Minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhaji Mustapha Shehuri, has described the country’s food system as weak and vulnerable to shocks.
Alhaji Shehuri disclosed this on Monday at this year’s Feed Nigeria Summit in Abuja.
Represented by the Director, Federal Department of Agriculture, Hajia Karima Babangida, said the summit would assist the Ministry to re-examine the weak link, with a view to strengthening it for an agricultural system that would work for Nigeria and stabilise food security.
He said the Ministry was determined to create a functional food system that would guarantee citizens unrestricted access to good quality, nutritious and safe food.
“This underscores the various programmes and interventions that are on-going in the Ministry in areas of agricultural livelihood and support, food safety, and the provision of infrastructure in different ecological zones of the country”, Alhaji Mustapha Shehuri said.
According to him, for a sustainable food system, the country must rise to overcome the challenges of poor quality food supplies, hunger, malnutrition and improper habit of promoting food wastage.
Also speaking, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhaji Muhammad Nanono, said the country may produce enough food to eat, but people would still sleep with hunger because they did not have enough money to buy the food.
He attributed the problem to unemployment, which inhibited people from earning money for food, rent or education, identifying this as a great challenge to the nation.
“I recently met with some young Nigerians who are into processing and synergising agriculture with industry, and that is exactly what we need in this country. “Unless we create that relationship and make it strong, poverty will persist.
The Minister lamented that Nigeria still imported a significant amount of food and was not earning as much foreign exchange as we should from agriculture.
Na nono said it had become imperative to re-strategize and deploy innovation, to tackle the longstanding issues and lead Nigeria towards food sufficiency.
The theme for this year’s summit “Post-Covid-19: A Repaired Food System, Pathway to a Revived Economy”