Hunger Looms In Nigeria, AFAN President Warns | Independent Newspapers Nigeria

ABUJA – The National President of All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), Mr. Kabiru Ibrahim, has warned of looming hunger in Nigeria occasioned by recent flooding in some states, general insecurity and COVID-19 pandemic.

Ibrahim, in an exclusive interview with DAILY INDEPENDENT in Abuja at the weekend, lamented that the National Strategic Food Reserves across the country currently have less than 30,000 metric tonnes of assorted grains.

He pointed out that “if there is any disaster in Nigeria today, the country has little or nothing to fall back on.”

He maintained that at the current level, the National Strategic Food Reserves could only store 400,000 metric tonnes, adding that they have 1.3million metric tonnes storage capacity.

He underscored the need for government to ensure that National Strategic Food Reserves have assorted grains that would take the country for at least one year, as it is obtainable in other climes.

He further stressed the need for government to give maximum support to the Nigerian farmers to ensure food security in the country.

Ibrahim further advised the government to take full ownership of silo complexes, including the ones already concessioned to private individuals or organisations, adding that assorted grained should be purchased from farmers to stem the tide of soaring prices of food items in the markets.

According to him, “What we need is coherent policies, focused drivers, resourceful leaders, equity, honesty and transparency on the part of government to make this happen.”

While commending President Muhammadu Buhari for various initiatives introduced in the agricultural sector, he lamented that those who he appointed to drive the sector have not lived up to expectation of farmers.

He further alleged that the current Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhaji Sabo Nanono, is the weakest of all of the ministers appointed in recent times, adding that “This is why we are where we are today.”

Commenting on the exorbitant cost of food items in the markets, the National President of AFAN, identified devaluation of naira, flooding, insecurity and COVID-19 pandemic as being responsible.

He, however, posited that the prices of food items might reduce as farmers have begun to harvest their agricultural produce.

He also expressed optimism that in no distant future, right to food would be enshrined in the nation’s Constitution.

While defining food security, he said, “food security means that a citizen will eat what he wants at a time he wants it in an affordable manner as well as he eats what is nutritious enough to work in his system.”

Read the Source post on Independent Newspapers Nigeria.