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Nigeria to lose 25% arable land, says UK

Nigerians will not be able to continue farming activities on about 25 per cent of farmlands due to the effects of climate change, the United Kingdom has said.

It also stated that infrastructure deficit, insecurity and the business environment would affect the country’s ability to maximise its potential in the agricultural sector.

The United Kingdom High Commissioner for Nigeria, Catriona Laing, disclosed this in her presentation at the Feed Nigeria Summit titled ‘Riding the Global Ag-Downturn through Viable International Partnerships’ in Abuja.

In the document, which was made available to our correspondent in Abuja on Friday by the Feed Nigeria Summit Secretariat, she said agriculture was providing employment for an estimated 35 per cent of Nigeria’s population and remained the foundation of the Nigerian economy and the main source of livelihood for most Nigerians.

“However, the impacts of climate change and infrastructure gaps across Nigeria, as well as concerns around security and the business enabling environment impact the country’s ability to really maximise its potential in this sector.

“Climate change will make between 10 per cent and 25 per cent of land currently farmed un-farmable,” she stated.

She pointed out that food insecurity had hit Africa the hardest and the United Nations and other such organisations predict that the current crisis would be much more severe than past crises.

“Agricultural productivity in Sub-Saharan Africa is generally low and you have a situation where most African countries import their food, therefore, relying on inter and more recently intra continental trade to feed their growing populations,” Laing stated.

The UK commissioner added, “We are likely to see long term food security issues, long term food availability issues, long term high food prices, long term issues with inputs, notably fertilisers and water.”

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