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Collaboration critical in attaining Nigeria’s food security – Experts

Experts in the agricultural sector have said that collaboration among stakeholders is critical in attaining food security in Africa’s most populous country.

The experts who spoke at an event organised by Hope for Life Initiative to mark World Food Day said with partnerships across value chains, the country will be able to boost productivity while addressing challenges in the sector.

Kendi Aig-Imoru, founder and executive director, Hope for Life Initiative said as an organisation that works with widows and children, the organisation is keen on food security.

“We feel that the world food day is a platform to reach out to people and ensure that they understand the true meaning of world food day and understand that we need to protect our environment.”

“We need to be secure about our food because our actions are our future, if we don’t take care of our food and if we don’t take care of what we eat today, it will tell on us tomorrow,” she added.

Godwin Atser, communication and knowledge exchange expert, IITA who represented said the theme is apt for several reasons because there is need to reverse the number of hungry people that have been estimated to be about an 800million and put an end to malnutrition and all effect of climate change on the food system.

Atser who is representing Kenton Dashiell, deputy director-general for Partnership for Delivery, IITA said for it to happen, there is need for partnerships.

“For us in IITA, the partnership is very key. The key driver to all that IITA has been able to achieve is a partnership from donators, government and non-government organisations” he said.

Speaking also, Anthony Abah, assistant director in NAFDAC who represented Professor Mojisola Adeyeye, director-general of NAFDAC, stated that regulator is always ready to partner and collaborate with any organisation on anything that has to do with food products.

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“We are talking about food which is key, that is why we are here. We cannot talk about food security without talking about food safety. Food security means everybody have access to affordable, quality, nutritious and safe food. That is where NAFDAC comes in because in NAFDAC we are sure that food that is processed or manufactured or produce or imported into the country are of the right quality and safe.

NAFDAC cannot do it alone that is why this partnership is very important. Food safety starts from the farm to the table, there must be good seedlings and everyone on the food chain has a role to play in food safety and food security,” he said.

Emi Ebare, project coordinator, Hope for Life Initiative said the theme of this year rightly captured the current situation with an increasing number of countries facing growing levels of acute food security.

“Even before COVID-19 reduced incomes that disrupted supply chain, chronic and acute huger were on the rise due to various factors including conflict, socio-economic conditions, natural hazard, climate change.

“The COVID-19 impact has led to a severe and widespread increase in global food insecurity affecting the vulnerable household in every country.

“In view of this hope for Life Initiative is using this platform to tackle hunger, highlighting the issues facing vulnerable children and women. This is because we realize the importance of food security to these vulnerable groups and the need to raise awareness by bringing relevant stakeholders together to address food insecurity.

The programme which is the fifth edition organized by the NGO in collaboration with the Federal Institute of Industrial Research Oshodi (FIIRO), Sterling Bank, AFREXIMBANK, Nigerian American Chambers of Commerce, Ajinomoto among others.

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