The Commissioner for Agriculture in Ogun State, Dr Adeola Odedina, has said that Africans, specifically Nigerians would not allow themselves to be gripped with fears about starvation due to unforeseen emergencies if enabling environment is provided.
The Former Rector, Moshood Abiola Polytechnic (MAPOLY) made this known at a roundtable discussion entitled: Securing African Food Systems Beyond Emergencies, organised by a non-governmental organisation, Sliden Africa, at the University of Ghana physically and virtually via Zoom, on Monday.
Odedina said the enabling environment should include private sector support, policy reviews (food banking at all levels), and industrial linkage.
He added that farming support, Climate Smart Agriculture, traditional agriculture facilities and a new focus on agriculture, intensive agriculture and the new focus on agriculture should also be considered.
While describing African agriculture, The Agriculture major said it is labour intensive driven, smallholder farming, policy/long term planning issues and industrial issues.
The commissioner also identified youth restiveness, climate concerns, food security, nutrition security, and production issues.
Speaking also, a lead discussant at the University of Ghana, Dr Jonathan Anaglo stated that there must be governance and economics of food production, sustainability, the degree to which we waste food, how food production affects the natural environment, impact of food on individual and population health for successful food systems to exist.
Anaglo noted that Africa’s food system driving factors include economic shocks, climate change, conflicts, urbanisation and coronavirus pandemic.
Another speaker, who is a lecturer at Plants Physiology and Crop Production at the University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (UNAAB), Dr Joy Odedina noted that agricultural crops should be redefined in schools since technological advancement has taken its course in all ramifications.
Another expert at the Federal College of Fisheries, Victoria Island, Dr Mercy Adeogun, lamented over Nigeria’s inconsistency in agricultural policies, including other African countries as it negatively affects the stability of food systems in Africa.
She, therefore, stated that Africans need to understand that policy programmes should be considered key for the sustainability of food systems.