Mustapha Baba Shehuri, Honourable Minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development

Nutrition Security: Nigeria’s food system weak, vulnerable to shocks ─Minister

*For a sustainable food system in Nigeria, we must rise to overcome the challenges of poor quality food supplies, hunger, malnutrition, and improper habit of promoting food wastage, says Mustapha Baba Shehuri, Minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development

Gbenga Kayode | ConsumerConnect

As countries across the globe currently seek reforms to their food systems in line with the United Nations Food Systems Summit 2021, Mustapha Baba Shehuri, Honourable Minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development, has described Nigeria’s food system as weak and vulnerable to shocks.

The Minister disclosed this development at this year’s ‘Feed Nigeria Summit’ Monday, August 23, 2021, in Abuja, FCT, agency report said.

Represented on the occasion by Hajia Karima Babangida, a Director in the Federal Department of Agriculture, Shehuri said the summit would assist the Ministry to re-examine the weak link with a view to strengthening such for an agricultural system that will work for Nigeria and stabilise food security.

The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development is determined to create a functional food system that will guarantee all citizens unrestricted access to good quality, nutritious and safe food, said Shehuri.

He submitted: “This underscores the various programmes and interventions that are on-going in the Ministry in areas of agricultural livelihood and support, food safety, and the provision of infrastructure in different ecological zones of the country.”

According to him, for a sustainable food system in Nigeria, the country must rise to overcome the challenges of poor quality food supplies, hunger, malnutrition and improper habit of promoting food wastage.

“This is the acceptable consumption behaviour globally to which the average Nigerian, especially in the urban areas, pays little or no attention.

“If we devote so much to produce, we should pay more attention to avoid waste, because of its negative economic and environmental impact,” the Minister added.

Similarly, Alhaji Muhammad Nanono, Honourable Minister for Agriculture and Rural Development, said the country might produce enough food to eat, but people would   still sleep with hunger because they did not have enough money to buy the food.

Alhaji Nanono attributed the problem to unemployment, which inhibited people from earning money for food, rent or education, identifying this as a great challenge to the country.

He stated: “I recently met with some young Nigerians who are into processing and synergising agriculture with industry, and that is exactly what we need in this country.

“Unless we create that relationship and make it strong, poverty will persist.

“There is no single seminar on agriculture that I have attended that does not mention our value chains, we have done a lot in that regard and we have even gained international recognition.

“If we do not focus on how to remove this fundamental issue of an army of unemployed youths and move them to be gainfully employed, we are doing nothing, the relationship between the agricultural sector and the industrial sector is a must.”

Tse Federal Government had continued to implement new strategies to aid the development of the agricultural sector and strengthen the value chain, said he.

According to him, the aim is to focus attention on activating the National Agricultural Transformation and Innovation Plan (NATIP) for a new strategy that will strengthen the agricultural financial system, reduce food imports and help to refocus attention on agriculture as a key driver of the Nigerian economy.

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