The Corona Virus – covid 19 found it’s way into Africa and since has become a pandemic causing fear, panic, and global concern (global markets, fall in oil prices and movement restrictions).
Food Security has a major role in national development and sustainable economy. Nigeria is food insecured and the numbers of hungry Nigerians keep increasing coupled with other factors affecting food production -low food production/increasing population, herds men crises, insecurity and post harvest losses.
The Corona virus would have a huge impact on food sufficiency if not curtailed. The highest Islamic traditional ruler of Nigeria, Sultan of Sokoko, expressed his displeasure about the recent rise in food security in the country recently, he stated that hunger has killed more Nigerians than Corona virus has globally.
As a country with a growing population, structured food policies needs to be put in place to attain food sufficiency and increased food export.
The UN FAO in Nigeria on thursday released the presentation of the result of Cadre Harmonise analysis for March 2020 in Abuja; the result indicates that 4million people from 16 states and FCT are food and nutrition insecure between March – May 2020 with Insecurity -insurgency, kidnapping, banditry, conflicts between herders and farmers as key drivers.
The Corona virus cases in Nigeria according to the National Commission for Disease Control-NCDC is under control.
How to gear up for unforeseen circumstances
Food safety measures such as hand washing, bio hazard, personal hygiene, sanitizing surfaces, clean environment, social distancing, strict standards operating procedures (SOP), good ventilation, etc
Avoid panic buying of fresh farm produce as this can cause more harm. In our clime, the no NEPA issue (the low energy supply from the Electricity companiy -PHCN would cause food wastage.
Food preservation should be encouraged- food frying, blast freezing, salting and other methods should be employed.
Agribusiness Stakeholders Engegement
The Covid 19 has impacted the economy as there have been series of down sizing, reductions in bank interest rate, rise in dollar rate, this is an indication to explore opportunities across the agribusiness value chains.
African Harvesters plans to hold the maiden edition of the Agriculture Value Chain Conference 2020 which is scheduled to hold on 13 May 2020. The theme of the event is Exploring opportunities across the agribusiness value chains/Retail.