Nigeria’s Food situation unsustainable – FG tells IMF

IMF predicts 5.2% decline in Nigeria’s GDP in 2020
IMF predicts 5.2% decline in Nigeria’s GDP in 2020

Nigeria’s Food situation unsustainable – FG tells IMF: The Federal Government has raised the alarm that the food situation in Nigeria and other African countries is unsustainable.

The Minister of Finance Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, stated this at the ongoing virtual World Bank-IMF 2021 Spring Meetings Roundtable On ‘Food Security In Africa.

Nigeria, like other countries, the minister said, “has faced critical challenges in her drive for food security.” These challenges, she said, affect both “the upstream and downstream agricultural sector”.

According to Mrs Ahmed the government believes “the current food situation is unsustainable. We strongly believe that given the quantum of arable land in Africa, the time to change the global support to commercial agriculture is now”.

This situation, she said, “requires Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) flows into the agriculture value chain.”

The Nigerian government she noted is “prepared and are following up with necessary macroeconomics and fiscal reforms including governance and institutional strengthening; and prioritizing intra-Africa trade as well as structural reforms and public investments” to address the challenge.

At the global level, Zainab Ahmed called for an “integrated, targeted and well-coordinated approach that will guarantee that no one goes to sleep hungry”.

Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, invited “the international community, particularly the multilaterals and the private sector, to key in and to assist Africa to build food resilience and pursue the attainment of the sustainable development goal (SDG) No.2 and the goals of African Union (AU) Agenda 2063.”

Ahmed noted that “a robust and secured food system is central to the health of both humans and the economies of nations”.

According to her, the current food situation is far from achieving the “goal of feeding everyone especially with sustainable diet. COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the perennial food shortages in Africa”.

On food shortage across the continent, Nigeria’s finance minister lamented that “some 230 million people in Sub-Saharan Africa are still prone to chronic food insecurity, yet about one-third of food produced globally is regularly wasted”.

Zainab Ahmed said she was sad that “even in the year 2021 we are still having conversations on food wastages and chronic food shortages in some parts of the world”.

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The vision of the Nigerian government she told the IMF and World Bank “is to work with key stakeholders to build an agribusiness economy capable of delivering sustained prosperity by meeting domestic food security goals, boosting exports, and supporting sustainable income and job growths.”

On agribusiness development initiatives in Nigeria, Mrs. Ahmed also noted that “more initiatives abound. The growing success story on agriculture in Buhari’s administration has prompted more youths to take up full-time agriculture”.

The finance minister reiterated that “more than 7 million Nigerians are actively employed in agriculture under the administration’s diversification agenda and the Ministry of Agriculture is working to ensure that the sector offers 20 million jobs in the nearest future.”

Across Nigeria, farmers, traders and transporters are, according to the HnourableMinister, seeing a shift in their fortunes. The agricultural sector is witnessing a revolution propelled by the President’s vision of a country that should ‘grow what it eats.’ Accordingly, the administration is supporting initiatives.

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About Sam Gabriel 1696 Articles
Samson Gabriel a graduate of mass communication from Auchi Polytechnic, he is a passionate writer with experience in radio scrip writing. He brings his experience from the broadcast media into play here as he continues to enjoy his passion as a journalist. He can be contacted via whats-app on: +234701105670

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