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COVID-19 could throw Nigeria into another food crisis —Experts

Again, inflation drops, eighth time since January, now 15.98%, –NBS report

Food and agriculture pundits in Nigeria are championing a course that could birth reforms targeted at forestalling a potential food crisis following the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.

It was the verdict of agricultural security panellists at the National Conversation on Mapping Nigeria’s response to COVID-19, Akinlabi Hassan, Media Manager, Brooks and Blake said in an email on Tuesday.

The Head of Corporate Affairs and Communications Africa at Upfield Foods, Motola Oyebanjo, avowed at a sector think-tank dialogue named “Safeguarding the Nation: Agricultural Credit and National Food Security in an Economic Downturn” that food security and system talks are imperatives deserving greater attention given the sheer weight of the pandemic outbreak on socioeconomic activities around the world.

“Discussions around food systems during this pandemic is critical for both the private sector and public sector.

Read also: FOOD CRISIS: APC senator knocks Buhari, ‎calls for arrest of Ogbe, others over yam exportation

“It is important for the public sector because it requires a healthy and active populace to ensure that the economy runs smoothly.

“It is also important for businesses as the society must be thriving to ensure that products and services are profitable.”

Oyebanjo observed the opportunities and benefits inherent in the agriculture and food industry in Nigeria at the moment and even in post-pandemic days.

“We must imagine a new reality, proffer innovative solutions and take decisive action to ensure we harness them,” said Oyebanjo, a sentiment shared by Vice Chairman Dangote Foods, Sani Dangote, who believes food security had become a major challenge on account of the pandemic outbreak.

Meanwhile, the Managing Director of the Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending, Aliyu Abdulhameed has declared the agency is in synergy with the central bank to offer farmer guarantees.

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