The Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG), in collaboration with the Ministry of Budget and National Planning, United Nations Nigeria and the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), held a Private sector Exploratory dialogue on Nigeria’s Food Systems on Tuesday, the 25th of May, 2021.
While delivering the welcome remarks, Mrs Oluyemisi Iranloye, Founder and CEO of Psaltry Nigeria Ltd, said that the COVID-19 pandemic and raging insecurity has affected the agricultural industry and this has increased food, insecure citizens, from 25 million to 50 million. She stated that at the 26th Nigerian Economic Summit (NES#26), stakeholders acknowledged the absence of a warehouse security system, contributing largely to food insecurity issues affecting Nigeria. She said that it was expedient to have private sector participation in Nigeria’s Agricultural system to help bridge the gap that exists in Nigeria’s food systems which will help reduce hunger and malnutrition and encourage a collaborative approach among all stakeholders and that the day’s dialogue will help increase participation and create a synergy that leads to economic growth and development.
While delivering her opening remarks, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Budget and National Planning and Convenor of UN Member State of the Dialogue for Nigeria, Mrs. Olusola Idowu said that the day’s dialogue seeks to bring together private sector groups as they explore, debate, and shape pathways to sustainable food systems that will contribute to all the sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); Identify the practices and policies that will have the greatest impact on the achievement of the desired future vision within the Nigerian local food systems and consider how it will be possible to assess progress towards improved food systems as well as determine who needs to be involved in achieving the overarching objective of building effective food systems in Nigeria.
Mrs. Idowu reiterated that food systems touch all part of human existence, and for Nigeria to feed its growing population sustainably, agricultural productivity must grow alongside the entire food system.
The country representative of the Food and Agriculture Organisation in Nigeria, Mr. Fred Kafeero, in his goodwill message, said that Food systems touch every aspect of human existence and it profoundly affects the health of the people, as well as the health of the environment, economies and cultures. He stated that for Nigeria to feed its growing Nigerian population sustainably, agricultural productivity needs to grow alongside better food systems efficiency and sustainable development and that collaboration and active participation by all stakeholders and domestic responses will not only make a huge difference but also help ensure food security.
The CEO of the NESG, Mr. ‘Laoye Jaiyeola, in his goodwill message, said that there is a need to enhance processing and make the agricultural space more friendly. He said partnership by all stakeholders would help to sustain and improve the agricultural sector and help the country become more successful.
In her closing remarks, Head, Public Policy Reforms and Intelligence of the NESG, Ms. Seun Ojo, thanked everyone for attending the event and for engaging in robust discussions that will lead to addressing food loss and waste. She stated that the dialogue was an important step in improving Nigeria’s food systems through the provision of pragmatic solutions and that a framework will be created that will fit into the larger UN resolutions, which will help in achieving the objective of shaping an improved food system. “The best way to deal with food insecurity, malnutrition and hunger is collective and concerted collaboration and effort between government, private sector, civil society organisations and all stakeholders”, She concluded.