Famine, malnutrition loom in Nigeria, experts warn

By Henry Umoru

ABUJA—INTERNATIONAL agriculture experts warned, yesterday, that famine and malnutrition were imminent in the country unless the Federal Government urgently put in place measures to address the problem of insecurity.

The experts said that while agricultural research ratings of countries like Brazil, India, China etc, were moving upward, that of Nigeria was sliding downward on yearly basis, with attendant increased food insecurity in the land, which portended danger of malnutrition, if not practically addressed.

Speaking, yesterday, in Abuja during a courtesy visit to the Chairman, Senate Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Senator Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi (APC, Niger North), Director-General of International Food Policy Research Institute, IFPRI, Dr Shenggen Fan, who led the two-man team of experts, said the Federal Government must get involved in research-driven agricultural programmes on yearly basis to address the problem of malnutrition that might envelope the country in the next few years.

Children affected by hunger, malnutrition

The experts urged the Federal Government to scale up its action on agricultural research for identification of problems bedevilling the sector, proffering solutions to them and sustaining whatever results achieved.

In his remarks, Senator Sabi Abdullahi promised to lobby his colleagues to join him in making the Federal Government run research-driven agricultural sector.

“The country should no longer be working in silos, while others do with solution-driven findings made from researches,” he said.

He, however, urged the agricultural research experts to make similar submissions to Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh, today, at a similar courtesy visit.

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