Govts Charged to Support Food System Transformation in Nigeria

Governments at all levels have been charged to fully support the "food systems transformation pathways" for accelerated food security, reduction of poverty, hunger and malnutrition in Nigeria.

Professor Racheal Idowu, the Coordinator in charge of the "food systems transformation pathways" commitees for the north central zone gave the charge recently during an on the spot assessment of the readiness of Kwara State on the food systems transformation pathways programme. 

While addressing the committee, Professor Idowu warned that if governments at the federal,states and local government levels do not take proactive measures to curb food insecurity, scarcity of food would become inevitable in the next ten years in Nigeria.
The Professor explained that the food systems transformation pathways was conceived to mitigate the effect of food insecurity and provide food for the teeming population of Nigeria through the encouragement of homestead farming, farm estates and school farming.

She described food scarcity as the bane of all forms of insecurity such as banditry and violent wars, adding that the United Nations has advised all countries of the world to solve their food challenges and involve all the stakeholders in the food chain to achieve the desired goal of providing inexpensive, safe and healthy food for all. 
Professor Idowu explained that the food systems transformation pathways involves all stakeholders from agriculture, processing, storage and marketing, among others.

She emphasized the need to make the nation food sufficient through the encouragement of private individuals to build storage and processing facilities to curb the perennial post harvest losses in Nigeria.

In his response, Dr Yaqub Jaja, the Chairman of the food systems transformation pathways commitee in Kwara State thanked the Zonal Coordinator for her visit to Kwara and informed her of the readiness of Kwara to properly key into the food systems transformation pathways programme through the active participation of Kwarans in schools farming, farm estates development and homestead farming by individuals in the State.
The committee thereafter, paid courtesy visits to schools and homestead farmers, among which were the Queen Elizabeth Junior Secondary School, Mount Carmel Senior Secondary School and a homestead farmer's home.

Professor Idowu who was impressed with the level of preparedness in the State promised to push for the recognition of Kwara at Rome where the food systems transformation pathways exhibition would hold later in the year.

The Principals of Queen Elizabeth Junior Secondary School and Mount Carmel Secondary School, Alhaja Rianat Solagberu and Mr Benedict Olaoye respectively described the challenges facing school farming to include inadequate access to farm inputs, fertilizers and lack of support from parents who do not want their children to be involved in farm related activities, among others.

Maryam A. Abubakar
Information Officer
Ministry of Communications.


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