April 16, 2020

Why we need Special Adviser on Food Security in midst of COVID-19 pandemic — AFAN

AFAN throws weight behind Plant Variety Protection bill

All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN)

All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN)

By Gabriel Ewepu – Abuja

The All Farmers Association of Nigeria, AFAN, Wednesday, explained reasons President Muhammadu Buhari should appoint a Special Adviser on Food Security in midst of the raging Coronavirus, COVID-19, pandemic, in the country.

Speaking on the need for a Special Adviser on Food Security with Vanguard, the National President, AFAN, Architect Ibrahim Kabir, said it will add more value in food production and safeguard the agricultural sector.

He said: “Nigeria is undoubtedly the big brother in Africa due to its population and the size of its economy.

“Nigeria will harness its potential leadership role if it continues to feed its large population as well as sustainably continue to contribute to Africa’s food security being the food basket of Africa.

“To appreciate this role I will cast my mind to the global food security I attended Cornell University, Ithaca, New York State, USA in 2017 or thereabouts.

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“It was clear from presentations by various speakers from across the globe that Africa possessed a vast hectarage of unadulterated cultivable, irritable land and therefore poised to contribute immensely to the Global Food Security especially around 2050 when the population of the World would be about 10 billion.

“Nigeria’s cultivable land is today around 84 million hectares and less than 40 per cent of it currently is under cultivation.

“With this vast cultivable land and the zeal to make Agriculture the mainstay of Nigeria’s economy, it is better to accentuate the Food System by creating a special vehicle with milestones and timelines.

“The special vehicle is simply the appointment of a Special Adviser on food security who will adhere to a roadmap designed to make Nigeria’s Food System veritable with food banks and functioning strategic food reserves.”

The AFAN boss also highlighted some functions of the proposed Special Adviser on Food Security which include reactivation of the National Food Reserve Agency, NFRA; Livestock and all food crops production; and the CBN intervention and all other funding support agencies

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“The way to off load the enormous load from the HMA is to design a schedule for the Special Adviser on food security to include the following:

  1. Reactivation of (NFRA) the National Food Reserve Agency to comprise of the strategic reserve, the Department of cooperatives as well as the Fertilizer Department.
  2. A livestock and all food crops production unit in a one stop shop.
  3. The CBN intervention and all other funding support agencies.
  4. A very handsome budgetary allocation to ensure the attainment of the desired national food security in 5 years.

“The Special Adviser should be a focused, competent and hardworking individual with proven Integrity”, he added.

5. The Department of Agricultural extension reinvigorated to work effectively and directly in the food security office.
6.The system of Crop intensification and digital green extension to encourage organic foods should be evolved and domiciled in the food security office.
7. Food production deploying best practice and the latest technology including the direct deployment of biotechnology and food safety should be developed and made to operate directly under the food security office.
8. Food processing with all its attendant special requirements should be driven by the office of national food security.
9. The office of the food security should be a member of the National security Adviser.
10. The Special Adviser on food security should the Administrative Secretary to the Food security Council chaired by the President under the direct supervision of the Vice President.