The Minister of Budget and Economic Planning, Sen. Atiku Bagudu, says President Bola Tinubu is committed to improving food and nutrition security in the country as encapsulated in his Renewed Hope Agenda.
Bagudu said this in Abuja on Thursday at the 2023 edition of the Nigeria Nutrition Week, Media Sensitization on Food and Nutrition Security.
The programme was organised by the ministry, FHI 360 Alive & Thrive, in collaboration with the Nutrition Society of Nigeria and other stakeholders.
Bagudu, represented by the Director Social Development, Dr Sanjo Faniran, said that Tinubu led administration was committed to implementing a multi-faceted approach on food security.
He said that the approach would ensure sustainable agriculture practices, climate-smart technologies, and social protection programmes.
“This is in recognition of the urgent need for adaptation and mitigation strategies that will safeguard our food systems and enhance the nutritional well-being of our people.
“As part of our commitment in the just concluded COP28 in Dubai, the government of Nigeria is prioritizing the development and adoption of climate-smart agricultural practices.
“This will include the promotion of resilient crop varieties, efficient irrigation systems, agroforestry, and sustainable land management techniques.
“This is envisaged to enhance the resilience of our agricultural systems and ensure a steady supply of nutritious food to the greater number of our citizenry,” he said.
Bagudu said that the challenges posed by climate change were formidable.
He expressed believe that the challenges could be overcome through collective action and unwavering commitment.
“ As you already know that Nigeria as a nation is highly dependent on agriculture for livelihoods, food security, and economic growth.
“However, climate change poses significant challenges to our agricultural systems, including unpredictable rainfall patterns, increased frequency and intensity of droughts and floods, and the spread of pests and diseases.
“All of these affect crop yields, livestock productivity, and the overall availability of food with attendant negative consequences on the nutritional status of the vulnerable group particularly women and children,” the minister said.
Bagudu also said that the federal government would adopt all the recommendations advanced during the COPs 28 to mitigate the effect of the prevailing Climate Change.
Mr Isiah Ude, the Project Communication Officer of FHI 360 Alive and Thrive, emphasised on the role of social media for advocating health eating habits among the people.
“Leveraging social media for nutrition promotion is a potent tool in fostering healthier habits and positively impacting communities.
“Let’s continue harnessing the potential of social media to promote nutrition, foster healthier choices, and empower individuals and communities toward a brighter, healthier future in Nigeria,” Ude said.
Mrs Chito Nelson, the Head, Food and Nutrition Division, Department of Social Development, Ministry of Budget and Economic Planning, highlighted the negative impact of climate change on food and nutrition security.
Nelson said that the impact to include reduced crop yields, impaired nutrient quality and dietary diversity, disrupted water and sanitation and risk of hunger and malnutrition.
A member of the committee, Ms Christiana Yunanah listed challenges of implementing Nigeria’s Food systems pathways to include malnutrition, insufficient infrastructure, access to finance, high food waste and post-harvest losses and others.
Yunanah advised investment in technology to reduce food waste, genetic profiling, continuous monitoring and evaluation to improve food system security.
She also called for stakeholders’ engagement and implementation of the food systems transformation strategy to improve food system security in the country.
Mr Chris Odhomi, who represented the Ministry of Information and National Orientation, (National food and media team) said the training would equip the media with imports skills.
The skills according to him included solution journalism and creating content on promoting food and nutrition security. (NAN)