Feed Nigeria Summit seeks to address Nigeria’s weak food system, productivity concerns

The Feed Nigeria Summit, in a bid to revamp the country’s food system and address concerns surrounding critical value chain activities in the agricultural sector is set to hold its 2021 annual summit.

The summit themed ‘Post-COVID19: A Repaired Food System, Pathway to a Revived Economy’ seeks to capitalize on the positive energy of the Nigerian agriculture sector to strengthen the nation’s overall economy, post-pandemic.

According to the organisers, the summit aims to contribute significantly to the actualization of an inclusive, efficient and competitive food system for Nigeria.

Richard-Mark Mbaram, technical adviser to the Minister of Agriculture on knowledge management and communication, made the disclosure during a virtual media briefing held recently.

Mbaram, who is also a member of the event’s organizing committee, said that the summit targets the resuscitation of Nigeria’s food system which was severely disrupted by the global COVID-19 pandemic.

Read also: Five food items driving inflation in Nigeria and why

He harped on the need for an objective auditing of the entire agricultural ecosystem to ascertain areas of strength and weaknesses; hence the Summit’s theme.

“The theme of this year’s Feed Nigeria Summit resonates with current realities we face globally from the prism of the food system, heavily occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic. From Nigeria’s perspective, there is so much at stake. With this Summit, we are looking to x-ray these realities,” Mbaram said.

He lauded the efforts and measures made by the government to improve the food system following the COVID-19 pandemic but stresses that it is still curtailed by challenges which continuously result in low productivity, price variations and unfavourable trade realities, post-harvest loss, malnutrition and unemployment.

Mbaram further stated that addressing these concerns will inevitably strengthen the overall economic recovery efforts of the government at all levels.

“For us, if we can repair the country’s food system, then certainly our economic-revamp efforts will be on the right track. The Summit will achieve this critical objective with the support of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, also keen on advancing the course of its agricultural policy – NATIP,” he said.

With strong support from the African Development Bank Group (AfDB), Mbaram stated that the AfDB-funded Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zones (SAPZ) Project is central to the objective of the summit.

He emphasized that the summit will be placed on tracking the implementation status of the project and the Green Imperative Programme of the government.

These programmes, he noted, will address the existing concerns around critical infrastructural provision, technological innovation, mechanization and extension, as core components of the FMARD’s policy thrust.

The Feed Nigeria Summit will also feature the Mezzanine Deal Brokerage Room, wholly dedicated to forging partnerships between the public and private sectors.

The event, hosted by AgroNigeria, is scheduled to take place on August 23rd and 24th at the Ladi Kwali Conference Centre, Sheraton Hotel and Towers, Abuja.

FNS 2021 is supported by the AfDB, FMARD, UK Department for International Trade, AFEX Nigeria, and Flour Mills of Nigeria, among others.

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