The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has called for urgent action to improve food security, ensuring increased collaboration among global stakeholders to support more farmers to embrace climate-smart agricultural practices and technologies to improve their yields and ensure food sufficiency.
The governor made the call in commemoration of Nelson Mandela International Day, marked on July 18, each year by the United Nations. This year’s theme is “The Legacy Lives on Through You: Climate, Food, and Solidarity.”
The governor said, “The 2023 International Nelson Mandela Day presents another fine opportunity for governments, policymakers, and other stakeholders to review efforts at addressing one of the world’s most pressing challenges, climate change which poses a threat to our planet and the well-being of our communities, with its devastating impact on agriculture, livelihoods, and the environment.
“It is projected that without a solution, an estimated 43 million people in Africa alone could fall below the poverty line as a result of crop failures and hunger from climate change. This calls for increased action among stakeholders, ensuring better policies and sustained partnerships to support climate-smart agriculture across the agriculture and food value chains to enhance food productivity and improve climate resilience.”
He added, “In Edo State, we are aware of the profound impact that climate change has on agriculture and food production, and are partnering with the private sector and other stakeholders in the State to empower smallholder farmers, providing them with access to resources and technology, and supporting sustainable farming practices that protect the environment while increasing productivity.”
In his message to mark the day, the Secretary General of the United Nations, António Guterres, said, “Today, poverty, hunger and inequality are on the rise. Countries are drowning in debt. The climate crisis is destroying the lives of those who have done the least to cause it, and our unfair and outdated international financial system is not fulfilling its function as a global safety net. We have it in our power to solve each of these problems.
“So, as we commemorate Nelson Mandela’s life and legacy, let us be animated by his spirit of humanity, dignity and justice. Let us stand with women and girls, young people and change-makers everywhere. And let us take action to build a better world.”