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=_ Farm animals and food security in Nigeria

PEURAU.~ 'E~ D== E

£)ad, if • I'8S1Bnrdt dhw;:b ., ht Nigerian . . . . . tr Ti: piMiOSU.iasLs Resean;h In1Ihe r<aliJ18I COOI'thIfor br /he Pan-Nbn n IIISe lind Try-

~Etatlic8bt~

(R'T1RJ ~ 1I.va-

N

I8!!r"

has a good

climate for farming and Vilsi areas

of farmland, yel it bas I problem with food security. l hec: are about 14 million farmers in 'ligeria. mostly smallholders. pH ,ducinS about 80 percent of .he country's food suppty. Smallholder raj mel'S in Nigeria

race many chaUcr ges. They need agricultural Jrpu.:5, IUch as ferIJliser. to improve productivity of their crops. blllll mads are bad, de~ can be la .e, if at ail l11ey oflen don't have proper storage

for the crops they a .-u ves!. and so experieDce posth.ft'eSllosses thai in some cases go Ip to 40 perttnl of the crop yield. ( toe of their coW!; may get hille. h) a lSetse fly and gel inlected Vtitb it disease called Nagana (animal u ypanosomiasis).

The fir may tran Imil the disease 10 other aruma! i . During some months o f the )Cllf, some (arm (amUies rna" 0'1' hue enough [ood to m~1 nl t Doly their nu tritional demDJl d:;, hul also the market demand I Junger and nalnutrition Is a slgnificanl pmbl!n1 in Nigeria - 2!! pera:nt of child. ell in the amnll) are undernouri~hcd and underweight. accordir g to the Food and Agriculture OrpsllizatiOIl (FAO) Particu1arly ala '1II1ng Is thai a n-

nual food oap production has been progressively declining whUe tile population continues

animals can play loward boostIng a rarm's productivity, so the animals a~ underutillsed. In fact,

to grow.

According to the United Nations Population Division, NIgeria's population is expected to reach 390 million by 2050, up from 158 million today. For 8 country thal'f predominantly agrarian, tbal type of growth p~nl5a huge challenge to food -=ity. The United Nations e$lablished eight international development goals in 2000 to improve global healthandwelJ.-belng. The firsl goal is to erad10ue extreme poverty and hUnger. It's clear that the Nigerian government musl move swirtly with an effective stnlleglc plan 10 help 115 smallholder farmers conuibute (0 this goal. BUI growing viable crops in Nigeria can be difficuh, pUlting the rood supply in jeopardy and decreasing the nutritional value of the crops.. Poorly maintained roads and Inadequate flnandal services have the polentlal to negatively influence delivery of requisite input supplies (seeds. fertilisers, etc.) and transportation of outputs,. andenvironmenr.aI Issuessudtas droughlS create funher obstades.. Oneofthesmartest things the NIgerian government can do Is to heip farmers take advanLag~ of their greatest asset - livestodr.. Most small farmen own a few cows, some pigs or goats. and chickens. But many don't un derstand Ih~ many roles these

Nigerian farmers can succeed in overcoming the challenges of food insecurity, and livestock can be one of their greatest assets_ But first we must empower o ur farmers with the right resources and skills

some fannen may even sell their livestock when they need money. This 15 shon-slghted when you a:llulder thai Ilve$tock can make a significant conmbution to food security - ror the farmer and for thecounuy. Milk. meal, eggs and cheese from animals provide a muchneeded source of animal protein for a more balanced. healthy diet. The demand for animal protein is reJMlned to be on the Increase worldwide. When cumpared to crops, animals provide food yearround, and aren't susceptible to the climale the way crops are_ Cattle are a source of drafl power. they pull plows but can also be used for weeding and other fobs. Cowdungcan be used as a source of ruel, and manure can be used as fenillserto lrnpf'(JW soU quality withoul the environmental side effects from chemical fertilisen.. Healthy, productive Iivestod: can ensure that the fanner has a regular sltCam oflncome thmugh milk and eggs sold in the marketplace. Fanners can aiso use livestock 10 sell services such as providing cattle to pull plows (or neighbouring farms . Livestock also helps close the gender gap thai Is biaset.l toward men in NIgeria By tending to chickens and miUdng dairy cows. women are valued for the role they play In feeding their families while their husbands focus on fanning outPUlS ror income genera lion_ The Nigerian government is warling to give farmen Ihe re sources and I.r.lining they need 10 maximise the Impact of the

livestock they own. A criticaJ pan of this Involves educating farmers about the vaJuable rule Itveslock plays toward reducing food insecurity and teaching farmen how 10 market their Jjvcslodc OUlpUIS. Farmers must be trained on how to keep livestodc healthy and pro~ duct1Yewith nutritious food, fresh water, dean stalls and suffitienl nalural !igh!. They must learn bow to recognl.se symploms thai mean livestock is ill, and when It's lmponanl 10 seek veterinary .services. ~ts can be organised 10 demonstrate ways to calm animals irrllated by biting and nulsanc~ mesand how to prolect them from diseases, such os Nagana. Cilused by tsetse meswhlch can bedeadly to animals and their owners. AI a more advanced level, farm ers can be taught more effective farming practices, such as how to crossbreed their cows to produce higher-yieldJng animals. which will result In Increased milk to consume and sell. Government can initiate policies thai provide reasonable financing options 10 supJMln farming production and errectlve marketing of farming outputs.. Nigerian farmers can succeed in overcoming the c hallenges of food in.seouity, and livestock can be one of their greatesl assets_But first ~ must empower our farm ers with lhe right resources and skills.. Then they'll be able to creale a brightCf' futurt' - for themselves and for the country

My speech to the finance graduates

ROBERl J. SHIUER ~.~ ... crfEo;:ro.,.IIIII'IIIt ....

