Published February 11, 2021
Temiloluwa O’ Peters
The UN Food and Agriculture Organisation Representative in Nigeria , Fred Kafeero , has said an estimated 9 . 2 million Nigerians from 16 states and the Federal Capital Territory face food insecurity.
He also said the current food system in the country needed re – evaluation.
Kafeero spoke during a webinar organised by the Federal Government and United Nations for journalists on ‘ Nigeria national food systems dialogue ’ on Tuesday .
Part of the aim of the webinar was to lay the foundation for series of dialogues across the country to chart pathways towards ensuring resilient , inclusive and sustainable food systems in Nigeria by 2030 .
“ As of October 2020 , an estimated 9 .2 million Nigerians from 16 states and the FCT were food insecure ,” he said , adding that the food security situation would likely worsen in 2021 due to the impacts of the COVID – 19 pandemic.
Kafeero emphasised the need for the government , food producers and processors , traders , donors and other partners to work together in evaluating current food system and making it improved and sustainable .
Speaking on access to safe and nutritious food for all , UNICEF Representative in Nigeria, Peter Hawkins, noted that the minimally acceptable diet in Nigeria remained poor , adding that a food system preventing all forms of malnutrition was required .
He highlighted important steps to take as subsidies for healthy and sustainable foods and taxes on unhealthy foods , nutrition education in schools , social behavior changes campaigns and others .
In his presentation on boosting nature-positive production , the United Nations Development Programme Resident Representative , Mohamed Yahya, said the country was facing unprecedented constraints in food production , severely impacting the environment .
The representative of Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development , Alhaji Musibau Azeez , said good food systems resulted in developed food industries, expansion of off – farm employment opportunities , widening of food choices , among others .
The UN Resident Coordinator , Edward Kallon, noted that the UN and the FG were bringing together key players for the summit to hold in September , which he said would launch new actions to transform the way the world produced and consumed food.
He emphasised the importance of sustainable food systems , to not only end hunger , but also help future generations have access to adequate food and proper nutrition.