Food is an essential ingredient that is needed for the survival of man, animal and other living things. No doubt, Nigeria is blessed with human and arable soil that is required for large scale agriculture. It has the potential of exporting its agricultural produce that will generate revenue for the growth of the Nation.
Unfortunately, over 90% of Nigeria’s agricultural output comes from peasant farmers who dwell in remote rural areas and engage traditional
Despite the Nation’s abundant human and natural resources, Nigeria is still unable to feed her citizens as a lot of food items are being imported.
For instance, the Nation produces only 500,000 tonnes of rice, while annual consumption is 2.5 million tones.
However, Nigeria experiences food insufficiency due to poor road network, linking urban and rural centres. As a result of this, most of this food item rotten at the point of harvest and transportation.
Other problems include: inadequate finance, insufficient irrigation system, and food storage facilities as well as natural disaster.
In Nigeria, different policies of government on agriculture, such as: Operation Feed the Nation, Green Revolution Programme, Directorate of
Food, Road and Rural Agriculture, and Agriculture Transformation Agenda, among others, have yielded little or no result.
In its bid to tackle food insecurity world over, the United Nations in 1945 set aside October 16, as the World Food Day. The objective of the day is to increase public awareness about the problem of hunger and malnutrition and this may be done by promoting agriculture and farmers.
The theme for this year’s World Food Day, ”Our Actions are Our Future. A Zero Hunger World by 2030 is Possible” is a wake-up call for government to invest more in agriculture.
To ensure food sufficiency, farmers should be trained on the use, maintenance and sustained durability of mechanized farm tools.
The Agricultural Research Council of Nigeria should rise, co-ordinate,supervise and implement agricultural breakthrough to enhance abundant food production in the country.
Also, Government at all levels should provide fertilizer to farmers at subsidized rate to enhance food security in the country.
The Federal and State Government should provide soft loans to farmers to ease the problem of lack of finance, which is one of the major problems hindering surplus of food.
Furthermore, government cannot shoulder this responsibility alone, there is the need for private investors to collaborate with government to ensure food sufficiency in the country.
Agriculture should be made a compulsory subject in schools to spur youths into embracing farming at a tender age.
Media organisations should also sensitize the public on the merits inherent in farming as this will also propel people to go into farming.
Importation of food products should be reduced drastically to encourage local production; as the saying goes a hungry man is an angry man.
Therefore, food security is a sure step to a peaceful and united Nigeria.