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ACReSAL to boost agricultural productivity and food security in Nigeria – NPC

The National Project Coordinator (NPC) of the ACReSAL Project, Dr. Abdulhamid Umar says the project will boost food security in the country.

He stated this as a panelist during a National Consultative Policy Workshop on Climate Agriculture and Biofortification in Nigeria.

The NPC spoke on the Role of Agro-Climatic Resilience in Semi-Arid Landscapes (ACReSAL) Project towards boosting agricultural productivity and food security in Nigeria.

He noted agricultural productivity is linked with food security, rural livelihoods as well as rural poverty reduction and the four components of ACReSAL have linkages with climate smart agriculture, livelihood enhancing and landscapes restoration.

However, Component B (Community Climate Resilience) in particular aims to increase agro-climatic resilience at household and community levels by promoting locally adapted sustainable land and water management (SLWM) strategies, through climate-smart approaches to agriculture and natural resources management.

The component will support activities that will integrate measures to improve climate change resilience and the nutritional value of crop and livestock products along the value chain, from production to marketing.

It will also support greater food system efficiency so that outputs per unit of water, energy, land and other inputs are optimised and the footprint of agriculture and non-farm activities are better managed to meet both food demand and higher-quality diets.

Speaking on Action Plans, the ACReSAL Boss highlighted some of the proposed climate-smart nutritional agricultural activities that will be implemented include; Water and soil conservation practices (i.e., minimum tillage, cover crop, and rotation with leguminous plants, integrated nutrient management including optimal use of green manure and inorganic fertilizers);

Improved crop varieties (drought resistant, high yielding and biofortified seeds); integrated pest management (IM) practices to prevent, monitor and control pests and diseases;

Others are use of technology to optimize farm management (e.g. soil and water testing); expanding agroforestry and agro-silvo-pastoral enterprise models (i.e., cultivation of tree crops like gum arabic, date palm and acacia, intercropping perennial and annual crops, mixed farming, fertilizer trees).

Promoting sustainable production of non-timber forest products (NTFPs) value chains (i.e.,horticultural crops such as orchard plantation of mango, guava, and cashew enterprise, indigenous medicinal plants, beekeeping, nuts and mushrooms); Improving sole rice enterprises and Farmer Led Irrigation Development (FLID)

The Workshop which took place at Johnwood Hotel, Abuja seeks to harmonize National and State Programmes for Green Nutrition in Nigeria: Prospects & Challenges.

It was organized by HarvestPlus in collaboration with International Food Security Policy Research Institute and Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security.

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