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this tilrreol'yeat .algraduaoon cen monies in America d clseI d-ere, those about to leave uniwrslt I orten hear" some finalwordsofadvkebeforerecelv{ng their diplomaa To those interested in pwsuinga~ in finance · or related caree"S in insurance, acrourning. oudi!il'.g.iaw, Of'torpOrale manapJCol - I submit the followingaddress: Ikst or I jO you as you leave tlte academy rOt' your chosen pr0fessions in firnnoe.. DYes- the coune 01 )'QUI" carer-n, Wall Str:eeI and its klncirM institutions will need you.. Your tral.ninS in fl.nand.a.I theory, cc:oooro.la. mathemaJ.la. and statisda will ~ you wdl. But)UU

M,

ksoIoll5 in hIstory, philosophy, and lilef'8ture will be just as ImportJln!. because It is vital not only that )"OU have the rig),u lOOIs, but also that you never lose sight of th~ purposes and overriding social goal5 of finance. Unless)"OU have been studying al the bonom of the ocean, you know Ihat tile fmancial sector bas come under severe criticism much of it justified - for thrusting the world economy Imo Its wom crisis since the Great Depression. And you need only check in with some of your classmates who have populated the Oa:upy movements around Iheworld tosense the widespread resenunent of Hnanders and the lOp I percent of income eamen In whom they largely cater (and onen belong). While some of this criticism may be O\Ie('-suued or misplaced. il nonetheless underscores the need to reronn financial instilUtions and prnctices.. Anance has long been central to thriving market desnocracies, which,s why Its current problema need to be addressed. With your improved sense or our Interconnec:tedness and diverse needs, you can do thaL Indeed.. it is the real pmIess:ional challenge ahead of you. and you should embTlHZ il as an opportunIty_ Young finance professionals

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needlol'am.l1iarlze~with

me

nize that Ilis 81 its besI ..... hen It serves e\IeI'-broadenlng spheres of sodely. (Iere, the savings-bank movemenl in the Unhed Kingdom and Europe: in th~ nineleenlh century, and the microfirumce movement pioneered by the Gnmeen Bank in Bangladesh in th~ lWt!nlietil ccnntry, comes 10 mind. Today, the best Wily forward is to update Onandal and coDununkationsrechnologytoofferafullarrayor enlightened banking .servia!S 10 the lower middle da'iS and the poor. Graduates going Into mortgage banking are faced with a different. but equaUyvir.aI, duillenge: to design new, Olore flexible loans that will better help homeowners to weather the kind of economk: nubulence thai has buried millions of people 100ay Ind.... Young invesunent bankers, for their part.. have a greal oppommily 10 devise more participatory fonns ofventure capital - embodied in the new crowd-funding Web siles - to spur the growth of innovative new smail businesses. MeanwhUe, opponunilies will abound for rooki~ Insurance professIonals 10 devise new ways to hedge risb thOI real people ","'Orry about. and that really matter - those involving their Jobs. IMlihoods. and home values. Beyond inveslment banks and brokengt! houses, modem finance has. public and governm~ntal dimension, which cI~arly needs reinventing in the wake of the rec:enl

financial oisis. Setting tile ruJes of a robust. socially userul financial sector has never been more impon801. Recenl graduates are needed in legislative and administtative agencies to analyze the legal infrastructure or finance. and regulale it 50 thai It produces dIe greateSt msWts for socieIy. A new generation or polltial leaders needs to understand the importanceoffinandalliteracyand find ways to supplydtizens,,"ith the legal and fmandal advice that they need. Meanwhile. economic policymakers faa: the greal challenge of designing new finandal institutions.. .such as pension S)'5Iem5 and public entitlemenls based on the solid grounding of iRlergeneraLional risk-sharing. lhoseor you deddJng 10 pursue careers as economists and finance scholars need to develop a better undersUlIlding or asset bubbles and better W<J)'S to communicate this undemanding to tile finance profession and to the public. As much as Wall Street had a hand In the currenl aisis. it bepn as a broadly held bdief that housing prices could not fall - a belief thllit fueled a full-blown .social contagion. LearnIng how to spot such bubblesanddealwith them befOt'e they infea entire economies will be I. major challenge foc the n~ genen.1iDn of finance scholars.. Equipped witll sophisticated dll~ game for

financial ideas ranging from the capital assel pricing model to in mcate options-pricing formulas. you are cenai.nly and justifiably interested in bulldingmateriallyrewarding careers.. There Is no shame In this, and yuur fmandal SUa:es$ will reflect 10 a large degree your effectiveness in producing slJOng results I'orthe flJlll5 that emDiavyou. But. howe~r imperceptibly, the rewards ror success on Wall Street. and in linance more generally, are changing. just as the definition or finance must change Iris 10 reclaim its Slature In society and lhe (JUst of citizens and \eadCB.. Finance, at its best, does nOt merely manage risk. bUl also acts as the steward of society's assets and an adV0C8te onts deepest goals. Beyond compensation, the lien generation of finance professionals will be paid its UUesl rewards in the saLis(action thai comes with the gains made In democratizing finance - enending its benefits InlO comers or society where Ihey are mosl needed_This.ls a new challenge ror a new generation, and will require all or the Imagination and skill that you can lxing 10 bear. Good luck In reinventing 6nance. The world,needs you to succeed_

BUSINESSDAY, 03 JUNE, 2012  

Farm animals and food security in Nigeria