Russia/Ukraine war: Expert calls for measures to address food insecurity
Says AfDB has designed emergency food production plan for Africa
A Finance expert, Mazi Iroy Orji, has urged the government to put measures in place that could address possible food insecurity resulting from the Russia/Ukraine war, predicting that the war may lead to heightened global food insecurity that will be worse than the previous food crises over the past decade.
He said that the African Development Bank (AfDB) has designed a $1.5 billion Africa emergency food production plan to support countries to produce around 38 million tonnes of food comprising about 11 million tonnes of wheat; 18 million tonnes of maize; six million tonnes of rice and two and half million tonnes of soybeans to mitigate the effect of the war on food prices.
He also cited the Covid-19 pandemic and climate change as factors impacting the current food insecurity, saying that Nigerian born president of the AfDB, Dr. Femi Adesina, included Nigeria as one the top priority countries that will be assisted to produce about 9.5 million tonnes of food under this emergency food production plan.
According to the former Banker, who spoke yesterday, few days after he picked the All Progressives Congress (APC) Expression of Interest (EI) and declaration forms to contest for the Arochukwu/Ohafia Federal Constituency seat in the House of representatives in 2023, the AfDB Initiative will support the country’s five million smallholder farmers during the 2022 wet season and one million across 10 Northern states during the 2022/2023 dry season.
To benefit, he said, “Abia needs to be part of this initiative because our land is situated on 632,000 hectares, most of which are arable and can be used to grow Maize, Sesame seed, Soya Beans etc.
Disclosing that he had articulated solutions to some of the nation’s economic challenges with a view to sponsoring the appropriate bills for passage if elected, he lamented that the economy has become more downgraded and distressed, with falling values, hyper inflation, disinvestment and industrial unrest.
He indicated that he would put in place what he called “Grow & Eat Abia Initiative” during his tenure as representative of Arochukwu/Ohafia Federal Constituency.