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Insight & Analysis - February 22, 2022

Food Security in Nigeria: An Alarming Report

A look at why Nigeria is at the bottom of the of the food security index.

The Global Food Security Index (GFSI), places Nigeria at 97 out of 113 when it comes to the availability of healthy food for the populace. This 2021 outlook is alarming, considering a Statista report holds that 70 percent of Nigerian households are into crop farming. 

The GFSI index examines food cost, availability, quality and safety, as well as natural resources and resilience, in 113 nations. The index is a dynamic quantitative and qualitative benchmarking model built from 58 distinct metrics that assess the determinants of food security in both emerging and developed nations.

Nigeria has 34 million hectares of arable land, with 6.5 million hectares dedicated to permanent crops and 28.6 million hectares dedicated to meadows and pastures. Agriculture accounts for around 24% of Nigeria’s GDP.

The country is a world leader in a variety of agricultural products, including palm oil, cocoa beans, pineapple, and sorghum. It is the world’s second-largest producer of sorghum, after only the United States, and ranks fifth in the production of palm oil and cocoa beans. Nigeria is a significant global exporter in this industry as well. Oil, fruits, nuts, and seeds are among the top 10 export categories.

So where is Nigeria getting it wrong? 

It is often said that food security exists everyone in a country has physical, social, and economic access to sufficient, secure, and nutritious food that fits their dietary needs at all times. A variety of challenges are responsible for the food security problem in Nigeria. Let’s have a look.

Continued Violence

The primary cause of Nigeria’s food insecurity is violence and bloodshed, which has been largely caused by ethnic and religious conflicts in the country’s northeast. The number of internally displaced people had increased considerably raising concerns about food insecurity. Over 650,000 individuals in Borno State alone have extremely restricted access to agricultural land and labour options, making them largely reliant on charity.

Other challenges include political corruption, population growth, climate change among others.

READ ALSO: 5 Fastest Growing Economies in Africa

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