The Economic Community of West African State (ECOWAS) has been called upon to empower member States in forest preservation.
The Coastal Project Coordinator for the National Institute of Meteorology of Guinea Bissau, Joao Lona Tchedna, made the call while making his presentation at the ECOWAS Parliament delocalized meeting of its Joint Committee on Agriculture, Environment and Natural Resources/ Infrastructure/ Energy and Mines/ Industry and Private Sector in Bissau, Capital of Guinea Bissau.
The meeting, which began on Tuesday, August 23, has as its theme: “A critical look at the ECOWAS Environmental Policy and Climate Strategy, as well as a biennial review of the agricultural production, food and nutritional security in Member States”.
Tchedna said Guinea Bissau is low in food production due to environmental challenges hence the need for external assistance.
According to him, “despite the many areas for improvement, the region should pay particular attention to the following performance categories, National Private Sector Investment in Agriculture, Foreign Private Sector Investment in Agriculture, Access to finance, and Eradicating hunger. Unfortunately, access to finance is coming up repeatedly in two reporting periods.
“increase public agricultural expenditure as part of total public expenditure, provide a favorable environment that facilitates business activity with a view to increasing the relationship between national private sector investment and public investment in agriculture, ensure an increase in the proportion of men and women involved in agriculture with access to financial services, in order to encourage the participation of youth and women in agricultural value chains and promote strategies that increase the rate of reduction of post-harvest losses in order to increase food security and reduce hunger”.
Reacting to the presentation at the sideline of the meeting, an MP from Nigeria and the Senator representing Ekiti South, Olujimi Biodun, who commended Guinea Bissau on effort to preserve its environment, called on Nigerian government to understudy the development and ensure that it works also in Nigeria.
She said with the challenges of climate change in Nigeria, the need for her to adopt strategies used in other countries can never be over emphasized.
“For us we need to learn from people, who are making good use of their environmental challenges, what they have done in Guinea Bissau is to convert all the negatives to positives and that’s what we need to do in Nigeria.
“Right now, we have problem with climate change in Nigeria.
“Most places are flooded, some are now desert. We need to consciously look at the efforts of these countries, the smaller countries that are making better use of what they have than we are to be able to inculcate it into our own in Nigeria.
There is nothing wrong because we are in the ECOWAS community for our people to understudy what is happening in Guinea Bissau and ensure that it works in Nigeria”, she said.
Source: Voice of Nigeria