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! 5 Nigerian Tribune 1

Tuesday, S July. 2011

; Incessant · e in food prices, evidence of food crisis - Don A

nutrio na l s l at u s of Nige ri ans . In his wo rd s, ~ If the price in domes ti c market s con tinu es to in c rease, it then means there is going to be a gene ral increase in simi la r ma g nitude across a section o f ca loric sou rces ava il ab le, then the impac t o n food se<:urit y and overall nutrit ional q u ality can be d escribed as s ignifi cant" he staled. Moreover. the don sa id recent nutriti onal s urveys particu larly in the rural area s in N igeria, carried ou t by some res earchers even ind icated acute malnut rition a mong chi ldren in the country . Furthe rm ore, Professor Omotayo sta ted that it is common ly estimated that the downlurn i n the g loba l econom ic g rowl h i n 2009 rna)' have led 10 a n additio na l 4 1 million undernourished people compared to what would h ave happened if the economic crisis has not occured , " The co mbined poss ible effc<: ts of climate change. eco nom ic meltdown and food crisis in Nigeria a re even e nough to make extension practil io ners more vigilant, a le rl and be m o re fa<:used to enSUfe Iha t they remain relevant,U he affirmed ,

professor of agricultu re. Akin Omotayo. has

identified inCl'SSilnt ilnd inslobility in the prire;

o f food commodities


one of the factors re-

sponsible for the 101" nutritional status of many Nigeri·

ans, especially children. The don, while speaki ng with Tribune Agriculture. staled that food prices arc only onc factor aHecting undernou rishment in Nigeria, thus. is the need to address the problem. According 10 him. the major sign of food crisis in Nigeria is the risi ng food p ricH. Between the 2007 and 2010, prices of major staples increased by over 50 per cent <lnd the price of rice in particular rose by over 100 per cent. Also early in 2008. the re was a severe shortage of rice in the market because major exporters of the produce like l1\aJland, Chi na and India, wt're banned from exporting rice to Nigeria. This devdopment ordi nari ly should be a cheering news to Nigerian farmers si nce th is was s u pposed to be a bigger opportunity and mort' incentive market for rice, but reverse was the case. uWe a lso observed Iha t tht' romb ined conspira cies among the Nigerian elites w ho insists o n eat ing imported ricl?, Ihe sm ugglers who e nSUfes that im-

~:;~~~. ;~~'t~;O~1s~'\~~

law enforcement age nt s, who looked the o the r way while rice was be ing s muggled into the ro unIry through our borders, after having.lhei r. pal~s greased. dt'med Nlgenan fa r mers .th l! o~portun,ity of ea rnin g hIgher In <:omes,- he stated. Speaking fu rther, Pro. aIressor 0 mota)'o sa id though some people believed tha t there was no food crisis in Nige ria, but t he truth of tht' matter is

Cattle breeders demand NSOOiL.'Un compensation


According to the News AgencyoiNigeria (NAN), the spokesman of the as.sodalion, Husseini Kachia, said therl1Olll:'Y~uuklsen;e Itr!hefamiliesofllsmemb.:rs as compensation for the ~~uringthepost-dec:tim lives. ~ttks and, I:roperl'y m51S lO lhestate. lost durmg the" MAClJAN made the deKachia said that memmand at the oogoingpublic bers of the group lost thouI leanng. ' d -_.L __ -'_ ron uded by the san.~ of flO,!'"~ of aJI.VS,. folFederal GoV(!ll'lffi£flt lnves- lowing attacks on them by tigntion Panel o n the Post their assailan ts. Election Crisis, led by Sheik He said the assailants Ahmad lemu, killed many breeders and Miyetti Allah Caltle Breeders ru sociation of Nigeria (MACBAN)ha..oeWnanded

their nnimals and also razed their houses. TIe spokesman said the ~efSwere humiliated in


noting lhat iheincident was

the first cralamit), tha.t ever happe ned to them m the are1Kachia alleged that the people ofSouthem Kaduna had disallowed the breeder5 to usc the grazing lands in the area. HecaUcdongovemment

to create more grazing lands for a nimals. '!here are 14. grazing6eldsinthestatebut o nl y four were gazetted while the remaining ni~ were encroached by farmers. in its s u bmission. the M

