The Acting President, National Association of Yam Farmers, Processors and Marketers, Prof. Simon Irtwange, on has urged all tiers of government to evolve a workable strategy to tackle Nigeria’s food supply and demand.
Irtwange gave this advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Saturday.
According to him, all tiers of government should use the occasion of the 2018 World Food Day to reflect on their capacity to provide food for the teeming population.
World Food Day is celebrated annually on Oct. 16. This year’s theme was entitled: “Our Action Our Future: A Zero Hunger World By 2030 is Possible.’’
Speaking on the imperative of food security, the don said “the germane issue is that there are three traditional approaches that nations have been employing to be able to make sure that there is food for everybody.
“The approaches are: controlling the population growth, expanding production and improving on productivity and then, making sure that a loss between harvest magnitude and consumption is reduced significantly.”
According to him, if the approaches are meticulously followed, there will be a saving of between 30 and 40 per cent of food loss from harvest production due to lack of storage and food preservation strategy.
Irtwange advised the federal, states and local governments in the country to reflect on their old strategies with a view to modifying them for improved food security in the country.
“Are we using the population control strategy? Are we expanding production to feed increasing population? Or are we expanding production and productivity?
“Are we looking at post-harvest so that we do not lose a single delicate food that we have produced,” he asked.
He regretted that as a country, Nigeria was yet to “come up with a concrete strategy on how to address the food supply.’’
According to him, it is high time government at all levels really sit down to look at this issue beyond just celebrating the World Food Day annually.
He called for appropriate measures to utilise under-cultivated lands to expand production and boost food supply.
Irtwange told NAN that the productivity should also be viewed in terms of how much people were able to get per head.