Financial expert, Mr Bismarck Rewane and many technocrats in the agribusiness industry have hailed Rotary International District 9110 for seeking an end to food insecurity while advising government on steps to end the scourge which is capable of disturbing world peace.
Mr Rewane who was the keynote speaker at the World Peace and Understanding Day 2020 Seminar organised by Rotary International District 9110 stated that Nigeria is presently experiencing food insecurity because of factors such as conflicts, poverty and high population growth.
Addressing the theme: “Promoting World Peace and Understanding through Food Security”, Rewane stated that to achieve food security, government has to increase investment in agricultural research, improve storage and processing as well as sensitization of citizens on healthy diet.
He also applauded Rotary International for its years of service to humanity, noting that its decision to beam a search light on food insecurity was timely.
Also speaking at the occasion, Navy Commodore Daniel Atakpa urged governments across the federation to pay special attention to the blue economy, he said the ocean economy which has been largely ignored for years if unlocked, can be used to provide, energy. transportation, healthcare, end poverty, economic empowerment and food security.
He was optimistic that Nigeria can witness a reversal of fortunes economically if it looks beyond oil to its coastal resources.
Mr Mezuo Nwuneli, a panelist on the programme stated that Nigeria would continue to have more poor and hungry people over a period of time unless it broadly distributes growth without concentrating on Lagos and Abuja alone. Growth distribution according to him would discourage urban migration.
Nwuneli stated that an average Nigerian spends about 56 per cent of his or her income on food which is high when compared to South Africa and other countries on the continent.. In his words ” We have to find a way to change this trend”
He listed poor seedlings, low mechanisation, poor irrigation and lack of infrastructure as issues affecting agricultural productivity in Nigeria. He urged governments to tackle issues one after the other to ensure food security.
In their remarks, other speakers and industry experts at the occasion such as Dr Biodun Adedipe, Dr Aliyu Samaila, Dr Tunji Funsho and Dr O.Olumide Phillips highlighted the importance of food security to Nigerians, and emphasized the fact that it was essential to the growth and wellbeing of the country. They also thanked Rotary for drawing attention to this all important issue, adding that it was a welcome intervention.
Rtn Larry Agose, the Chairman, Planning Committee for the World Peace and Understanding Day said that governments have do the right thing in terms of stopping the herders/ farmers clashes, provision of critical infrastructure and financial incentives in order to end the food insecurity problem
Dr Jide Akeredolu, Governor, District 9110 noted that Rotary decided to highlight the scourge of food insecurity because it has noticed that over the years, experts and governments have not linked food insecurity to world peace.
He stated that food insecurity was a time bomb that was ticking, urging that urgent attention is needed to stem the tide.