Prof. Eustace Iyayi, Director, Nigeria Institute of Animal Science, has urged the government to ensure food sufficiency as food scarcity could lead to various sources of insecurity in the country.
Iyayi made the call on Thursday in his keynote address at the founder’s day celebration of the Federal College of Animal Health and Production Technology, Ibadan.
He spoke on the topic, ‘Nigeria: Food Security, Internal Security and Feedlot System’.
The animal scientist noted that if there was a shortfall in the availability of food in a nation, there will be social unrest which could lead to national insecurity.
Iyayi said that a peaceful environment was a requirement to a productive agricultural environment which could result to food security.
He called for the development of a commercial pasture production value chain and resuscitation of livestock breeding centres for the country to achieve its desired food and nutrition security,
He stressed the need for a special reserve fund to be provided out of the recently approved agricultural development fund by the Senate.
“There is also need for immediate conversion of the gazetted grazing reserves( 145 of them out the 405 grazing reserves) in the North with only 2 in Oyo state into ranches,” he said.
Also speaking, Prof. Olufemi Oyewole, a lecturer with Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, underscored the need for the country to improve its livestock productivity.
Oyewole remarked the need to consider wider opportunities to repurpose agricultural support in ways that provide a public good in the form of climate change mitigation and improved environmental outcomes.
He noted that Nigeria should secure and build on positive trade facilitation steps that had been taken to reduce distortions at the border.
This, he said, would reinforce the role that global markets could play in ensuring secured and stable food supplies.
“We should consider adopting an integrated approach that can help ensure the resilience of the global food system.
“With enhanced resilience the food system will be better able to deliver on providing safe, affordable food for a growing world population and livelihood for many people.
“This will ensure environmental sustainability in the face of complex environmental challenges and a climate emergency,” he said.
The highlights of the event were the foundation laying ceremony of the college alumni project, cutting of cake, and presentation of awards to some of the institution’s alumni and partners for contributing to the development of the school.