Experts list ways Nigeria can address impending food shortage
• Knock FG for opening grain reserve
To address the imminent threat to Nigeria’s food security, stakeholders have advised the government to collaborate with the private sector in the food and beverage industry to produce dry and intermediate foods for the masses at affordable prices.
An Agribusiness specialist, Dr Tony Bello, said in the short term, there must be coordination between government and captains of industry in the agricultural sector.
“We must align and ensure that the supply chain for food distribution and market channels are at par, and this must be done at the highest level of the government, working together with CEOs especially all the major food and beverages manufacturers in the country,” he stated.
The Food Nutritionist stressed the need to ensure that raw materials are being supplied to the manufacturers in a controlled environment so that the citizens will have foods such as cornflakes, milk powder available adding that government must work with food manufacturers and processors, to produce a convenient packaged food that we all need in a dry format this stage because Nigeria is currently in a crisis mode.
In terms of price gouging, he said: “We need to put in place a system to ensure that those trying to make a profit out of the threat of diseases to human life are held accountable to ensure prices remain stable.
Bello said in the medium term, the government must work with commercial farmers to increase production and productivity, the CBN and NIRSAL are working to make capital available for mechanized farming. Nigerian must begin to innovate by adding value to their staple crops
Meanwhile the Chief Executive Officer AFEX Com9dities Exchange Ayodeji has knocked government for opening its strategic Grain Reserve.
He is of the opinion that opening of the strategic grain reserve should have been delayed until when it’s strategic to do so and that action would be directed to areas that have a high incidence rate.
“For now I feel we are still in the comfort zone, we need to be careful. Reducing physical contact to avoid multiplying the outbreak. If people comply with Federal Government’s directives, we may be able to reduce the storm within the next 45 days. We should not deplete our strategic grain reserve at this period. We should save it for disaster or catastrophe that may arise in the cause of the year, but for now, we are in a good secure position as a country,” he stated.
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