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Importance of Food Security In Nigeria

Food is one of the basic necessities for human existence. Food security, as defined by the United Nations’ Committee on World Food Security, means that all people, at all times, have  unrestricted (physical, social and economic) access to sufficient, safe, and nutritious food that meets their food preferences and dietary needs for an active and healthy life. The importance of food security in all nations of the world cannot be underestimated.

Over the years, different events such as the ever dynamic climatic conditions, incessant growth of the population, increase in the prices of foods and other environmental factors have taken their toll on food security. There is need for coping strategies and policy responses to global change such as alternatives for handling water allocation, land use patterns, food trade, food processing, post-harvest food storage, food safety and regulation of food prices. There is also need for analysis of cash transfers, promotion of sustainable agricultural technologies, building resilience to disasters and management of trade-offs in food security which includes balancing nutritional benefits of food against the cost of production.

Why is Food Security Important?

Food is a necessity not a choice:

Rural farmer empowered by Farmcenta holding shelled maize or corn
Rural farmer empowered by Farmcenta holding shelled maize

We all need food to survive. And in recent times like during the Coronavirus pandemic where people are encouraged to stay at home, there is need to have enough for oneself and family. Food is a basic human right and everyone is entitled to food. Food security means everyone can get good food in time of need. The fact that someone cannot pay for his or her food doesn’t mean the person should go hungry. Everyone should at least have access to nutritious food.

Good food is essential for good health:

good health sign

As the popular saying goes, health is wealth and the basic nutrients needed for good health is mostly found in food. With food security, everyone has access to the daily nutrient requirements and can therefore live a healthy and productive life. With good health comes increase in productivity which subsequently causes the growth of the economy of a nation. It also helps to alleviate poverty and create jobs for people.

Food should not be at the expense of food producers:

farmer harvesting rice paddy on rice farm
Rural farmer farmer harvesting rice paddy on our rice farm in Niger State

What we eat should not exploit those who produce it. The global food system is dedicated to free trade that encourages exportation of food so the current trend is to grow monoculture foods for international markets. However, this should not be done at the expense of the land, water or the farmers.

Food security equals strong nation:

Rural farmers empowered by Farmcenta on their rice farm during harvesting

A country that ensures food is available to all its citizens is a strong and stable one and vice versa. However, if there is too much food insecurity in a nation, such a nation becomes vulnerable and overly dependent on other countries for aids. The jurisdiction that cannot feed its people is at the mercy of whoever can. It is not a good option and can be used as a weapon against such country in time of need.

In Nigeria, achieving of food security has been threatened by the unrest in the northern part of the country which is the major food-producing part of the country. There is need to introduce policies that can help combat food insecurity in the country. Farmcenta is helping to bridge that gap, in a space of two years, we have empowered over a thousand rural farmers, cultivated over six farm cycles and we are currently cultivating rice on 300 hectares of farmland in Nasarawa state.

Farmcenta is an Agri-tech startup that seeks to improve rural farming by addressing farmer’s critical farming needs such as mechanized tools, high yield seeds, training on climate smart agriculture techniques and off-take harvest to increase food production in Nigeria and Africa. Our mission is to provide an opportunity for everyone to support the SDG 2: Zero Hunger. Learn more by visiting our website at www.farmcenta.com or contact us via Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, or via email at info@farmcenta.com.

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