A comprehensive approach to tackling food insecurity in Nigeria has been advocated by both the Federal Government and the United Nations.
During the Pre-food systems stack-taking moments media engagement in Abuja on Wednesday, the Federal Government made the call. The event was organized by the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning, in collaboration with the United Nations Information Centre.
On July 13, President Bola Tinubu declared a state of emergency on food security in Nigeria.
The Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Nebeolisa Anako, described the food system as highly intricate, involving complex networks that encompass the input and output of food production processes and consumption.
Anako stated, “This is because the food produced through farming needs to go through various stages before it reaches the plate. The challenges within the food system range from transportation of food from the farm to acquiring seedlings for planting.”
The Permanent Secretary emphasized that the Federal Government is committed to reducing hunger, food insecurity, and malnutrition. He highlighted the importance of nutrition alongside food availability, stating, “When you lack food, you cannot overlook nutrition. It involves consuming healthy food to enhance human capital and foster a healthy population.”
He further expressed the government’s goal of significantly reducing food imports and promoting sustainable food trade within the country, adding, “This is a collective project that concerns all of us.”
Similarly, the Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Ernest Umakhihe, stressed the significance of the call for stakeholders in the African agricultural sector to ensure food security. Umakhihe, represented by Sugra Mahmood, the Director in charge of Nutrition and Food Safety at the ministry, acknowledged the critical nature of the challenges posed by the recent declaration of a state of emergency on food security and water by President Bola Tinubu.
In his remarks, Ronald Kayanja, the Director of the United Nations Information Centre, highlighted the importance of a well-functioning Nigeria, considering its population and economic significance within the continent. He commended President Tinubu’s declaration of an emergency on food security, recognizing it as a necessary step toward achieving the desired goal.
The collective efforts of the government, stakeholders, and international organizations are crucial in addressing food insecurity and working towards sustainable food security in Nigeria.
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