•  Felicitates With Farmers, Food Workers

By Ruth Ameh (Agri-Business Reporter)

In celebration of the World Food Day, a business forum known as the Confluence Business Forum (CBF), has urged the Federal Government to intensify its effort in ensuring adequate food security for all Nigerians.

The forum also felicitates with farmers and food workers in Nigeria on the occasion of 2020 World Food Day with the theme, "Grow, Nourish, Sustain. Together. Our actions are our future."

The World Food Day is an international day celebrated every 16th October in honour of the date of the founding of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations in 1945. Consequently, it was designated as World Food Day in 1979. The Day is set aside to promote global awareness and action of those who suffer hunger and for the need to ensure healthy diets for all.

A statement on Friday by the Forum's Program Officer, Vivian Isaiah, said the group "salute the great Nigerian farmers and workers who make sure we have food on our tables despite the global COVID-19 pandemic lockdown and flood that adversely affected food production this year.

"Although the world has made significant progress in improving agricultural productivity particularly in advanced countries, the need for global food security cannot be overemphasized. In developing countries like Nigeria hunger, environmental degradation, loss of agro-biological diversity, food loss and waste, flood, bandits, Boko Haram, Fulani herdsmen-farmers clashes, lack of fertilizer and tractors, and funds grossly affect agricultural productivity."

The Forum stated that "It is obvious that healthy citizens are the greatest assets any nation can have. Food security therefore involves everybody. Nigeria has had several agriculture programmes including Operation Feed the Nation of General Olusegun Obasanjo's military government and Green Revolution of President Shehu Shagari's administration.

"There is need to make food production in Nigeria a top priority of government at all levels. Farmers must be encouraged by providing fertilizer, farm implement, funds to purchase seedlings etc. Government should also purchase excess farm produce to avoid waste and store them to sell to the public as needs arise."

The Forum however called on the Government to "also ban all grains that are produced locally including rice, beans, maize and flour", saying that such measure "will encourage local production of these essential grains" .

It however said that "the current ban on importation of rice is a step in the right direction. Today, Nigerians have been consuming local rice with delight and export it. It is however unfortunate that prices of these grains are exorbitant about the same prices of foreign ones, apparently due to high cost of transportation following an increase in the price of fuel".

The Forum urges the Federal Government to urgently address this anornally if the nation must feed her estimated 200 million citizens. "Eating well gives us a chance to give joy to life, just as a hungry man is an angry man", the forum stated, adding that "together we make the nation self sufficient in food production and assist farmers affected by flood in various parts of the country.

The Confluence Business Forum will be launching a Green Revolution program in 17 States including Kogi, Benue, Niger, Edo ,Kaduna, Kwara, Ekiti, Ondo, Cross River, Nasarawa, Kebbi, Zamfara, Anambra, Taraba, Enugu, Ebonyi and FCT. NNL.


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