24.7 million Nigerians from 26 States and FCT Face Food Crisis as Experts Offer Solutions

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As Nigeria grapples with a severe food and nutrition crisis impacting 24.7 million people across 26 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), the Federal Government is scrambling to address the alarming situation projected to worsen between March and May 2024.

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According to a report titled “Cadre Harmonize, CH-Phase 3, Food and Nutrition Insecurity Analysis for Nigeria,” jointly presented by the Nigerian government, the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), and CILSS, the figure is expected to surge to 31.5 million by August if immediate measures are not taken.

States in the North-East such as Adamawa, Borno, Yobe, and Bauchi are among the worst affected, alongside Kaduna, Katsina, Zamfara, and Sokoto in the North-West. The crisis also grips other regions, including Cross River, Edo, Rivers, Kano, Niger, Kogi, Plateau, Benue, and others.

In response to the dire situation, the Federal Government, led by the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, has initiated various agricultural interventions aimed at boosting food production nationwide.

The surge in food prices, with food inflation hitting 33.93% in December 2023, has sparked protests across the country, prompting emergency meetings and interventions. President Bola Tinubu directed the release of 42,000 metric tonnes of grains from national reserves and announced initiatives to mitigate the impact of high food prices.

Additionally, the Rice Millers Association of Nigeria pledged to release 60,000 metric tonnes of rice into markets to alleviate the crisis.

The private sector is also stepping in, with the Dangote Foundation distributing 120,000 bags of rice to vulnerable Nigerians in Kano and Lagos. The Lagos State government has launched ‘Ounje Eko’ food markets offering discounted food items to residents.

However, experts warn that without concerted efforts to address insecurity, provide subsidies for inputs, facilitate access to farmland, and invest in climate-resilient farming practices, the crisis may escalate further, exacerbating hunger and malnutrition nationwide.

Civil society organizations and agricultural experts urge the government to prioritize food security, revert fuel subsidy removal, and implement comprehensive emergency relief measures to avert a humanitarian catastrophe.

The looming food crisis underscores the urgent need for swift and decisive action from both government and stakeholders to safeguard the well-being of millions of Nigerians facing acute food insecurity.


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Charles Akpeji
Charles Akpejihttps://naija247news.com
Charles Akpeji has over 20 years experience in journalism and he is Naija247news Taraba Correspondent. He lives and works from Jalingo, the state capital.

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