By Celestine Ajayi
The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has pledged commitment to partner with stakeholders to increase food security and reduce threat of scarcity.
Mr Ernest Umakhihe, Permanent Secretary in the ministry said this at the Result Presentation Workshop of March 2021 Cadre Harmonise (CH) Food and Nutrition Insecurity Analysis for Nigeria, on Friday in Abuja.
Umakhihe said that the analysis came in the face of the pronounced threat of Food and Nutrition Security (FNS) occasioned by economic stress faced by several households due to lockdown and realised restrictions to curb COVID-19 spread.
He said that the government realised the importance of CH results as it relates to effective intervention programming and resources allocation to prevent further deterioration of the FNS in identified areas.
”The management of the ministry has approved the expansion of CH activities to other states of Nigeria to achieve wide coverage
“This approval will facilitate the generation of global view of food and nutrition insecurity situation in Nigeria,” the permanent secretary said.
He however, appealed to all participants to contribute positively to the discussion as it would enhance acceptability of CH results to wider spectrum of stakeholders in the food and nutrition security sector.
The Director Projects Coordinating Unit, FMARD, Mr Bright Wategeregh, in his address said that the ministry has taken into cognizance the need to continually track the trend of food and nutrition insecurity in the country.
Wategeregh said that the results of the analysis provided early warnings which are vital for planning regarding various government intervention projects.
‘The analysis seeks to assess and classify the zones in the 16 states and the FCT into the phases of food and nutrition insecurity as well as estimate population experiencing crisis in concerned states,” he said.
According to him, the ministry will support initiatives that are geared toward increasing household and national food security and sustainable livelihood initiatives to promote stable economic development in the country.
Also, Mr Fred Kafeero, Country Director, Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) said the outcome from the CH analysis provided early warning signal to national and state governments as well as development partners.
Kafeero said that the humanitarian community on looming food insecurity and nutrition gaps faced in the states are used to galvanise support toward targeted actions.
He noted that the CH analysis results in Nigeria have become the major yardstick for estimating the areas and population of vulnerable people in need of humanitarian assistance.
”The CH analysis led by the Government of Nigeria, is facilitated through the National Programme for Food Security with financial and technical support from FAO,” he said .
Mrs Aishatu Umar, representative of the 16 states and FCT, commended the various partners and the Federal Government for their support to end food insecurity.