THE Food Systems Vision Group of the University of Lagos (UNILAG) on Wednesday engaged stakeholders across the agriculture value chain to articulate ways of addressing food safety challenges.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the university held an interactive session to spark connection and create awareness for the Food System Vision tagged: “Lagos Food System Vision 2050”, considering population, climate change and how they affect nutrition of the populace.
NAN reports that the Food Systems Vision 2050 Prize is a Rockefeller Foundation global initiative that invites organisations from around the world to create compelling and progressive visions of the world’s system by 2050.
A prize of $2 million will be distributed among the winners.
Dr Vide Adedayo, a Lecturer at the Department of Geography, UNILAG and the convener of the engagement, while delivering a paper on ‘Building Deeper Empathy to Develop Healthy Food’, touched on the quality of food in the state.
Adedayo said that there were opportunities in the challenges of food, especially from wastes generated, which were mostly organic and would help drive organic farming in the state because the organic wastes world be decomposed into organic fertilisers.
“This programme is about the Rockefeller Foundation’s call for a prize and one of the requirements is for us to gather stakeholders in the food system to develop a vision for a community, and in respect of a community, Lagos State is in focus.
“This is basically for food system players to come together to deliberate, look into the problems and challenges facing each player across the value chain as researchers, transporters, producers, processors and marketers to envision what we want it to be.
“This is to also develop a strategy in the future as to how we can arrive in that vision. The call is a global call for each sector or community to gather thinker and decide on ways to solve malnutrition and food nutrition,” she said.
Adedayo said that there was currently low investment in agriculture as more land areas were converted into construction, highlighting that the food system was a case as the population continues to grow with a projection of over 200 million people in 2020.
She said that the food system in Nigeria was largely dependent on diet, culture, environment, technology, economy and policies.
A representative from the State Ministry of Agriculture, Mr Dapo Olakulehin, General Manager of the Lagos State Coconut Development Authority commended the university for the engagement.
Olakulehin said that government could not do everything alone and in such engagements, issues raised by participants would help to chart policies that would shape the vision.
“As a government, we cannot do it alone and that is why we are ready to support and collaborate in this effort. We have come to agree on certain issues which I believe will help in putting the vision aright in terms of production, transportation, market and other aspects of the value chain.
“This goes to show that Lagos State is no longer in the era of quantity of what we produce but of what gets to the table of Lagosians in terms of quality.
“This will help to chart a course for Lagos State and a good way of meeting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) of poverty reduction and zero hunger,” he said.
He expressed appreciation for the composition of the participants drawn from all sections of the value chain.
Welcoming participants at the event, Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, Vice Chancellor, University of Lagos expressed optimism that the discussions would further help in the quality of food produced and nutrition of Lagos residents.
Ogundipe was represented by the Dean of Management Sciences, Prof. Owolabi Kuye.
NAN reports that the participants suggested that it was about time organic farming took centre stage in food production especially as the sector faced adoption of Good Agricultural Practices during the production processes.
It was resolved that food security, food regulation, chemical use, technology, achieving SDG’s, government intervention among others should be given priority towards achieving the Food System Vision 2050 Prize.
Farmers, transporters, marketers, processors, researchers, policy makers, food vendors, representatives from the medicals, academia and others were at the event were it was discussed that antibiotics, salt intake, chemical use and others posed health challenges for consumers. (NAN)
– Dec. 12, 2019 @ 9:25 GMT |