10 April 2012

Nigeria: Oxfam Warns of Imminent Food Crisis in the Country

TOWARDS boosting the nation's food security system and prevent imminent food crisis, Oxfam International, a civil society group involved in the fight against global poverty and hunger, has called on Federal government to invest more in small scale farming in Nigeria.

In a chat, the Country Director, Mr Tunde Ojei, noted the need to map out plans to prevent an imminent food crisis in Nigeria as neighbouring countries such as Niger, Tchad and Mali were already hit by shortage of food.

He said the implication of this was that there would be pressure on the Nigerian agricultural sector as food demand from those countries would be high, a situation Nigeria was not in any way prepared for.

"Nigeria currently is surrounded by countries that are already hit by the food crisis and in those places, the food crisis has more than doubled. These countries at some point will approach Nigeria to the buy food and then there will be pressure on the food we ourselves as a country are depending on. Therefore we as individuals must create awareness for this imminent crisis which would prompt actions towards ensuring that we have a functional food security system in the country,"he said.

Ojei said that a lot had to be done to boost small scale farming in the country as small scale farmers produced 80 percent of food consumed by the Nigerian population.

He called on government to make small scale farming more attractive and profitable in order to get more people to go into it so that more food would be produced in Nigeria.

The Campaigns Manager, Oxfam, Ms. Jamillah Mwanjisi, who decried the inaccessibility of small scale farmers to modern farming equipment, opined that farmers should have access to production enhancers such as fertilizers, good storage system, credit system with low interest rate and a good insurance policy in case of unforseen circumstances.

She stressed the need for adequate awareness among members of the public to on the impact of food crisis and its prevention.

Under the campaign, "Act for Africa", some Nigerian celebrities including, Innocent Idibia (Tuface), Lami Philips, Sound Sultan, who were in the process of coming out with a song to promote farming among Nigerian youths.

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