September 24, 2022

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AU allays fears of food insecurity in Nigeria

Contrary to predictions, the African Union Development Agency-New Partnership for Africa’s Development, on Thursday, allayed fears that more Nigerians might fall among the number of food insecure people in the world.

The organisation said that Nigeria under the present regime of the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), was doing well in the area of improved agricultural output.

The National Coordinator and Chief Executive Officer, AUDA-NEPAD (Nigeria), Gloria Akobundu, said these in Abuja during the closing ceremony of a national workshop on the application of Juncao technology and its contribution to the achievement of sustainable agriculture and Sustainable Development Goals in Nigeria.

The event was organised by the AUDA-NEPAD in collaboration with the Division for SDGs of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, as well as the National Engineering Research Centre for Juncao Technology of the Fujian Agriculture and Forestry University of China and Nigeria’s Ministry of Agriculture.

The PUNCH reported that the Federal Government had this week warned that the current increase in the price of food items might plunge more Nigerians into poverty if appropriate measures were not taken.

Also, a report by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation in March also predicted that about 19.4 million people would face food insecurity across Nigeria between June and August 2022.

But during an interview with journalists at the event, Akobundu said the prediction did not mean Nigeria was sitting on a time bomb in terms of food sufficiency.

She said, “We cannot say that Nigeria is sitting on a time bomb because the current administration has put the agenda of diversification of the economy through agriculture which attests to the fact that Nigeria is doing well in terms of consolidating agriculture business.

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“All what we are trying to do is to enhance what we are producing, irrespective of the predictions. Yes, it is possible to predict due to the impact of COVID-19 which had caused setback in certain aspects. But all what we are doing is to recover and try to stay stronger.

“Nigerians are not lazy people, that’s why with some kind of assistances to rural farmers, we will have great productions at the end of the day. All hands therefore must be on deck.”

Akobundu said employing the Juncao technology in agriculture would promote Agro Business, enhance nutrition, curb youth restiveness and ensure that more direct and indirect jobs were created.

She said the workshop was part of concerted efforts to support the capacity needs of smallholder farmers in order for them to reap the full benefits of the technology of growing mushrooms.