The Federal Government has assured of its total commitment to the goal of zero hunger by the year 2030 and promised to increase the present tempo of strong agricultural activities in the country to attain this national objective.
The Minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development, Senator Heineken Lokpobiri gave the commitment yesterday, while speaking at a Symposium to mark the 2018 World Food Day Celebration in Abuja the Federal Capital with the theme: “Our Actions are Our Future: A Zero Hunger World by 2030 is Possible”
Lokpobiri who stated that the goal of zero hunger by 2030 is achievable opined that “in the next 12 years, Nigeria will join the League of Nations who would be able to feed the world; but added that this projection can only be attained if all Nigerians see and treat Agriculture as serious business rather than mere occupation.
The Minister also wanted Nigeria to take advantage of its rapidly growing population to seriously invest in agriculture with the private sector taking the lead in this national project; while the Government provides the enabling environment since it is proven that Government is not proficient in business management.
Meanwhile, Lokpobiri has also challenged all state governments in the country to commit at least five percent of their annual budgets to agriculture, to demonstrate their collective determination to grow agriculture and upscale our national productivity.
The Minister who was full of praises for Kebbi, Ebonyi, Zamfara, Ogun, Benue states etc for their huge investments in agriculture urged other states of the federation to emulate the worthy examples of these states; saying the goal of achieving the objective of attaining zero hunger for our beloved country can only be achieved through collaboration and collective efforts of the three arms of government and the private sector.
According to the minister, if Nigeria is able to feed itself, it would have been able to solve the issue of hunger and malnutrition in the black race and by extension Africa, which is, “a bold step in guaranteeing food for all in the world.”
While observing that the world has made remarkable progress in the fight against hunger, a development that has led to decline in the number of hungry people in the world, he however regretted that this success is being threatened by high growth in global population.
Lokpobiri also expressed great concerns on threats militating against the quest of the country to achieve self-sufficiency in food production, because of the current crises between herdsmen and farmers in some northern parts of the country.
“Prolonged crisis in some crises points especially incessant clashes between herdsmen and farmers especially in the North Eastern part of the country are also serious issue of concern,” the minister said.
The Country Representative of the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) in Nigeria, Suffyan Koroma stated that the FAO, for the past forty years in Nigeria has been working closely with the Government of Nigeria to advance sustainable agriculture and food systems, with great optimism towards achieving Zero Hunger in the country.
According to him, achieving Zero Hunger is FAO’s shared commitment, which can be achieved through a right based approach.
He appreciated the continued commitment of the Government of Nigeria in forging strong partnerships for nourishing, nurturing and growing a prosperous and peaceful Nigeria where all Nigerians can thrive and contribute to nation’s socio-economic development.
The World Food Day is celebrated each year on 16th of October in commemoration of the establishment of the United Nations Organization in 1945 and draw attention to the importance of food in national development. Events are organized in over 150 countries across the world, making it one of the most celebrated days of the UN calendar. These events attract global attention and promote awareness as well as marshal action plans internationally to ensure food security and nutritious diets for all.
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