Featured Food & Drink News Nigeria

Nigeria’s Food System Under Growing Strain

The pressure of rising inputs and energy costs has further heightened food shortages in the country amid worsening insecurity. Inflation in Africa’s biggest economy hit 27.33 percent in October, the highest in 18 years, and food inflation rose by 31.52 percent in the same period.

Availability of fertiliser and other key inputs became an uphill task, with prices more than tripled across the country.

Philip Ugochukwu, a farmer and member of the Ginger Growers, Processor and Marketers Association of Nigeria, said that farmers’ access to improved seeds has remained a major challenge of food production in Nigeria.

According to him, many smallholder farmers who are the major food producers in the country record low quality yields due to poor seeds used for farming.

“Many of these farmers use the same seeds for several farming seasons, and most times these seeds are not treated before they are used. This is because they do not have access to improved seeds. This is a major issue that we must address,” he said.

According to him, another issue is that most farmers produce foods of low quality as they do not adhere to good agricultural practices.

“They do not even have access to extension services to guide them through farm practices, and this is also affecting our food exports,” he added. “We see our agricultural produce being rejected by foreign countries due to improper use of fertilisers and pesticides, which renders these foods unhealthy for consumption. There are other issues of poor storage facilities, transportation and finance.”

Source: Businessday