We are improving food systems to lift 100m Nigerians out of poverty – Prof Osinbajo
Professor Yemi Osinbajo has disclosed that the federal government’s commitment to sustainable food systems is a key strategy for eradicating poverty across Nigeria.
This was disclosed on Tuesday by the vice president at the opening of the National Consolidatory Dialogue on theUnited Nations Food Systems Summit 2021, held in Abuja.
Osinbajo noted that the sustainable food systems effort fits into the plan of the Buhari administration to eliminate poverty apart from realising SDG 2030.
“For the government of Nigeria, our commitment to sustainable food systems is one of the key strategies for eliminating poverty across Nigeria”
Laolu Akande, his spokesperson, quoted him as his saying.
“We know that our target of lifting a hundred million Nigerians out of poverty within a decade is only achievable if we focus on substantially improving agriculture and food systems which assure us of not just good food, but also jobs.”
Emphasising the need to develop more efficient food systems, Osinbajo said Nigeria’s food system must be resilient enough to impact nutrition security and reduce malnutrition numbers.
“We must realise that defining bold steps to improve food systems and, by extension, food security ensures that children have improved health, early development, and increased intellectual and emotional readiness to learn,” he said.
“This translates to positive school engagement and improves the potential of children growing into healthy adults.
“On the other hand, imagine a generation of adults who suffer arrested physical and mental health, and the social and economic burden on their families, their communities, and the nation. Imagine the implications of approximately 50% of Nigeria’s population being at risk if we do not get it right.”
Osinbajo called on all stakeholders to translate the recommendations of the dialogues to prompt action, noting that
“it would mean embracing the changes required in the modernisation of farming practices, mechanization, and reduction of post-harvest losses.”
Also speaking at the event, Zainab Ahmed, minister of finance, budget and national planning, said dialogue is required to find lasting solutions to the lingering challenges of the food systems and associated forms of malnutrition in Nigeria.
She explained that the event was to enable Nigerians to harmonise the major highlights that emanated from the series of government and independent-led dialogues.
“In line with the UN’s leadership directive, Nigeria under the leadership of the Permanent Secretary as the National Convenor has successfully organised an inception dialogue at national level, exploratory dialogues in 12 States across the six geo-political zones and local government and community level dialogues in eight communities selected from eight states.”
“We have also had over 30 independent dialogues organised by a group of individuals as well as private organisations. With this, you will agree with one that the journey has been so tedious, but with our collective resolve to succeed, we were able to come this far.”