By Chesa Chesa
Transforming Africa’s food system is an obvious task requiring the active mobilization and prioritization of both public and private investments, says Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo.
Delivering his remarks yesterday virtually from Abuja to the preparatory meeting of the United Nations Food Systems Summit 2021 holding in Spain, Osinbajo said that this explained the resolve of the Federal Government in complementing existing development plans, sectoral strategies, and prioritizing investments in specific innovations and technologies to transform food systems in the country.
“These actions complement existing development plans and sectoral strategies such as our Economic Recovery and Growth Plan, the National Policy on Food and Nutrition, and the National Policy on Food Safety.
“A specific aim of our recently launched National Poverty Reduction with Growth Strategy is to address hunger, malnutrition and poverty as part of our target of lifting a hundred million Nigerians out of poverty within a decade”, he stated.
The Vice-President explained that at the heart of Nigeria’s post-COVID-19 response is the Economic Sustainability Plan, noting that the “plan has a major component, which is the Agriculture for Food and Jobs Programme (AFJP) where we seek to leverage suitable technologies to build a resilient food system for Nigeria.”
Our Nutrition Policy addresses the issues of sustainable and nutrition-sensitive food systems – and the country has prioritized key nutrition actions that are impactful, cost-effective, scalable, and sustainable.
An integral part of our food systems’ transformation strategy is to create an enabling and supportive environment to implement these policies in a participatory manner involving farmers, investors and State Governments,” the VP added, assuring significant improvements in crop yields, affordable and healthy diets, among others. Making a case for initiatives that support Africa and other developing countries, Prof. Osinbajo said, “for example, when, as in our country and several others, population growth exceeds growth in national income, food supply would not meet the needs of people, especially when distribution systems are inequitable.”
She added that the summit is designed to guide national governments and other stakeholders looking to leverage their food systems to support the SDGs, noting that food systems play a central role in building a fairer, more sustainable world.