Poverty, Prices of food

By Arc Kabir Ibrahim

The World Food Day (WFD),16th October, is celebrated annually worldwide to commemorate the founding of the Food and Agriculture Organization(FAO) in 1945.

This is the most widely celebrated event by the UN (United National)involving about 150 Countries including Nigeria.

Over the last 10 years Nigeria has celebrated this event back to back with the National Agricultural Show promoted by the FMARD( Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development),

National Agricultural Foundation of Nigeria( NAFN) and All Farmers Association of Nigeria( AFAN) as partners.

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This year Nigeria’s Food System like the global food system is going through a lot of turbulence manifesting in skyrocketing prices of food items even at harvest time when prices traditionally annually come down.

The reason for the situation in Nigeria, in addition to what Mr President said as caused by the activities of middlemen and hoarders, in his Independence Anniversary address to the Nation, may also be due to lack of sufficient productivity from the SHFs due to a myriad of challenges ranging from insecurity, inadequate mechanization, climate change, acts of commission and omission on the part of some intervention programs and lack of synergy among stakeholders in the Agriculture Space generally, to name a few threat factors!

In order to make Nigeria’s Food System sustainable there is every need to pay more attention to the SHFs who are for now the engine room of production.

With the right kind of incentives the SHFs will produce optimally to meet the demands of human consumption as well as industrial need.

At the Agricultural Show,award of prizes to several commodities and processing outfits by the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Food and Agriculture Organisation, FAO, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, All Farmers Association of Nigeria, AFAN, and a host of other stakeholders from both the private as well as  the public sector will go along way in incentivizing the SHFs to do more.

I believe a Presidential Prize given personally by Mr President will serve as a game changer to the SHFs!

The Country Representative of the FAO in Nigeria delivers a World Food Day address at the fair ground during the official opening and the HMA and all other signatories normally converge at the SHOW ground on that day so we hope this year’s event will attract a very large crowd to send the message further across the globe!

I believe that “Inclusivity and Sustainable Synergy” among all players in the Agriculture Space, especially the farmers and their various associations will give the SHFs the optimum push required to make Nigeria’s food system efficient and sustainable  and eventually Food Security will be attained in the immediate future.

The necessary publicity for the World Food Day and the Agricultural Show this year  by all media organizations in Nigeria will attract participation by our neighbors in Africa and even beyond judging by our own participation in Agricultural Shows such as the Royal Agricultural Show In Stonehenge, Coventry, England, the Egg and Chicken Exhibition in the Congress Centre Downtown Atlanta, USA etc.

I hope that the Mr President, the  HMA, the CBN Governor and all involved in the quest for Food Security in Nigeria will join us at the Agricultural Show Ground, KM 28, Abuja-Keffi Road between the 11th and 16th October,2021.

Arc Kabir Ibrahim, is the National President of All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), wrote in from Katsina.

Vanguard News Nigeria

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