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Nigeria’s Food importation surges by 80%

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By Okunloye Abiodun

6 million people are estimated to face inadequate food consumption by December.

In a recent National Policy Dialogue held in Abuja, Dr. Kingsley Uzoma, the (SSAP) Senior Special Assistant to the President on Agribusinesses and Productivity Enhancement, revealed some significant news regarding food importation to the country. According to him, the federal government has officially acknowledged a staggering 80% surge in food imports expected between 2019 and 2023. In December, the projected increase in the number of Nigerians facing inadequate food consumption will be six million, bringing the total to about 88.5 million individuals facing food insecurity, as stated by him.

The policy dialogue themed “Deepening Partnership for Scaling-Up of Information and Communication Technology for Development (ICT4D) for Smallholder Farmers in Nigeria” was organised by the Federal Government, the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), and the National Information and Technology Development Agency (NITDA). The aim of this dialogue was to address the issue of limited access to information and communication technology for smallholder farmers. Uzoma emphasised the federal government’s dedication to reversing this trend and ensuring that smallholder farmers have access to the necessary technology for their development.

A substantial increase of 31.52% in food inflation was recorded in October.

Also, the country’s dismal state was unveiled when he highlighted that an alarming 70% of the people were living in poverty, leading to the highest rate of stunted children globally. Additionally, the month of October witnessed a substantial increase in food inflation, reaching a significant 31.52%. These surging prices, coupled with an escalating reliance on imports, only exacerbate the already formidable obstacles faced by the nation’s food industry. As a result, the President deemed it necessary to declare a state of emergency in food security.

IFAD-funded initiatives, such as the Value Chain Development Programme (VCDP) and the Livelihood Improvement and Family Enterprises Project for the Niger Delta (LIFE-ND), have the primary goal of improving livelihoods and ensuring food security by implementing sustainable practices as well as integrating ICT4D. The implementation of these programs entails the utilisation of various tools, including the Mini-weather Station (Nimet) and the Agriculture Market Information System (AIMS), which are designed to benefit farmers. Nonetheless, despite these efforts, there are still persisting challenges in terms of data accessibility, gender equality, infrastructure, and technical assistance, as highlighted by him.

Insufficient agricultural yield compels the reliance on import.

Acknowledgement from the presidential aide emphasised the significant impact of diminishing agricultural production, prompting a heavy dependence on imported food. In light of this, the aide emphasised the need for persistent endeavours in enhancing digital literacy and promoting collaboration between various entities, including agencies and the private sector. These endeavours are pivotal in facilitating widespread acceptance and integration of advanced technology among small-scale farmers. Uzoma highlighted the potential outcomes of such ventures as increased efficiency, vast progress in technology, the propagation of superior methodologies, strengthened commercial edge, and bettered entry into markets.

To effectively carry out the National Digital Agriculture Strategy and propel the agricultural sector forward, it is imperative to enhance cooperation with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security and the NITDA. This collaboration aligns perfectly with the responsibilities entrusted to the office by the vice president, encompassing a comprehensive and technology-driven approach that strives for revolutionary progress in Nigeria’s agricultural domain. Their mission is to enable a total of one million women, youths, and minorities to gain control over their own consumption and nutrition, thus guaranteeing food security and promoting increased productivity in the agricultural sector.

Collaboration is needed to facilitate digital solutions for small farmers.

Lastly, Dede Ekoue, who is the IFAD Country Director, emphasised that the objective of the dialogue was to enhance collaboration in order to facilitate greater availability of digital solutions to small-scale farmers. Ekoue highlighted that the implementation of these innovative solutions can improve the quality of life for farmers and have a profound impact on various social and economic aspects, such as ensuring food security, improving nutrition, reducing poverty, fostering economic growth, and generating employment opportunities.


Related Link

IFAD: Website


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AN-Toni
Editor
3 months ago

Nigeria’s Food importation surges by 80%. – 6 million people are estimated to face inadequate food consumption by December. – Express your point of view.

Adeoye Adegoke
Member
3 months ago

That’s concerning to hear. The surge in Nigeria’s food importation by 80% is definitely alarming, especially considering the estimated 6 million people who may face inadequate food consumption by December.
Food security is a critical issue that affects the well-being and livelihoods of millions of people. It’s disheartening to see such a significant increase in food imports, as it indicates a potential challenge in the country’s agricultural sector and domestic food production.
To address this issue, it’s crucial for Nigeria to focus on enhancing its agricultural practices, investing in sustainable farming methods, and supporting local farmers. By promoting agricultural self-sufficiency, Nigeria can reduce its reliance on food imports and ensure that its citizens have access to nutritious and affordable food.
Efforts should also be made to improve storage and preservation techniques to minimize post-harvest losses and increase the availability of food throughout the year. Additionally, supporting small-scale farmers and empowering them with the necessary resources and knowledge can contribute to boosting domestic food production.
It’s essential for the government, communities, and individuals to work together to address this challenge and ensure that all Nigerians have access to an adequate and nutritious food supply. Let’s hope that through collective efforts, we can overcome this issue and ensure food security for everyone. 🌾🍽️

Kazeem1
Member
3 months ago

It is concerning that Nigeria’s food imports have increased by 80%. To improve food security and guarantee that everyone has access to healthy, reasonably priced food, it is critical that the government and related groups work together to implement viable options.

Last edited 3 months ago by Kazeem1
Taiwo
Member
3 months ago

Because we are not generating enough food on our own, food imports have been rising. Despite having a lot of fertile land, we don’t farm enough. Insecurity is a concern that even farmers experience.FG moves to stop rejecting export cargo. We will address export operations and unethical systemic behavior.The issue of refused export cargo will be looked at. The government must immediately give up on the fraudulent operations related to cargo exports.By taking action to address this problem, the government is demonstrating its commitment to supporting and developing a thriving export industry in the country.