The Minister of Environment, Malam Mohammed Abdullahi, on Thursday, May 19, 2022, said the inclusion of agroforestry and land use into national policy would help address issues of land degradation and sustain the environment.
The Minister made this known at a two-day National Stakeholders’ Consultative Workshop on the Inclusion of Agroforestry and Land Use into National Policy on Environment in Keffi, Nasarawa State.
Abdullahi was represented at the event by Mr Daniel Aleriwon, Assistant Director on Policy Analysis and Desk Officer, United Nations Development Programme, Global Environment Facility (UNDP-GEF).
He said the Ministry of Environment was ready to take the project from the surface level and ensure it becomes a national policy because the relevance of the environment on food security.
According to him, the essence of the project is to integrate all agricultural products to enhance food availability for Nigerian citizens and also help in improving the environment rather than degrading it.
He said part of efforts in upscaling the project was to institutionalise it and make it a major part of the policy trust of the ministry so that future governments can have something to work with.
“We are here today to advance a cause towards making the effect of the project to be an everlasting one, we want to institutionalise the project, we want to make it a policy.
“We want to work on the national policy to promote agroforestry and land use in agriculture system towards making food available for all in a sustainable way for generations to come,” he said
Mrs Rhoda Dia, Project Manager UNDP-GEF Integrated Approach Programme for Food Security (IAP-FS) in her presentation, said the project had done a lot in communities which embrace the climate smart agricultural practices in ensuring environmental sustainability.
Dia said, “We called this national stakeholders’ meeting where we brought in experts, relevant stakeholders from agriculture and environment, from other agencies of environment to rub minds so that we can put up this policy document for inclusion in our national policy for environment.
“We have done so many programs with the Ministry of Agriculture, but this one is specifically with the Ministry of Environment, there is the need to include agroforestry and land use in our national policy.
“We hope the ministry will go and work on the document and present it at the National Council Meeting for Environment and when adopted, it will become part and parcel of the document that will be used and in the country.”
The UNDP-GEF projects on fostering sustainability and resilience for food security is being implemented in seven states of Kano, Katsina, Benue, Nasarawa, Gombe, Jigawa and Adamawa.
By Bukola Adewumi