The Minister for Agricul-ture, Alhaji Mohammed Sabo Nanono, has called for inter-regional cooperation to confront the threat posed by climate change to agriculture in Africa.
He made the call at the just concluded 2nd annual ministerial conference of the Adapting African Agriculture (AAA) Initiative, themed: “Food Security Facing Climate Change”.
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The 2-day conference, which was held at the Mohammed VI Polytechnic University in Benguerir, Morocco, in partnership with OCP Africa, had representatives of international and regional funding organizations and institutions in attendance.
Sabo Nanono speaking on the need for interstate and inter-regional cooperation to confront the problem cited the example of Lake Chad which is experiencing reduced productivity as a result of climate change:
He said, “the Lake Chad which is bordered by Nigeria, Chad and Cameroun and by proxy, other African countries within the region. We have to see how we can collaborate because this is affecting all the countries within the region. We need to be less territorial in our thinking, so that we do not continue to face this challenge in Africa”.
Sabo Nanono added: “We also need to think of how we manage the other resources that are available to us and maximize them. This will also require inter-regional cooperation between African countries and will enable us to greatly deal with the challenges of global warming. “Finally, we also need to look at local solutions: like our existing laws, which we will need to review in the light of the challenges in order to have a common front in facing the challenges of climate change. This will prevent African countries from working at cross roads. I hope that as we move along, the emphasis on inter-regional cooperation will be given prominence”.
The high point of the conference was the ministerial declaration on the actions needed to tackle head-on, the issue of adapting African agriculture to climate change.
The participants agreed that the threats posed by climate change to Agriculture is already manifesting in most African countries.
According to them, Tunisia has experienced increased temperatures and 15% drop in rainfall, Central African Republic has witnessed flooding affecting ten thousand families; a situation that hadn’t been experienced in 50 years. Agricultural productivity in Togo has dropped significantly. The annual rains in Somalia currently does not support the crop cycle; Lesotho is battling with draught, delayed summer cropping and diminished surface water.
The participants , therefore, invite partner funding institutions to back their effort and to contribute to the financing of the implementation of plans within the framework of national agricultural development strategies.
In particular, through the strategic partnership with the Africa Adaptation Initiative (AAI), especially the advent of the on-going Pan African Climate Finance Access Program with the Green Climate Fund”.