Nigeria Faces Food Security Emergency: Expert Calls for Cross-Border Production Contracts

In a recent interview with ARISE News, Professor Ken Ife, the Lead Consultant on Private Sector Development to the ECOWAS Commission, sounded the alarm on Nigeria’s food security emergency. As the nation grapples with rising food prices and insecurity, Professor Ife proposes a pragmatic solution: cross-border production contracts with neighboring countries.

He highlighted a number of crisis in the country. Firstly , insecurity. Nigeria’s persistent security challenges have disrupted agricultural activities. Farmers face threats from banditry, insurgency, and farmer-herder conflicts, affecting food production.

Food inflation has surged, creating a 7% gap over the past eight years. Families struggle to afford basic necessities.

Professor Ife advocates for collaboration with neighboring countries like Benin and Cameroon. These partnerships can bolster food reserves and stabilize prices.

Unlocking arable land, especially in the southern regions, is crucial. Allocating resources for land clearing can boost cultivation.

Nigeria, a global cassava producer, should explore second-level derivatives. This includes products beyond raw cassava, such as starch and ethanol.

Importing rice paddy instead of processed rice could create jobs and enhance local milling capacity.

While addressing insecurity, Nigeria must prevent hunger. Professor Ife emphasizes that cross-border contracts are not shameful but necessary.

Professor Ife’s insights provide a roadmap for policymakers, farmers, and stakeholders. Urgent action is needed to secure Nigeria’s food future. Let us heed his call and forge partnerships across borders to ensure sustenance for all.

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