Food Security: ‘Declare State of Emergency’- Expert to FG

Former President of the Lagos Chapter of the Nigerian Institute of Food Science and Technology (NIFST), Sunday Bamgbose has said that Nigeria needs to declare a state of emergency in the food sector.

This is due to the various challenges hampering the attainment of total food sufficiency in the country, he explained.

Bamgbose made this assertion in an interview with The Nation, recently.

The Former NIFST President joins the growing list of stakeholders who have issued warning signals to the Nigerian agriculture sector.

As reported by AgroNigeria, international bodies like the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), have also warned of the impending food crisis in Nigeria.

According to Bamgbose, several factors such as insecurity, poor funding and unfavourable policies have hampered efforts to attain self-sufficiency in food production, over the years.

He said, “Sadly, Nigeria is far from food sufficiency despite the presence of many experts on food issues both on our platform (NIFST) and other similar or related platforms.

“This can be attributed to many factors, including insecurity, poor funding, lack of coordination among the various stakeholders in the food value chain, government’s lack of commitment to food sufficiency despite the lip service being paid to it and playing politics with food matters.

“These and other factors make the issue of food sufficiency to look like a mirage despite the availability of egg heads in our institute and other professions”.

For a significant change to occur, all issues within the value chain need to be addressed, Bamgbose stressed.

He urged the government to focus on more result-oriented efforts, to scale the industry. This, he added, has become necessary as there are now more than enough indicators that the country’s agriculture sector is slipping into an unfavourable state.

“I think a state of emergency should have been declared by now. It is already getting too late.

“Every available data is pointing to the fact that we are in a precarious situation already. The government needs to do something urgently to address all issues affecting food sufficiency,” he warned.


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