For Nigeria to feed her growing population sustainably, agricultural productivity needs to grow alongside better food system efficiency and sustainable development, stakeholders have hinted.
This notion was held at a Private Sector Exploratory Dialogue organised by the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG) in collaboration with the Ministry of Budget and National Planning, the United Nations and the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA).
The dialogue was targeted at dissecting Nigeria’s food systems and fashioning ways to improve the country’s food security.
Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Budget and National Planning, and National Convenor, Nigeria Food Systems Summit Dialogue, Mrs. Olusola Idowu said that the dialogue seeks to bring together private sector groups as they explore, debate, and shape pathways to sustainable food systems that will contribute to all the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Idowu, in her welcome remark, stated that the dialogue is also aimed at identifying the best practices and policies that will have an impact on the achievement of the desired future vision within the Nigerian local food systems.
She said that stakeholders will assess progress towards improved food systems and determine who needs to be involved in achieving the overarching objective of building effective food systems in Nigeria.
On his part, the Country Representative of the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) in Nigeria, Mr Fred Kafeero, stated that food systems touch every aspect of human existence and it profoundly affects the health of the people as well as the health of the environment, economies and cultures.
He stressed the need for collaboration and active participation by all stakeholders and domestic responses which will not only make a huge difference but also help in ensuring food security.
Echoing his thoughts, the CEO of NESG, Mr Laoye Jaiyeola, also expressed the need to enhance processing and make the agricultural space friendlier adding that the partnership by all stakeholders will help to sustain and improve the agricultural sector and help the country become more successful.
Also, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Psaltry Nigeria Ltd, Mrs. Oluyemisi Iranloye, in her address, stated that it was expedient to have private sector participation in Nigeria’s agricultural system.
According to her, this will help bridge the gap that exists in Nigeria’s food systems which will help reduce hunger and malnutrition and encourage a collaborative approach among all stakeholders.
As part of the dialogue, a framework is expected to be created which will fit into the larger UN resolutions that will help in achieving the objective of shaping an improved food system.