Zero Hunger, Nigeria and 2019 APS Report (II), by Professor MK Othman

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Professor MK Othman.

BreakThrough

As discussed in the first part of this article, Agricultural Performance Survey (APS) is an annual research involving majority of agricultural research centers and the 37 agricultural development programs (ADP) across the nation.

The report of this research showcases the crops production estimates, challenges to farm inputs, technologies adoption, and constraints to production. Other information in the report includes pests and diseases situations, floods and drought occurrences in various locations and their severities, major urban and rural markets’ situations; and other agriculture related determinants.

Insights to answers on Nigerian possibility of achieving zero hunger is readily available in the 2019 APS report.

What are the contents of the 2019 APS report? How can these findings help Nigeria achieve zero hunger? These were the questions posed as the closing sentence of the first part of this article.

The 2019 APS report provides the latest baseline information on the nation food security and Nigerian status in achieving zero hunger. The report is a useful document for the guidance of policy, research and developmental efforts of the communities across the nation. APS is a national mandate of National Agricultural Extension and Research Liaison Services (NAERLS), ABU Zaria.

NAERLS is one of the sixteen research centers of ABU Zaria. Thus, the center is under the auspices of two organizations – FMARD and ABU Zaria. This symbiotic relationship of the two organizations brings out the best out of NAERLS.

Accordingly, NAERLS personnel have the opportunity to interface with both undergraduate and postgraduate students of ABU in teaching and research activities. At the same time, the personnel are involved in agricultural extension activities thereby interfacing with field staff of the 37 ADPs across the nation. Consequently, there is no conflict of interests between the two supervisory bodies of NAERLS as they are achieving their goals.

While FMARD is achieving agricultural extension policy and direction through NAERLS, ABU Zaria uses both the human resources and infrastructure of NAERLS for teaching, learning and community services as the cardinal pillars of the university system.

Now back to 2019 APS report, the methodology of the APS involved the use of Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA) technique. This includes questionnaire/checklists administration, farm visits/observations, interviews with Key informants, individual farmers and Ministry/ADP officials /reports of technology review meetings.

Additionally, inputs were obtained from Crop Models estimation. A total of Twenty multi-disciplinary teams of three scientists each constituting 60 scientists conducted the survey across 148 local government areas in 36 States, some Federal establishments and Federal Capital Territory.

In each state, two communities were selected from two LGAs in two selected agricultural zones for field evaluation. From each community, five farmers were interviewed in addition to focused group discussions held at every site. In all, interactions were held with 1,674 individual farmers and 444 different farmers groups. Data capture from the farmers was done electronically using Android Tablets.

Extensive discussions were also held with the ADP staff, ministry officials and staff of other relevant agencies. Final wrap-up sessions to validate the data generated and findings were held at the end of the exercise with states’ officials of the ADPs and Ministries of Agriculture of the 26 states.

Primary and secondary data collected were analyzed using simple statistics. To forecast the 2019 crops yield, adjusted land area/output estimates of 2018 were used as base figures in computing percentage changes in the areas devoted to various crops and applied in conjunction with Report of NPFS, document from Strategic Development Initiatives and reports of respective ADPs to generate outputs forecast for 2019 for each state.

Yield figures from 24 model sample plots linked to Decision Support Agricultural Information Tools (DSAT) were used to correct forecast of average yields from each states to generate the output forecasts for 2019.

The 2019 APS also captured information on Agricultural Project Interventions at the level of the Local Government Areas through states’ ministries of Local Government across the nation. Major findings of the 2019 are startling and revealing as they show the determination of Nigerians and commitment to produce more food despite challenges.

Rainfall situation across the nation is the first part of the APS findings. Rainfall is a major and critical input to crops production during wet season. In fact, rainfall availability, occurrence, frequency and spatial and temporal distribution determine success or failure of a cropping season in a years under consideration.

Read also: Zero Hunger Nigeria and 2019 APS Report, by Professor MK Othman

APS Report indicates more rainfall in amount and frequency in 2019 than 2018 “most states recorded increase in rainfall in the North-East and North-West in 2019”.

This accounted for the greater harvest forecasts for the year; unfortunately, too, the heavy downpours and high numbers of rainy days have led to nationwide floods and destruction of farmlands in especially 15 states”, the report added. Bauchi state and Kaduna state received highest amount of rainfall (>1,500 mm) in Northeast and Northwest, respectively. Similarly, Kwara state and Anambra state experienced highest amount of rainfall (>2,500 mm) in North-Central and Southeast, respectively. In the same vein, Asaba in Delta state and Ibadan in Oyo state received highest rainfall (>3,000 mm) in Delta region and Southwest accordingly.

On number of rainy days, generally, there was increase in rainy days across States in the North-Central as well as in the Southeast in 2019. These rainfall figures for amount and days were obtained in the last week of August 2019 and the rain continued till month of October.

Still on climate variability, mean maximum temperature reduced in the Northeast while it increased in the Northwest considerably in 2019. Bauchi had the lowest mean maximum temperature reduction in the Northeast in 2019, but Maiduguri recorded the highest mean maximum decrease Sokoto recorded the highest mean maximum temperature increase and Zaria had the lowest mean maximum temperature increase in the Northwest in 2019. The climate variability caused flooding in many states.

The heavy downpours and high numbers of rainy days have led to nationwide floods and destruction of farmlands across the states the report added. The flooding incidence affected all the 36 states with different degree of severity. In Not less than 70% of states in the Northwest and Southeast geopolitical regions, about seventy per cent of the states were severely affected with collapse of several houses in both urban and rural areas.

As at September 2019, incidences of floods were reported in 25 states of the federation. Three major crops destroyed were Maize, Rice Yam and Groundnut in Nasarawa, Kogi and Plateau states. The towns affected were Doma, Lafia, Wamba, Ibaji LG, Lokoja, Idah, Jos, Pankshin, Kanke, Shendam, Qua’anpan, Langtang N.S, Mangu, Miang and Bassa.

Several Crops and Farmlands, Poultry, Houses and Livestock were destroyed in many towns of Borno state such as Bayo, Konduga, Maiduguri, Jere and Mafa. Similarly, crops and residential areas were affected by flood in several towns of Bauchi state covering Dass, Bogoro Tafawa, Balewa, Alkaleri, Kirfi, Toro, Warji, Jamaare Zaki, Ganjuwa, Katagum, Damban and Misau.

In the same vein, several Poultry farms Aquaculture and crops area were destroyed in Lagos state that included Ibeju-Lekki , Ikorodu, Badagry and Agege towns.

The multifaceted impacts of flooding on the larger economy are mainly on health, creative technology, transportation education, trade and investment, business and finance. Such viral impacts must be technically included in the national and state plans for agricultural, environmental sanitation and development.

The 2019 APS report revealed that on the average, the flood incidences affected not less than 25 per cent of the crops grown, livestock and other properties in the aforementioned towns and villages across the nation.

In spite of the challenges of 2019 wet season caused by incidences of flood, the agricultural productivity was found to increase in 2019 compared to 2018 wet season. The report presented a rosy situation on the food production of most stable food commodities. What are the levels of crops productivity as reported in 2019 APS report? To be concluded next week.

Professor Othman is the Executive Director of National Agricultural Extension and Research Liaison Services (NAERLS), ABU Zaria.

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