The food situation in Nigeria is said to be so fragile, delicate and unlikely to be able to resist strong pressure or attack if care is not taken. A Professor of Economics from the Department of Economics, Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba-Akoko (AAUA), Prof. Sola Olorunfemi dropped this hint while delivering the 21st inaugural lecture of the university titled: “Fragilities of Food Security Amidst Macroeconomic Issues: A Ticking Time Bomb!”
He said the fragilities of food security are seriously with us, that to avoid the imminent time bomb, the federal and state governments should heed available warnings and implement solutions to the impending threat of food shortage. He called on the government at all levels to take immediate action and act fast, stressing that policies that would encourage and enhance local food production with a view to ensuring stability in both production and supply. The Professor also called for the allocation of more arable lands for farming purposes to support increased agricultural activities. “More arable land should be allocated for farming purposes and enabling environment should be provided as incentives for more participatory engagement in the agriculture sector.
Speaking further the inaugural lecturer suggested increase in financial allocation to the agriculture sector to strengthen research and extension services as well as upward review of household incomes to make them less prone to food insecurity, saying “More funding should be allocated to the agricultural sector, while there is need to strengthen alternative financing such as agricultural insurance schemes, farmers cooperatives. The more income a household earns, the less prone to food insecurity the household tends to become. Therefore, effort must be made to prioritise more income generating opportunities for the people” while calling for the implementation of policies that would reduce food cost and proper planning of households.
“Food prices are also essential determinants of food security. Food prices seem to be rising faster than the income of households. As a result of inadequate purchasing power, the poor households may not have access to food. Since the government does not exercise control over food prices, and given the lack of formal safety net, it is recommended that it is important to design and implement policies that will eventually reduce the cost of food”, the don added.