The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina, Tuesday said Nigeria’s economy risks losing between $100 billion to $460 billion to climate change by 2020.
Speaking in Abuja, at the inauguration of an Advisory Committee on Agricultural Resilience in Nigeria (ACARN), the minister noted that although Africa contributes very little to the green house emissions, the negative impact of climate change on the continent would be enormous.
The minister added that Nigeria might have Gross, Domestic Product (GDP) loss of between two per cent and 11 per cent.
“We contribute very little to global green house emissions but Africa will have to bear the brunt of most of the impacts of climate change. If you look at it, in Nigeria, estimate shows that we could have a GDP loss of between two per cent to 11 per cent as a result of climate change and by 2020, we could be losing anything between $100 billion to $460 billion on the impact of our economy from climate change,” he said.
Adesina said it was very important for the advisory committee to assist Nigeria to brainstorm on policies, technologies, and institutions that would ensure resilience of the country’s agricultural system to climate change.
He observed that the current agricultural systems in the country, which evolved over the time, were not enough to adapt to this particular circumstance of changes around farmers.
He however, called for an urgent need for Nigeria to develop better agricultural systems which would be more resilient and robust to allow farmers adapt to the impact the climate change would have on them.
“It is obvious we are going to have an extreme weather, so it is either we have more flood or we have more drought. It is important for this committee to help us think about policies, technologies, institutions that would enhance the ability of our agricultural system to adapt to climate change and also to recover from the impacts of climate change because the ability to recover from shock is what we call resilience,” he added.
“Resilience is the key, first and foremost, we should combine early warning systems with disaster planning, management and recovery plans; we need a lot more agro-meteorological stations, predict accurate rainfall patterns. Climate shocks are important, health shocks are also important, it will have impacts not just on mortality but morbidity and the quality of labour will also be affected,” he added.
Earlier, the World Bank Country Director, Marie Francoise Marie-Nelly, expressed optimism that the committee would help Nigeria to establish a knowledge based platform to facilitate consensus actions against the effects of climate change.
She stated that bank was finalising a new strategy for Nigeria in the next four years, adding that agriculture would be the vocal point of the strategy.
“Nigeria needs a climate smart agriculture,” she said.