Sat. Dec 9th, 2023

Join forces with POWA, UNESCO to address food shortage

The House of Representatives Committee on Diaspora has joined forces with the Police Officers’ Wives Association (POWA) and UNESCO Read and Earn Federation (UNESCO-REF) to enhance food security in Nigeria.

The Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Diaspora, Adamu Tanko has callee on Nigerians in the diaspora to return home and help rejuvenate the agricultural sector in Nigeria.

Speaking in Abuja at an interactive meeting with POWA president , Mrs Elizabeth Egbetokun and UNESCO-REF President, Prince Abdulsalami Ladigbolu, Tanko said combatting food shortage has become necessary to save Nigeria from crisis.

“This partnership we are initiating is part of our commitment to contribute our quota towards actualising substantial attainment of the United Nations global goal before or by 2030 with emphasis on goal 2

“And we are optimistic that this transformative approach would enhance the acceleration of past progress to putting us on track to achieve that goal of strengthening smallholders, women’s livelihood and resilience in Nigeria.

“This is geared towards assuring food security, addressing food waste and loss, improve food nutrition security and provide them with viable strategies that create real, long-term results for economic development and community stability, while building an ecologically sound future that takes into account the issues of climate change.,” he said.

According to him, it is time to engage influential Nigerians worldwide to tap into an agricultural revolution to help ensure Nigeria’s food security.

“This is going beyond the rhetoric to combat food security. This is very practical. We’re using an institutionalised mechanism using the Police Wives Association to get down and implement a structure to get young women involved in agriculture,” he said.

He added that the initiative ranges from providing nourishing food to creating jobs and economic opportunities while noting that agriculture played a critical role in our lives.

He noted that the House Committee on diaspora’s partnership with POWA and UNESCO was necessary to help mobilise and influence the return of Nigerians in the diaspora to support the young women in agriculture initiative.

“This our partnership with POWA and UNESCO is very critical and it comes rightly in place.

“The committee is very curious and willing to work with POWA as a useful instrument to mobilise Nigerians in diaspora to come back and invest in their country and offer their technical support,” he added.

Meanwhile, the President of POWA, Mrs Elizabeth Egbetokun has said that the association is already mobilising 100,000 young women to commence an agricultural revolution in ensuring food security in Nigeria.

“As President of POWA, I am mobilising 100,000 women to boost the agricultural workforce, strengthening the agricultural value chain to mitigate risks of disorder due to food shortage.

“This gathering holds immense significance as it allows me to forge constructive synergies in alignment with the United Nations’ Goal 17 guidelines.

“In my capacity as the Inspector General’s wife, I am dedicated to supporting the Nigeria Police Force in fortifying our nation’s security.

“I do so through a non-kinetic approach aimed at addressing one of the factors that could potentially contribute to societal disorder if left unattended.

” I firmly believe that addressing food scarcity is a direct stride toward fulfilling Goal 2 of the United Nations-Zero Hunger,” she said.

In the same vein, the President, UNESCO -REF, Prince Abdulsalami Ladigbolu, said the development of a nation depends on the cooperation of the citizens and the administration governing them.

Ladigbolu said food and nutrition security was a global challenge in recent years, especially with the ever growing population and crop yield reduction, making it difficult to feed the increasing populace.

According to him, having enough food to meet an adult’s daily caloric needs of 2200-2300 calories for females and 2900-3000 calories for males is another way to define food security.

“Children require a lower calorie level to maintain adequate health.

“Generally speaking, the prices of staple food in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) have surged by an average of 23.9 per cent between 2020 and 2022.

“Food insecurity is elevated in Nigeria,
according to the September 2018 to October 2019 household survey of expenditures, the cost of obtaining 2251 calories per day (the age-weighted caloric need for food security), is around N82,000 per person per year.

“Subsequently, nearly 40 per cent of Nigerians are estimated to be food insecure,
which presents economic concerns and makes it difficult to meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG),” he said.

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