Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has stated that transforming Africa’s food system is an obvious task requiring the active mobilisation and prioritisation of both public and private investments.
Osinbajo’s spokesman, Laolu Akande, in a statement on Tuesday, July 27, in Abuja, said the vice president virtually spoke at the preparatory meeting of the United Nations Food Systems Summit 2021.
The pre-summit is a prelude to the global event scheduled for Rome, Italy, in September; an event the vice president described as crucial just as the previous dialogues held in several countries on food systems.
He said that the Federal Government was committed to complementing existing development plans, sectoral strategies, and prioritising investments in specific innovations and technologies to transform food systems in the country.
“The Nigerian Government is committed to addressing the drivers of food insecurity such as food inflation; changing consumption patterns and climate change; amongst other things.
“At the same time and as an outcome of 40 different food systems dialogues in which up to 5,000 people participated, Nigeria is prioritising investments in specific innovations and technologies to scale up and transform food systems.
“These actions complement existing development plans and sectoral strategies; such as our Economic Recovery and Growth Plan; the National Policy on Food and Nutrition, as well as the National Policy on Food Safety.
“A specific aim of our recently launched National Poverty Reduction with Growth Strategy is to address hunger, malnutrition, and poverty as part of our target of lifting a hundred million Nigerians out of poverty within a decade.”
Osinbajo added that at the heart of Nigeria’s post-COVID-19 response was the Economic Sustainability Plan.
He said that the plan had a major component, which is the Agriculture for Food and Jobs Programme (AFJP); where the country sought to leverage suitable technologies to build a resilient food system for Nigeria.
“Our Nutrition Policy addresses the issues of sustainable and nutrition-sensitive food systems; and also the country has prioritised key nutrition actions that are impactful, cost-effective, scalable, and sustainable.
“An integral part of our food systems’ transformation strategy is to create an enabling and supportive environment; to implement these policies in a participatory manner involving farmers, investors, and state governments.
“For example, when, as in our country and several others; population growth exceeds growth in national income; food supply would not meet the needs of people, especially when distribution systems are inequitable.”