Sustainable Food Security

By: Samuel Igbatayo  

The state of Nigeria’s food insecurity is revealed in the 2017 Global Food Security Index (GFSI) in which the nation scored a low 38.4 (of 100) and ranked 92 of 133 countries surveyed around the world. Nigeria’s low ranking on GFSI is attributed to poor food accessibility, fueled by endemic poverty, rising food prices and low farm productivity. The impact of chronic undernourishment on children is particularly severe. The Nigeria Demographic and Health Survey, 2013 reveals the sobering state of children’s well-being. Every year, the nation loses about one million children aged below five years, with half of the mortality attributed to malnutrition. Widespread concern in Nigeria regarding the worsening state of food insecurity spurred policy makers, in 2011, to create the Agricultural Transformation Agenda (ATA), aimed at driving private sector-led agricultural development and strengthening agricultural commodity value chains, among other things. Rice is a major food staple in Nigeria, popular with the rich and poor alike; however, the cost of importation of the staple exceeds US$1 billion annually. Domestic rice production has risen in recent times, reinforced by the Federal government intervention initiatives, increasing by 3% to about 2.6 million hectares from 2.5 million hectares in the 2016/17 planting season. Despite government’s intervention in recent years, the nation’s rice value chain is still driven by smallholder farmers/cottage millers, employing outdated equipment and making it difficult to compete against the quality of imported rice.

Rice, Nigeria Farmers
Food Production and Sustainability
Paper Presentation in a Themed Session

Samuel Igbatayo

Head of Department, Economics & Management Studies, Afe Babalola University, Nigeria
Ekiti State, Nigeria