Globally, 24bn tons of fertile soil lost to land degradation–Minister

About 24 billion tons of fertile soil is lost annually across the world due to dry land degradation, which is affecting food production and security, Dr. Mohammad Mahmood Abubakar, has disclosed.

In spite of all these, Abubakar, Minister of Environment, said it is estimated that 300 million hectares of land will be required to meet the demand of food by the year 2030.

The Minister, disclosed this at the Public Service Institute of Nigeria (PSIN), on Thursday.

This was when the Federal Ministry of Environment in collaboration PSIN, commemorated the ‘World Desertification and Drought Day’ (WDDD), which is marked every June 17.

The day is dedicated to promote public awareness on the challenges of desertification, land degradation and drought, and also highlight methods to tackle these challenges.

This year’s WDDD is themed, “Restoration. Land. Recovery – We build back better with healthy land”.

Dr. Mahmood Abubakar, in key note address, said Nigeria is faced with rapid desert encroachment affecting about fifteen Northern most states from severe to moderate rate.

“It is worthy of note that these states affected by desertification has a population of over 40million people and is home to over 95 percent of livestock population in Nigeria and has played a major role in the production of food for domestic consumption and export crops,” he added.

According to him, “the Nigerian Government is not oblivious of these environmental issues and their impacts but is committed to addressing them to ensure sustainable development and livelihoods of the people in the affected communities.”

He noted that government has developed policies and plans and built institutional and legislative capacities to enhance effective and far-reaching actions to reduce the impacts of desertification and drought on the citizenry.

Hear him: “At the regional level, the Great Green Wall program for instance, is an example of a regional program involving West African partners. Government will continue to support this initiative and other initiatives including the African Initiative to Combat Desertification, African Forest Restoration initiative, the Terr African initiative, the Lake Chad Basin Commission, the African Ministerial Council on Environment and the Japan International Cooperation Agency.”

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