Abuja: ActionAid Nigeria, an NGO, has said that accessibility, affordability and availability are key in determining right to food issues.
Miss Constance Okeke, the Program Officer, made this assertion while speaking in Abuja on Wednesday.
“Most of the time you realise that food is available due to high level of production; but the issue does not end with food production. What is being done after the food is produced, that is the key issue,” Okeke argued.
According to her, in places like Benue State where they produce vegetable, fruits and yam in excess, food is not available for people to buy due to the lack of access to market.
“The farmers lack good infrastructure that will help them push their produce from the farm to the market.
“So, irrespective of the fact that the food is available because it has been produced, people will not have access to it because it is not getting to the right place so that end users will have access to it,” she explained.
Okeke said the issue of accessibility also had to do with having the economic power to afford the food.
“Not everybody is into farming, so most of the time farmers produce but because they do not have access to market, it is not accessible for the end users who are not into food production.
“Affordability comes up when people are not able to have the economic power to purchase food, because everyday, food prices increase, driven by different factors.
“You talk of increase in fuel prices, finances and food prices. Most of the time the three are interrelated, one cannot exist without the other because if you want say that a nation is food secure, the three must be met at every given point in time.
Okeke wondered what the government was doing to ensure that the right to food was achieved.
She called for a collective effort by the three tiers of government to provide adequate infrastructure that would promote food production, accessibility and affordability.
“If the economy is such that everybody is able to earn a good living either through a hand work or normal work, one gets paid, people will be able to buy food.
“Farmers should also be supported to produce good quality and high yielding food.
“Farmers should also be supported to sell their produce and even make money because sometimes, the farmers make the food available.
“But they cannot afford the food; so the food for them, is available, they can access it but they cannot afford it,” Okeke said.
She decried a situation whereby farmers who produced the food, could not afford it because they sold what they produced to meet other needs. (NAN)