The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has warned that the rising state of food insecurity in Nigeria is detrimental to the livelihoods of the populace.
The food agency alerted on the need for an immediate and significant solution to extricate the most vulnerable while bolstering the national agricultural supply chains.
This, it noted, would ensure that the country’s food system remained functional and efficient with the aim of ameliorating the food security impacts of COVID-19.
The FAO made this disclosure at the 44th meeting of the National Council on Agriculture and Rural Development (NCARD), themed ‘Nigeria’s Agriculture and Food Security in the Face of COVID-19, Floods and Insecurity’.
Speaking at the event, FAO Country Representative, Fred Kafeero, said the meeting was a call to action to cushion the threats to the livelihood of a vast majority of the Nigerian population.
Kafeero disclosed that the March-April 2021 Cadre Harmonisé (CH) Food Security Analysis conducted in 16 states and the FCT projected that a total of 12.83 million people in the affected states would be in crisis levels.
On his part, ActionAid Country Director, Ene Obi, expressed concern over the inability of women to work on farms due to the fear of being raped while stressing the need for government to expedite efforts at curtailing the spate of insecurity in the country.
Obi disparaged the low budgetary allocation for the agricultural sector, noting that Nigeria is a signatory to the Maputo Declaration on the allocation of a minimum of 10 percent to the sector.
Also, the Country Director of Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN), Mr. Michael Ojo, harped on the need for development in food fortification as it promises to be a major game-changer in food-based innovations.
He added that experts on food, nutrition and health, have identified the inclusion of micronutrients in more commonly consumed foods as the key to ending malnutrition in the country.