The Federal Government is collaborating with the United Nations to improve Nigeria’s food systems.
According to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, the effort is to address the menace of hunger, combat malnutrition, reduce poor diet-related diseases among others.
The Federal Government and the United Nations had led series of public dialogues at national and sub-national levels that culminated today in the presentation of the Nigeria Food Systems mapping report to State governments across the six geo-political zones.
Senior Special Assistant to the Vice President on Media and Publicity, Laolu Akande, revealed this in a statement titled ‘Osinbajo leads collaboration with UN to improve food systems in Nigeria.’
According to the statement, Osinbajo spoke at the Consolidatory Dialogue for the UN Food Systems Summit held in Abuja.
He said aside from realising the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and guaranteeing food security for a growing population, the sustainable food systems effort fits into the plan of the Buhari administration to eliminate poverty across Nigeria.
He said, “For the government of Nigeria, our commitment to sustainable food systems is one of the key strategies for eliminating poverty across Nigeria.
“We know that our target of lifting a hundred million Nigerians out of poverty within a decade is only achievable if we focus on substantially improving agriculture and food systems which assure us of not just good food, but also jobs.
“This perspective on addressing hunger, malnutrition, and poverty runs through our policy frameworks, including our recently launched National Poverty Reduction and Growth Strategy, and our Nutrition Policy that addresses the issues of a sustainable and nutrition-sensitive food system.”
As Chairman of the Steering Committee to oversee the implementation of the National Poverty Reduction and Growth Strategy, the Vice President also serves as the Chairman of the National Council on Nutrition.
He noted that “Nigeria’s food system must be resilient enough to significantly impact nutrition security, and our collective efforts must reduce the malnutrition numbers.
“We must realise that defining bold steps to improve food systems and by extension, food security ensures that children have improved health, early development, and increased intellectual and emotional readiness to learn.
“This translates to positive school engagement and improves the potential of children growing into healthy adults.
“On the other hand, imagine a generation of adults who suffer arrested physical and mental health, and the social and economic burden on their families, their communities, and the nation.
“Imagine the implications of approximately 50% of Nigeria’s population being at risk if we do not get it right.”
Osinbajo urged all stakeholders to translate the recommendations of the dialogues to prompt action, stressing that “it would mean embracing the changes required in the modernisation of farming practices, mechanization, and reduction of post-harvest losses”.