Naija Foodie Update

FOODIE NAIJA UPDATE (THE GREEN ALTERNATIVE AND FOOD SECURITY)

The agricultural sector remains
the bedrock of development of
the nation in spite of the
superiority of the oil sector in its
contribution to the economy.
The roles of agriculture to
economic rejuvenation cannot
be neglected.

Agricultural production which
refers to the process of producing crops and rearing of animals has been playing a tremendous role in socio–economic development of the nation. The various ways of its
contribution to the economy includes, the provision of food for ever growing population, an avenue for employment, as well
as revenue earnings from
plantation crops, such as cocoa,
coffee, rubber, cashew, etc.

Besides, it provides raw materials for domestic industries and generates income for those that are involved in the profession and
provision of market for industrial goods. These contributions can be
through crops or livestock production. However, in any case it takes, these noble goals of economic development are not easily achieved due to numerous factors.

Nigeria, though endowed with
abundant arable land and a
population which is primarily
agrarian, still lags behind in its
ability to grow enough food to
meet the needs of its expanding
population. Nigeria, the largest
country in Africa is being
threatened with serious food crisis as the populace could not afford basic staple food on their dining tables. These have resulted in the widespread of menaces and infested crimes society.

At present, most of the crimes
perpetuated in our society
nowadays is because of hunger,
starvation and penury. So many
persons could engage in one
form of societal malady or
unwholesome vices just to have
food on their tables. Food crisis,
poverty, corruption and other
unscrupulous activities co-exist
in the same tent. Food crisis also has effects on health institutions as there is no form of drug absorption in human system without adequate food intake.

As a result of food shortages, the rate of anemia and malnutrition especially in infants is colossal. Anemia for instance, has become an endemic disease in Nigeria especially in the North-eastern part of the country. Food and nutrition are critically vital for proper growth and development of infants. Some ailments like ulcerative colitis abdominal pains become excruciating due to low
feeding. Every living organism
needs food for sustenance.

The basisc physiological needs of
human beings are food, clothing and shelter according to Abraham Maslow’s theory of needs.
The inability of our country to
feed its population is mostly due
to lack of substantial capital,
human and material, channeled
effectively to agricultural sector.
It could also be as a result of lack of basic training, skills and knowledge of improved production on the parts of peasants which constitute 80%
of agricultural production.
The deplorable state of rural
populace which lacks of basic
amenities like potable water,
comprehensive primary health
care system and inaccessible
roads also makes crop production in the rural area highly unattractive.

Poor storage facilities, inefficient
post-harvest management, crude implements used for tillage, ineffective extension services, professional stigmatization, attitude of political leaders and untimely implementation of agricultural policies has all compounded the tragic news in agricultural sector.
Over the years, government came up with same laudable policies like Operation Feed the Nation (OFN). Green Revolution was formulated, but in spite of all efforts geared towards the effectiveness and sustainability of these policies to have impact on the economy, the programmes failed to register good impact. Part of the reasons could be traced to the fact that oil sector was the ladder on which the
government used to climb and
meet up most of her economic
goals. Then, it was really the
great days of oil boom.

Now, it’s the dawn of the new era, oil boom is now oil doom and the
country is facing economic recession with famine and hardship as lifejacket. It’s no
longer debatable that Nigeria
needs other sources of revenue
to cushion the effects of oil deficit. Agriculture is one sure way to diversify the economy.
Nigeria has decided to refocus
and take giant strides towards
diversification of sources of revenue and their search light is
beaming on agriculture and solid minerals.

There should be agriculture
show to showcase production
and stir competition from
wards, local governments and
states. The six geo-political
zones must have a food
processing industry which is
strictly owned and managed by
government just like we have
NNPC.
There must be a comprehensive
rural transformation which is
the engine room for food
production process and clashes
between Fulani herdsmen and
crop production farmers must
be addressed.

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