Home Food 60m Nigerians sleep with hunger—ActionAid 

60m Nigerians sleep with hunger—ActionAid 

by Business News Report

Nigerians grapple with protest march on various streets over hardship and high food prices, ActionAid Nigeria, has said that 60 million Nigerians sleep with hunger on daily basis. This claim was made by the Country Director, AAN Andrew Mamedu, on the sidelines of the ‘Regional Media Engagement on Agroecology and Climate Justice’ organised by ActionAid Nigeria through the Strategic Partnerships for Agroecology and Climate Justice in West Africa (SPAC-West Africa) project, funded by ActionAid International. It said that with such huge number of Nigerians sleeping with hunger on daily basis is a time bomb waiting to explode. He also said that President Bola Tinubu declaring state of emergency on food security makes it imperative for agroecology adoption in food production and boosting food security, which will be a panacea to help Nigeria in taking clear actions that will ensure that food is made available, affordable and accessible to Nigerians.

According to Mamedu, 133 million Nigerians currently live in multidimensional poverty, while over 60 million Nigerians sleep with hunger daily and this is a disaster waiting to happen. The primary objective of ‘Regional Media Engagement on Agroecology and Climate Justice’ engagement is to enhance the knowledge of climate change and agriculture reporters on agroecology and climate justice and to foster meaningful conversations on in-depth reportage and promotion of agroecology and climate justice in West Africa. He said “The government recognizes the importance of agroecology and how it will improve food security in the country. So the good thing is at the national or the federal level, the President of the country has declared a state of emergency on food security. So if you link that reason, agroecology supposed to help us take clear actions that will ensure that food is made available. 

“Currently, that is not the case in the country. We have protests across the country, we have prices of increasing by the day; you hear price of bread, rice, beans, the Presidential releasing grain from the reserves from the grain reserves, which is which is a good thing. However, we are far away from meeting the needs that we have on the ground. So agroecology is looking at natural actions that would help us to achieve this; how do we work with farmers through using issues of manure, green energy, issues that are natural that can give us good yield, and not things that are industrial, chemical and hazardous to our health? So our ecology is quite clear on that. It also helps us in climate change that we are experiencing now. So global emission with agroecology we would be able to minimize and eliminate global emission generally.

“So clearly, it is one word, more action, government has got to drive that process to ensure that we get the desired result. We have 133 million Nigerians living in multidimensional poverty, and we have over 60 million Nigerians that will go to bed on a daily basis without food and that’s a disaster waiting to happen. So clearly, the actions are clear, agroecology will help us put food on our table. Let us start with feeding our population, let people have food, and people have food then we go to the next step, which is education, health and they are all important, strategic in terms of rights to citizens of Nigeria, but we cannot afford not to get people to have food to eat in the country. Agroecology can help Nigeria achieve food security very well. We have done it in the past. Before this whole introduction of industrial agriculture, Nigeria was able to be food-self-sufficient, we were able to have enough and we were exporting. 

So we have been able to demonstrate it in the past. There are countries that are heavy on agroecology, and they are self-sufficient in terms of food production and consumption and exports to other countries.  So we have the capacity as a country, all we need to do is the willingness of the government to accept it, drive it and of course citizens will follow suit and achieve that.” However, he (Mamedu) pointed out that there is also the need for agricultural commodities’ exporters to add value to the food that are produced before exporting them for high foreign exchange.  “Though, what we are advocating is not just exporting the food, we should add value to the food that we are producing, and before we export them you make much more”, he added. 

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