Farmers that grow food in Nigeria are still encountering challenges after the declaration of a state of emergency on food security in Nigeria by President Bola Tinubu, even after three months. The state of emergency on food was declared in July 2023 by the president, while the government considered the availability of food production and its situation, as an issue of national urgency and security. Considering the situation, the action requires measures to be taken by the government to address the difficulties faced by consumers and farmers in Nigeria.
However, farmers are yet to see the objectives of the government as they were expecting to witness a change, after the declaration of the state of emergency by President Tinubu, despite the rising challenges that have forced many farmers to leave their farms. The policies of the government seem to have little influence and impact in many states across the country, while the decision of the federal government to implement programmes which will address the challenges that the farmers face is still on.
FG should address factors that promote food insecurity.
Moreover, issues like macroeconomic instabilities, economic shocks, conflicts over natural resources, rural banditry, armed conflicts and climate change have been posing a challenge to Nigerians, causing food insecurity and economic stress, despite the efforts of the government to address food security. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) stated that it is a must for the Nigerian government to address other factors that promote food insecurity, such as biodiversity losses, land degradations, desertification, droughts, vulnerability to climate change, inflation, supply chain crises/disruptions, regional crises and crude oil price volatility, to attain agricultural transformation.
According to the UN agency, record showed that food insecurity affected 24 million people in Nigeria, between June and August this year, as predicted in the Cadre Harmonisé (CH) analysis report. However, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) gave a statistic in September 2023, showing an increase to 26.72 percent, which was caused by increased cost of food, with inflation at the rate of 30.6 percent. From this report, it is apparent that there is no impact on the issue after a state of emergency was declared by the president, which ought to help attain the desired food and nutrition security transformation.
There has been provision of access to pesticides, targeted subsidies.
Abubakar Kyari, the Minister of agriculture and food security, launched a comprehensive roadmap to promote the Renewed Hope Agenda of the President for the agricultural sector. The minister stated that preparation for the next dry season farming has been planned by the federal government, with strategies to ensure that 70,000 hectares of wheat are cultivated in November, with a target to produce 875,000 metric tonnes. There has been a decline in the current total allocation of N426.98 billion (1.96 per cent of national budget).
Additionally, supplementary budget was not allocated to enhance the objectives of the state of emergency in food security. Dr. Joel Oruche, the director of information, Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, said that there has been implementation of projects by the ministry to enhance farming in terms of cultivating cassava, soybean, sorghum, maize, wheat and rice. Also, there has been the provision of access to pesticides, targeted subsidies for fertilisers and quality inputs by the government. This is also to ensure infrastructure development for dry season farming.
Nationwide sensitization and creation of awareness was conducted.
Also, he said that the dry season irrigated farming across the country is been introduced by the government, using functional irrigation facilities with many irrigable lands. Likewise, animal feeds, pasture seeds, poultry transportation cages and salt lick were provided by the ministry to enhance production. They also conducted nationwide sensitization on mass vaccination of animals against trans-boundary animal and zoonotic diseases, and biosecurity measures for livestock farmers. He added that there has been the implementation of initiatives to support installation of solar-powered dryers/cold storage rooms at vegetable markets, rehabilitation of dams, construction of micro earth dams, and land developments.