Evangelical Churth ofWI!SI Africa (ECWA) said that • three pastors and' 52 memhers \\.'Cre kitlcd during the crisis. Its spokesman. Andrew


rl. mad the ~. e h p~


saymg ,t ,.ltd

~ es were a sp e-

Mi'I~amari said that ECW A d d d Nt 9 billion thedt n:hesandthe / d' ~. estroyed unng

for::';'lItiond "";k


He •• ........! to reItn<!e;J6'-'" ~ ' , :~ ~ ~ Jl! In the inII!resI of . ~ fair play

~?2~t:~~::.~~:~:~ Agn'c minister should stop focusing on fertiliser p~ent alone



Iries with the l arg~1 domestic food p ri ce increase among 58 countries surveyed by th t' Fooo.and Agrkulture O rgan isil ti on (FAO), "Going by FAO's report on Nige ria. the price of sorghum. which s upp lied al least 13 per cen l of th e daily cil ]ories among Ihe staples in N igeria, rost' by 50 per cenl. So done says there is still no food c ris is in thecou ntry?" he asked, The don a lso disclosed that things h owe not changed as p rices of food items cont inue 10 hit t he roo fto p. wh il e the prices of many vegetables are p resently hanging in the sky. Continous increase in th e pri ces of major s taples, as he fur the r o bser ved, was bound to affe<:t th e food security progra mme of the go\'· ernmellt w it h the alle n dan I effecls on t h e


s N igerians look up to P resident Goo d iu c k Jona than to announce the names of minis te rs th Olt would work together with him toservc therountry for the next four years. many Nigerians na ve been cralling on the president to appoint people with good track records into various ministries, especially Ministry of Agrirultute. Farmers and agriculture experts ha ve also advised the president to a llow a man w ho knows much about the problems confron ting the na tion's agriculiural9l'Ctor to be Minisl ee of Agriculture and Natural Resources. One of s uch N igerians is the Na tio nal President, Nigerian Veterinar)' MOOiGIl Association (NVMA), Dr. Charles !be, who said thcpersonthat wouldbeappointed as tile head of the nation's agriru[ture minis-

try for the next fou r years would detennioc whether the present government is serious and determine to m.1ke therountry foodsuIfident and secured. According to the vete rinaria", the counlJ)' had sufCered enough from htmger. incessan t food p rice increase, as wrll as food shortage ~So if N igeria is dett'rmined to achieve the objecth-esof foodserurity and we want to say bye-bye to hUrlger and incessant hike in pri~ of food items, th t'n Prt!$ident Jonathan should not give us an agriculture minister tI",t won't do anytiling o r make posith-e inlpactonthesectorforthenext

four )'ears'". he stated.. Speaking further. the NVMA nalio",'] president opined that we'\'e nol been able to point a t a partirular Minister of Agrirulture that registe r memorable and 10ng-lo15lll)g impact on the n,alion's agrirultu.-al sector Simp ly becau~. ~any o f them were politJaans and not people who really wa nl to !leTVe their father land. III his words, uthe nexl ~our )-ea~ ....,ouid "-: crudal III the history of th IS great nation and President Jonat ha n s t,md a beller chance to eit her make a good history o r o therwise. The person tha t would be appointed as a Minister of Agricuitureand NaturalRe-

sourct'S would give usa due of wn.,t direction agriculture would take in till.' next four

Y'''''' But

[ musl be bold enough to say that most of the minislcrs of agriruiture we have had in the pasl have not been able to do much In fact. wedisC(n't!red that 8) per cenl of the attention of most of the minister.; were always on ferti liser proruremenl.. while the remaining 20 per cent of thcir attention is on olhcrs area in agrirulture. ~ HJr God sake, we need toaskour minister, is it only ferti liser tha t we have in the IliItion, agrirulture ministry o r is it only ferti liser proS",mme tllat is on their

table o r inside thei r file to

the exlenl lilal it always altract their attention? May God he lp our minister. If we actually want devdopmt'llt in our agriculture sectors, then our ilgriculture ministershould sit tigh t and .....ork \'el)' well instead of spending their time and energy o nl), on fertiliser procurement and distribution, T he re are ma ny olht'r things begging for their at; teotian so that the country can develop:' he advised. Dr. Jbe also emphasised on the need for the creation of ~;linis t ry of Animill Health as a seperate com~ nent the ~'eJopment of


the IliItion'S l"-.!SIock indusby.


'Agric minister should stop focusing on fertilizer procurement alone'

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