The Agricultural Agenda Nigeria Initiative (AANI) has advised the government and other stakeholders to come up with policies to ensure safe conditions and decent incomes for smallholder farmers, and food chain workers in Nigeria.
Founder of AANI, Ephraim Audu, gave the advice as the world observed the World Food Day on 16 October.
As at first quarter 2020, agriculture accounted for about 22 percent of the Nigerian gross domestic product (GDP) compared to oil and gas (9.5 percent), manufacturing (9.7 percent), financial services (3.8 percent) and trade (16.1 percent).
But agriculture in Nigeria still faces challenges tied to adverse weather conditions associated with climate change, herder-farmer clashes, terrorism in the northeast, and cattle rustling, low levels of mechanisation, and poor research and development activities.
‘If our food systems are not transformed, undernourishment and malnutrition will greatly increase by 2050 and this can increase more if there is further deterioration in income inequality, employment or basic access to services’, he said.
‘It is also an occasion to sensitise the public on how everybody has a role to play in transforming our food systems by changing the way we produce, transform, consume and waste our food’.
Audu called for building of effective social protection responses and policies to ensure safe conditions and decent incomes for smallholder farmers, and food chain workers.
Photo source: Charles Haynes