Aisha Hadejia Writes on Rethinking Food & Nutrition in the Face of Climate Change: A Case for Early Warning Systems in Nigerian Agriculture
A silent crisis is unfolding in the food and agriculture sector that supports millions of the Nigerian Population. We are facing unprecedented challenges due to the erratic and increasingly extreme weather patterns disrupting the age-old rhythm of farming. Unpredictable rainfall patterns, prolonged droughts, and devastating floods have become more frequent, jeopardizing crop yields and the well-being of farming communities, leading to a vicious cycle of crop failures and food insecurity. Farmers are left in a precarious position as they struggle to determine the best time to plant, irrigate, fertilize, and harvest their crops. These challenges affect not only crops but also livestock productivity, disrupting the nation’s food supply chain and increasing the cost of food.
The devastating ‘2022 Nigeria Floods’ affected multiple states in the country, resulting in an estimated loss of agricultural investments valued at N700 billion and over 600 fatalities. The floods caused injuries, displacement, and waterborne illnesses due to the lack of access to clean water and basic amenities, affecting more than 4.4 million people. In 2023, 13 states were at risk of intense flooding predicted to occur between August and October.