14 November 2012

Nigeria: Experts Seek Research Policy to End Hunger, Poverty

Experts at the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) said specific policies and research evidence are crucial to fast track the Federal Government's agricultural agenda and tackle the challenge of hunger and poverty.

Senior research fellow and programme leader for the Nigeria Strategy Support Programme (NSSP) of IFPRI, Prof Gyimah-Brempong said there is need for attention to be given to the formulation of policies that focus on modern technological improvement to improve food production.

He said the imposition of high tariff on food items such as rice or wheat is part of the solution but would be more efficient in reducing food importation.

"Based on our research, one of the things we find is that a policy focusing on modern technological improvement and market improvement would be more efficient in reducing rice imports than high tariff barrier," he said.

Speaking on the cassava value chain, he said the Federal Government is on the right path but there is need to address the high cost of production and processing and this disadvantage.

In her presentation on cassava value chain, Dr. Saweda Liverpool-Tasie said there are challenges at the production and processing levels and this makes the cost of production to go up.

She said in order to improve yield, there must be a well structured market that pushes the demand for cassava and cassava flour, a good market link especially for small scale farmers.

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