By Olatunde Odebiyi
Stakeholders said the country has what it takes to feed its citizenry if farmers are empowered.
One of them, the Director-General/Chief Executive Officer, Federal Institute of Industrial Research Oshodi (FIIRO), Dr. Chima Igwe. said zero hunger could be achieved through a collaborative effort, noting that the government cannot do it all.
Igwe, who was represented by the Deputy Director, Project Development and Design Department, Dr. Livinus Onu, spoke at the Radisson Blu Anchorage Hotel on Victoria Island, Lagos State, during a programme organised by Hope For Life Initiative in collaboration with FIIRO).
The theme was “Our actions are our future; Healthy diets for a zero hunger world”.
According to him, the empowerment of farmers is necessary, following the closure of boarders to stem the importation of food. He noted that with more support, farmers would produce more to feed Nigerians.
“Nigeria has what it takes to produce agricultural products to feed the population with nutritional and healthy diets and to sell at cheaper prices compared to imported goods or prices being sold now. All hands must be on deck to empower farmers in the country to enable them produce more to feed her citizens.
“All the stakeholders in the value chain, starting from the farmers down to the processor and those that can finance the farmers as well as the processors must come together,” he added.
He explained that FIRO has the role to assist in post-harvest processing of various products, to add value to the products while ensuring that quality products are produced and safe for consumption.
The Executive Director, Hope For Life Initiative, Kendi Aig-Imoru, said Nigeria has what it takes to feed herself, noting that it starts from the individual.
“Nigerians should start planting what they can eat to feed themselves and their family in the confine of their compound and be informed about food security, technology and healthy diets, as this is crucial to promote healthy living and reduce diseases.”
She called for increased focus on agriculture, noting that with this there will be little or no complain o about what to eat.
Deputy Director, Food Safety and Applied Nutrition Directorate, National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Francis Ifem, said the emphasis is on healthy diet to achieve zero hunger for all in Nigeria.