Nigeria is one of the many developing countries where impacts of climate change are strongly felt as a direct impact on food production and vulnerability of households. Along with other factors, climate change is making food insecurity and poverty worse in the country. Increasing temperatures and shifting rainfall regimes are among factors responsible for lower crop yields than could be obtained under a stable climate [see]. Although high temperature favors attainment of high yield in certain crops, extremely high temperature may be counter-productive if it exceeds the optimum level permissible for proper growth of crops [see]. Climate change has also exacerbated the rate of pest and disease outbreaks. For instance, the recent outbreak of army worm, which affect countries across Africa, did noticeable damage to crops in Nigeria. Agricultural researchers and other observers have attributed this to the effect climate change on the rapid reproduction in insect pests. Asides insufficient capital investment in irrigation, high drought intensity has caused depletion of the available reservoirs. The fast disappearing Lake Chad basin, which led to crop failure and reduced income from fishing, is a case in point.
Through the rise in sea level and the consequent flood incidences, climate change has affected the Nigerian agriculture, leading to enormous loss of crop. The yield record of major crop such as sorghum, millet, maize cassava, yam, plantain, which are traditionally consumed, has shown unstable trends over the recent years. Nigeria loses about $750 million annually to direct human activities and climate change. In another estimate, an aggregate reduction of 178.37 percent in food production was found in the country; the North-West zone of the country was noted to be in highest danger of food shortage, while the South-East experienced a reduction of about 9.09 percent in food production due to delayed rainfall and more frequent drought [see]. With all this, Nigeria is in a desperate situation; annual cost of importing food is estimated at $22 billion. The country was among countries that experienced the worst food crises in the world in 2018. With 43% (16.5 million children) under-five stunted children and slow rate of decline in stunting, it becomes uncertain to achieve the S.D.G target of a 40 percent reduction of stunting by 2025 [see].
To tackle the challenges of food insecurity presented by climate change therefore, Nigeria must take advantage of untapped water resources through technological innovations which stems dependence on unstable rainfall regimes for agriculture. In addition, there should aggressive efforts to teach farmers the concept of climate smart agriculture which promote adoption of drought-tolerant crop varieties.