Report by Bukola Adewumi
As the issue of hunger, food insecurity, climate change, insecurity, continue to impact on Nigeria’s agriculture, Stakeholders in the sector are seeking out the way forward to address some of the challenges.
Ms. Aggie Konde, Vice President, Program Innovation & Delivery, AGRA, said insecurity has contributed 30 to 40 percent of the hunger number currently in the country.
According to her, this crisis is created because of lack of access to inputs, access to technologies and this has contributed to food shortage for the continent.
“When there is insecurity, farmers cannot go to the field, if we do not have land for farmers obviously there’s going to be hunger.
” We are meeting see how to overcome some of this challenges through our partners, Sahel Consulting and group of like-minded people to solve this crisis.
” We need all the actors in the Agribusiness ecosystem to come together and take very practical actions to solve food crisis.’’
She said AGRA would continue to be committed in supporting government and the privatisation of agriculture.
She said there was need to have access to data on the ecosystem of agriculture and how farmers are accessing inputs, data where there excess production and where there under production.
“We need to know the bottlenecks that are being faced by farmers all these information needs to be shared.
” AGRA is providing platforms where this information can be shared, we are also working with others stakeholders that have data.
” We believe that visibility of that data will encourage private sector actors to invest and this will ensure that we have food sufficiency.”
She said the AGRA was collaborating with public sector, the breeders, the researchers for more development in the sector.
According to her, there is need to fast track technology to go to farmers that requires collaboration, with the public sector, extension officers, agriculture officers, or trade officers and health officers is the way out.
She noted that African Union is committed to supporting infrastructure for cross border traded which will allow traders to access markets.
“We working to see how there will be policies or incentives that allow women traders to participate in the economy, youths to participate in the economy.”
She however appealed to citizens to hold leaders seeking political positions accountable for security, saying if we are all not safe, nobody is safe.
Mrs Ndidi Nwuneli, Executive Chair, Sahel Consulting Agriculture and Nutrition Limited, said the conference was an opportunity to really get ahead of the food crisis facing an Average Nigerian.
” In fact, we estimate that about 84 percent of Nigerians cannot afford a healthy diet or even three square meals a day.’’
According to her, this does not affect only productivity it affects their children, because their children cannot live meaningful lives without food and it will also affect future generations.
Nwuneli said to stop food crisis there is need to partner with public sector, private sector and developed community and civil society to share data resources, and roadmap to curtail the food crisis.
She said the insecurity, climate change micro economic challenges and the recent Ukraine and Russia war were factors affecting food insecurity,
She said that, ” with the conference, we are going to have actionable roadmap with multi stakeholders to achieve what we want to achieve for every Nigerian access affordable food.’’