challenges. Policymakers must be aware of this fact, and the church is not sleeping. We are ready to take action and make a difference,” Akinadewo said.

He criticized government’s interventionist efforts, saying, “The N8,000 palliatives should have been invested in transportation to enhance the commerce of smallholder farmers’ produce.”

He also called urged for the farmers to be included in decision-making processes, saying their knowledge, experiences, and perspectives are invaluable in devising effective strategies for sustainable agricultural practices and ensuring long-term food security.

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