Oby Ezekwesili has rubbished President Buhari’s claim of Food security in Nigeria.
Recall that the President yesterday said the Agricultural sector under his administration has recorded massive growth and development as more billionaires have emerged through agriculture and most importantly, there is full food security.
Describing President Buhari as a ”completely out-of-touch leader’’, Ezekwesili who was a former Minister of Education, lambasted the claims made by the President, Igbere TV reports.
She described as a ”blunder” Preident Buhari’s directive to the Central Bank of Nigeria not to issue Foreign exchange to importers of food products.
See her tweets below;
“A completely out-of-touch ‘leader’. He is cocooned away in the grandeur of @AsoRock where they serve him delicatessen and praise-sing to him: “Ranka dede Sir, your Agriculture Policy is working wonderfully. All farmers in Nigeria are now Billionaires & exporting to the US”��
We all know that @NGRPresident @MBuhari has absolute contempt for Data but we shall go ahead and put out here some of the Knowledge he should have had before making this latest blunder of ‘Directing’ what should be an independent @cenbank to “not give a cent for food import”.
I will share the latest information on Nigeria from FEWS NET, the Famine Early Warning Systems Network, which provides information and analysis on food insecurity around the world.
That our @NGRPresident thinks we have achieved Food Security says a lot about his Policy-Making.
FEWS Net is Famine Early Warning Systems Network. It “uses an integrated approach that considers climate, agriculture production, prices, trade, nutrition, and other factors, together with an understanding of local livelihoods.”
Knowledge that helps Evidence-Based Policies.
In the next few tweets, I’ll share highlights of FEWS Net June 2018 to January 2019 Report on Food Insecurity in Nigeria for many reasons that any reasonable person will easily understand.
“Humanitarian actors have provided sustained food assistance delivery in 2018, reaching 2.5 million people in April 2018 across the 3 northeast states. In May, food assistance deliveries reached 15 percent fewer households, meeting targets closer to what was seen in March 2017”
“With the continuing military offensive, new arrivals continue to be identified in the northeast. As of May, IOM identified 1.8 million people displaced by conflict in northeast Nigeria. Between late Nov2017 &April 2018 an estimated 100,000 new arrivals across Borno & Adamawa…”
“Outside northeast, the main agric season is progressing favorably in much of the rest of the country, &harvests are expected to be average to above-average. Most households will have seasonally typical access to food,income& remain in Minimal (IPC Phase 1) acute food insecurity”
“Various stages of cultivation activities continue throughout the country. In south &some central areas, they have begun harvesting early green maize&tubers. In other areas of central Nigeria, planting, weeding, &fertilizer application for maize, sorghum &legumes is underway.”
“Planting of staples such as millet, sorghum, and maize, as well as groundnut, cowpea, and sesame cash crops, is progressing in most northern areas. Government support through the Anchor Borrowers’ Program continues to contribute to farmers’ access to improved inputs.”
“However, areas worst-affected by farmer/pastoralist conflict are facing greater difficulty accessing basic needs and will be Stressed (IPC Phase 2).”
”In displaced settlement areas and larger cities, affected populations have restricted access to land for cultivation. Additionally, ongoing insecurity is again in 2018 keeping many from engaging or participating fully in cultivation.”
“Heavy conflict between pastoral and farming communities in central and northern areas of the country also continue. These conflicts have left hundreds dead and lead to the destruction of property.”
”These conflicts are also leading to the displacement of households and keeping many from their livelihoods. Both cultivation activities and pastoralists’ herd movements are affected.”
“Main agricultural season: The agricultural season is expected to progress normally. The main season harvests will start normally in September/October across the country. Harvests are expected to be average to above average in most areas.”
“Exceptions are in northeast areas affected by the insurgency and localized areas across the country where conflicts between farmers and pastoralists are disrupting cultivation”
“Main harvests will be substantially below average in the northeast and likely below average in areas impacted by the farmer/pastoralists conflict mainly in the central states such as Kaduna, Plateau, Benue, Nasarawa, Taraba as well as in Zamfara.”
”As with most years, it is also likely that there will be some crop loss due to excessive flooding along major floodplains.”
I have put out highlights of FEWS Net Report on Nigeria up to January 2019.
As obvious from the Report, there are positives on Agriculture which for example include improved farmers’ access to input from the Anchor Borrowers Scheme.
But, nothing of Food Security yet exists.
What is Food Security, @NGRPresident ?
I will offer the universal meaning provided by the United Nations’ Committee on World Food Security because that should help a Policy Maker know easily whether such is the case in Nigeria before taking a major Policy stance in Agriculture.
Food security, as defined by the United Nations’ Committee on World Food Security, means that all people, at all times, have physical, social&economic access to sufficient, safe, & nutritious food that meets their food preferences and dietary needs for an active and healthy life.”