Monday, April 14, 2014

40% of Nigerians lack access to adequate food, says don

Published:

Nigeria has a large population of hungry people.

Four in ten Nigerians lack adequate access to food, in spite of the Federal Government’s investment in agriculture, a don said on Friday.

Babatope Alabadan of the Agriculture Department of the Federal University of Technology, Minna, said this at the 25th inaugural lecture of the institution.

The title of the lecture was ”Housing and Food Security: Now and in the Future Lesson from the Termites”.

He said more than 800 million people globally, including 300 million children, go to bed hungry daily due to food insecurity.

He advised the Federal Government to ensure that Nigerians had physical, economic and social access to food, if Vision 20:2020 is to be accomplished.

“The three tiers of government in the country must go beyond paying lip service to food security by ensuring that the people have physical, economic and social access to food, if Vision 20:2020 is to be accomplished,” he said.

He blamed the food shortages in the country on inadequate storage facilities, a development which, he said, had continued to affect the country’s economy and posed a threat to its national security.

Mr. Alabadan then advised the three tiers of government in the country to embark on mass construction of silos, especially for small-scale farmers, to reduce food losses and increase local supplies.

The silos, he said, would ensure food availability, accessibility, stability and utilization.

They would also improve market resilience to external shocks; reduce losses and increase supplies to local market at affordable prices.

According to the academic, food losses represent a significant cost to the economy and greatly impacts on the nation’s ability to feed the world.

“Losses affect food quality and safety, economic development and the environment,” he said.

NAN

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