Food security: recruit more personnel to secure farmlands, stakeholders urge FG

7 months ago | 21

STAKEHOLDERS in the agriculture sector have urged the Federal Government to recruit more security personnel to secure farmlands to boost food production. According to them, this will go a long way to guarantee food security in the country. The call is contained in a communiqué issued at the end of an event tagged: “Rural Food Systems Dialogue’’ organized by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)’s Value Chain Development Programme (VCDP)’’ on Wednesday in Jalingo. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the dialogue was supported by the United Nations. The communiqué noted that food production, storage, processing and marketing were suffering due to security challenges facing the nation. It decried “massive’’ deforestation caused by farmlands expansion, wood extraction, road construction, and building of urban settlements which cause climate change. It stressed the need for afforestation to prevent environmental degradation and mitigate global warming. The communiqué cautioned against excessive use of agrochemicals, saying that it had negative effects on the land and also hazardous to the health of consumers. It called for more use of organic fertilizer for healthier food and better environmental condition for productivity. Mr Irimiya Musa, IFAD Programme Coordinator (SPC) in Taraba, who moderated the dialogue, told participants that it was in preparation for the planned food systems summit by the Office of the UN Secretary-General. According to him, all member states of the UN are expected to hold national food systems dialogue in advance. “The food systems dialogue is required to improve nutrition, security, reduce hunger and prevalence of malnutrition in line with the national food and nutrition policy of Nigeria,’’ he said. Irimiya said the dialogue would take place in eight other states – Ogun, Niger, Kogi, Taraba, Abia, Ondo, Bayelsa, and Anambra. He added that it was part of a decade of action to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030. NAN reports that the dialogue was supervised by Mr. Buba Godobe, a Deputy Director in Charge of Project Coordinating Unit, Federal Ministry of Agriculture. In attendance were traditional, community and religious leaders, farmers and herders, and top government officials. (NAN) – May 19, 2021 @ 12:25 GMT

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