Environmentalist calls for Agro forestry in Nigeria

Abdul Mohammed Isa, Minna

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The Expansion of agricultural field, Deforestation is part of the major challenges of forestry in Nigeria.

An Environmentalist, Mr Rotimi Oladele lamented on how Deforestation had been on the increase over the years, remaining unchecked by the authorities concerned.

Mr Rotimi stated this as Nigeria joined others countries to mark the International Day For Forestry.

Mr Rotimi told Voice of Nigeria that there was an urgent need to increase the forest land and still provide food for the teaming population.

”The farmers need to be encouraged to provide food and cash crops  for agricultural development and there is the need for the farmer to clear the forest to produce arable crops,” he stated.

The Environmentalist said theme for the 2019 International Day for Forestry ‘Promote education to learn to love Forest’  is necessary because there is an urgent need to impact the knowledge of forestry to the younger generation, to know the value and restore lost forests.

The theme underscores the importance of education at all levels in achieving sustainable forest management and biodiversity conservation. Healthy forests mean healthy, resilient communities and prosperous economies.

Mr Rotimi  advised the Nigerian government to promote agro forestry to save both the forest and agriculture sectors.

He also urged government to encourage more scientific innovations to increase the forest cover in the country which is far below the 30 percent international standard.

Nigeria is lagging behind between 7 to 10 percent of the required United Nations Standard of forest cover,” he said.

Report shows that there is also the problem of inadequate staffing and under-employment in the agencies responsible for forest development in the country, despite the high demand for forest handlers, forestry professionals are not employed in many forestry agencies.

Other challenges according to experts, have to do with lack of substitutes for trees which are giving way crops planting by farmers and cutting of timbers and other tress for construction as well as paper production, it therefore become an uphill task in educating the people on the need  to conserve the forest.

 

Mercy Chukwudiebere