Don explains how human actions threaten food sufficiency
Increasing food security challenges and environmental degradation aggravating poverty and crises in the Third World countries have been described as consequences of reckless human actions. A professor of Agricultural and Bio-Systems Engineering at the University of Ilorin, Joshua Olanrewju Olaoye, disclosed this while delivering an inaugural lecture of the university recently.
In the lecture, entitled, ‘Gathering the fragments … that Nothing be Wasted: Advancing Agricultural Mechanisation, Energy and Food Sovereignty Catena,’ Prof. Olaoye said “food sovereignty would continue to elude man until he learns to live in peace with his environment and explore technological innovations in food production, processing and storage.” He added that the need to ensure adequate food provision is a major issue or challenge that must attract serious and concerted interests of everyone for humanity to continue to flourish.
Prof. Olaoye insisted that the reason hunger is on the rise at global level, particularly in under-developed countries, is negligible interest paid to the issue of food security through improved and sustainable implementation of agricultural technology practices.
He pointed out that to “overcome the burgeoning future challenges to our food supply and to the environment sustainable intensification of agricultural production is therefore desired,” saying that more than 70 per cent of Sub-Saharan Africa, part of which is Nigeria, “suffers from soil and terrain constraints.”
Olaoye said three factors account for the unimaginable level of food crisis being experienced, such as population growth, natural resources degradation and the impact of climate change.He explained that those problems could be adequately tackled and surmounted with the proper adoption of the right technological systems.He specifically added that the impact of climatic environment on food production in developing countries is phenomenal and could threaten their sovereignty.
He, therefore, suggested that specific actions should be taken towards the adequate protection of the environment, which, he said, is a joint responsibility of every citizen.While warning that the more the environment is exposed to depletion, the more food production would be threatened, he enjoined stakeholders to develop proper legislations, programmes and monitoring procedures to protect the environment.
Prof. Olaoye urged the government to work towards empowering farmers with modern implements that could assist in large-scale production of food for local consumption and export, saying that the nation has the land, the human resources and a market size that could make it a truly food basket.