Prof. Chinwe Ifejika, Coordinator, Food Systems Caravan, West Africa, on Tuesday said its research findings would help stakeholders in agriculture improve food security and system in Nigeria and the sub-continent.
Ifejika said this during the Caravan conference at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Ibadan, to present research findings on ways to sustain food security in Nigeria and the sub-continent
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the theme for the Food Systems Caravan, West Africa conference was entitled: `Promoting Agro-Ecological Approaches for the Sustainability of Food Systems in Nigeria.’
According to her, the Caravan visit is to present research findings to farmers, government, other stakeholders that will improve food security and system in the country.
“The Caravan works to bring trans-disciplinary, systematic solutions towards the sustainability of agricultural and food systems.
“It also brings the main messages of the Research for Development programme, on five food security research projects, to diverse institutions and the public in West African countries of Mali, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Republic of Benin and Nigeria.
“The project provides a hands-on food sustainability assessment framework that allows actors from policy, practice in the agricultural sector to identify pathways for making food systems more sustainable,” she said.
Ifejika said the research was a synthesis project of the Swiss Programme for Research on global issues for development, funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation and the Swiss National Science Foundation.
She said that the Caravan was a team composed of project coordinators, a filmmaker, seven local facilitators from different research for development food security projects.
The Coordinator said that the team organised cross-project conferences, seminars, farmers’ field days and field visits, activities for students and NGOs while documenting the cross-pollinating process in film and social media.
Dr. Perpetual Iiyere-Usiahon, the Desk Officer, Yam Value chain, Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Abuja, said the ministry was passionate about the sustainability of food security and poverty reduction in the country.
According to her, the food system is threatened by climate change, population and other factors that call for urgent attention.
“Climate change issue can only be dealt with when there is sustainability.
“So there is the need for us to collaborate with different relevant stakeholders to be able to tackle hunger and obtain desired food security in our land,” she said.
Also, Dr. Elizabeth Parkes, the IITA Cassava Breeder, said the sustainability of food security was key in the institute’s research activities.
She said that IITA had the goal of lifting over 11 million people in Africa out of poverty, adding that anything that has to do with the sustainability of food security was important to the Institute.