Naija Foodie Update

Foodie Naija Update (Nigeria’s Most Insecure Food Zone)

The South West geopolitical zone of Nigeria is increasingly
becoming the most insecure food zone of the country,
Professor Akinwumi Omotayo, Director, Institute of Food
Security, Environmental
Resources and Agricultural
Research (IFSERAR), at the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, has said.

Professor Omotayo disclosed this in Ibadan, the Oyo State
capital on Tuesday in a keynote address at the 29th South West
Zonal Workshop on Research- Extension-Farmers Input
Linkage System (REFILS) of the
Institute of Agricultural
Research and Training (IAR&T),
Moor Plantation, Ibadan.

In a thought provoking lecture
entitled “Repositioning
Agricultural Extension for Sustainable Food Security in Nigeria”, he expressed grave
concern over South West Nigeria’s continued dependence on imported food
items and food from other regions of the country.

While noting that a
comprehensive analysis of the state of food insecurity and
dependency in South Western Nigeria “portrays an extremely gloomy picture,” the Agric
expert gave a vivid illustration of the estimated dependency levels with some major food commodities.

The chart below is according to Prof Omotayo: Chart for Northern Nigeria Food Distribution
Create column charts
The Prof said: “In the South Western part of Nigeria in particular, indigenous farmers
are gradually disappearing, food production is declining rapidly, those once classified as migrant labourers are taking over farms and becoming
landlords, wetlands are being taken over and farmed for
huge profits by migrants particularly from Northern

Young people are becoming increasingly apathetic and demonstrating complete lack of interest in farming.
The South Western part of Nigeria continues to depend
increasingly on imported food
items and food from other regions of Nigeria.

Consequently, the South West is increasingly becoming more
vulnerable to food insecurity than other parts of Nigeria.”
Shedding light on other factors
inhibiting agricultural
development in the South West, Professor Omotayo
said: “Forests are being converted to non-food production systems, water
resources are becoming scarcer, and climate change
plus shrinking biodiversity is
threatening the viability of farming communities.

“Not much consideration has
been given to how to
safeguard biodiversity for food
and agriculture for future generations as well as maintain a broad gene pool
which ensures ecosystem’s
Speaking earlier, the Director of IAR&T, Professor James
Adediran noted with delight that proven technologies from
the Institute and other collaborating centres had been
transferred to the extension of
Agricultural Development
Programmes (ADPs) in the various states through the
Monthly Technology Review Meetings.

Professor Adediran however, called for increased funding
for research activities in the on-going efforts to boost
agricultural extension.


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