The Institute of Directors (IoD) agriculture and agro-allied committee has highlighted measures to tackle food insecurity in Nigeria.
The members of the committee spoke at a webinar which took place on Friday.
The theme of the online event was ‘The Impact of Russia-Ukraine War on Global Food Grains Market and the Role of Import Substitution for Food Security in Nigeria’.
At the event, speakers highlighted ways to solve food insecurity and the need to increase production and storage capacity.
Speaking, Ije Jidenma, president and chairman of the governing council of the Institute of Directors Nigeria, said challenges faced by farmers should be looked into in order to contribute to the growth of the economy.
“Food, of course, is essential for living. Nigeria must take food security seriously to survive. The challenges in the north and other parts of the country have denied farmers access to produce. There is also a need to transform raw materials before exporting,” she said.
Olusegun Falade, general manager, agro-allied division of Flour Mills Nigeria, said smallholder farmers need to understand timely input and the essence of increasing capacity, adding that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has made efforts to come up with initiatives to benefit farmers.
He also highlighted lack of storage and seed quality as challenges affecting food security.
“We need to have the right input at the right time. There’s a very huge gap in the capacity of production and storage. There should be an increase in capacity, increase the quality of seeds as well as make provision for input for smallholder farmers,” he said.
“The race to food security is a marathon race. Patience, consistency and doggedness are required to achieve this goal. We are still in the country where farmers see initiatives as national cake and so we need to always reorient them to see initiatives as a business.
“There needs to be trust between farmers and the government — access to finance, irrigation and the need to invest in more dry season farming.”
On his part, Emmanuel Ijewere, chairman, Nigeria Agribusiness Group, said food insecurity is caused by the limited amount of storage capacity.
“Agriculture should be demand-based. Buyers should make demands. We have food insecurity because it doesn’t get to the table. We need research institutes to help give possible solutions,” he said.
“We have a huge production capacity in Nigeria but most are untapped. There’s a lot to be done. We must make provisions to absorb capacity.”