A historic food crisis is round the corner amidst headwinds from the coronavirus pandemic, the Agriculture Bureau Association of Nigeria (ABAN) has warned.
ABAN also said the country was threatened by food shortfall, rising costs of food and food wastage on a large scale.
Suleiman Dikwa, coordinator of ABAN, disclosed that unless swift, concerted efforts were made, the impending food crisis would be historic and epic.
“Having worked with farmers across all of Nigeria’s regions, food manufacturers and exporters, we believe it is time to organise ourselves to avoid a crisis in the food supply of our nation.
“This is an opportunity to bring key stakeholders to the table to rationalise activities and keep the food chain flowing,” Dikwa said in a statement.
He called on government to immediately pinpoint the key stakeholders in the food supply, monitor the levels of food availability and coordinate supply and distribution effectively given that this would ensure better connection between users and producers.
According to him, the slump in the frequency of air travels, as especially experienced by affluent Nigerians and politicians, and government’s reduction of waste would guarantee more resources in the system and enable states to cultivate stronger saving culture as Nigeria now has the capacity to produce its own food and live healthier.
“We need to bring in all active players in the agriculture and allied industry, the pharmaceutical companies, the logistic companies into an emergency mode and develop a strategy to keep our supply chain running.”
“We are shutting down systems without concurrently redirecting resources into quickly developing alternative production and supply chains of critical resources.
“How do we keep our ports running? How do we get a thousand and one agencies off our ports and get a manageable number and automate the systems to keep it running? Leaders have to emerge and organise people to keep the supply chain working,” Dikwa said.