Food security is as important because this is what keeps the growing population alive. When there is food scarcity the vulnerable mostly woman and children will suffer from malnutrition and the rest of everything associated with it.
In this part of the world Nigeria, we don’t place any importance on food security because our border are always open to import almost everything from all corner of the earth. food security is important to Nigeria and should be taken more seriously because Nigerian is a powerhouse of West African states with over 200 million people.
Food Security: here is the Meaning, Importance And History
So many scholars of thought has defined food security in their own term based on their own understanding. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and World Bank defined food security as a phenomenon where individuals have full access to food when they need them.
As for World Bank via its 1986 ‘Poverty and Hunger’ report, they see it as unhindered access to food to the people that makes up the nation.
However, in our own term, it is a process by which the people have access to healthy food that are rich in all minerals and vitamins that is needed for healthy living.
In other words and in general term, Food Security is a state where the society or state has food in abundance that could go round the people at a given price that almost everyone could afford.
Here is the Importance Of Food Security
1. Food Security ensures Availability Of Food : access to food necessary for growth is available to all Nigerians.
A sign of food security is that there will be surplus to eat by citizens and also surplus to export.
2. It Ensures Unrestricted Accessibility To Nourish Foods
If there is food security Nigerians won’t be dying of hunger and malnutrition. Food could be gotten so cheaply from the market and local store.
3. It Boosts Country’s Economy
Simply put there will be enough food for export.
If there is food security then other sector of the economy will thrive because there will be constant supply of energy to run other sector of the economy.
How Does It Fare In Nigeria?
The federal government has been preaching the concept of food security for a very long time, the concept was adopted few years after the country gained her independence. Successive government has been trying to make policies that will enhance food security
Nigeria as a country is blessed with fertile soil, expert has suggested that over 75% of the landmass is suitable for agriculture. Apart from that the Nigerian people are hard working, they are known for their impressive resilience to work, although the country has not been able to capitalize on the population of her people to get to full employment of the Nation.
The over reliance on the oil sector has made the government neglect the non oil sector for a long period of time and this has affected the non oil sector most importantly the agricultural sector.
Nigerian as a Nation has never attain food sufficiency, there has been widespread panic of food shortage when the Covid-19 struck.
When it comes to food export, Nigeria are still finding it difficult to feed not talk less of exporting food to other countries rather we import rice, beans, and other items.
All this point to the fact that the Nigerian government has not lived up to expectations to providing food and basic amenities for the country and citizens at large.
Here are Major Reasons Why we think that Nigeria Can’t boast of Food Security
1. Insufficient Agricultural Production by peasant farmers
Most of Nigeria’s food are produce by farmers who don’t have access to mechanise equipment hence this food are produce in small quantities for their families and few to the market.
World Bank says that only 90% of our food are produced by peasant farmers. This show that as long as this trend continues we are going to continue having problems with good security
2. Lack Of Good Storage Facilities
During the time of bumper harvest, too little can be saved because there is no way to have access to storage facilities and if they ever exist they will be few and out of reach from the farmers.
Nigeria is known as a nation that loves to consume what it produces without plans to storage because there are no sufficient or adequate preservatives measures in place.
3. Increased Rate Of Corruption
according to a report by the Transparency International in year 2019— states that our beloved Nigeria slipped to 146th out of 189th on the list of the corrupt countries in the world. This shows the level of corruption amongst Corporate entities
Despite setting up the The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) there is still widespread of corruption and we prays that things get better by the day.
3 Insecurity concerns
Nigeria ranked 3rd most dangerous place to do business or reside based on forbes report. Boko-Haram has made things worst and threatened food supplies, agricultural produce and because people who should be farming have been displaced from their place of residence and villages and them also have become refugees in their mother land.
There is also an issue of banditry and fulani Militia who raid farms and sack villages, burn down farmland. This alone has increased unrest in thousands of communities across the land and threatened food security in the nation.
4.Climate Change concern
Up Northern sates of Nigeria desertification remains a problem and has threaten food production. States like Katsina, Kano, Sokoto and more are now experiencing dry air, hash sunlight and massive flooding are occurring in states like Niger, Kogi and all lowland states in the south. This alone has disrupt food production and supply.
Although climate changes is a world wide phenomenon but Developing country like Nigeria are feeling the heat the more because we lack the technology to tackle such problems in our various communities.