When People Talk About Hunger In Nigeria, ‘I Just Laugh’ – Agric Minister

The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mohammed Nanono on Monday said there is no hunger in Nigeria and the nation has enough food to feed itself.

Nanono, who disclosed this while addressing journalists on the occasion of the World Food Day in Abuja, said he is always amused when he hears people complaining of hunger in Nigeria.

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“I think so long as these bordering countries do not respect our protocols on these very important issues of bringing food into Nigeria, border closure will remain.

“I think we are producing enough to feed ourselves. I think there is no hunger in Nigeria; there could be inconveniences. When people talk about hunger in this country, I just laugh because they don’t know hunger.

“You need to go to some other countries to know what hunger is.

“If you say I miss my breakfast and I get lunch and dinner, then that is all right… part of the problem of overweight is not necessarily the issue of a balanced diet, but some of us stay put without knowing that Nigeria used to be a former zone for migration in sub-Sahara Africa,” he said.

According to Mr Nanono, the policy of the government is to produce and feed ourselves and in the process, create the process to empower people.

The Minister also predicted that Nigerian farmers would witness bumper harvest this year, regardless of the flood that ravaged some states.

He also gave assurance that Nigeria would be self-sufficient in food production and even export food to other countries in no distant time.

Hunger On The Rise Worldwide, 821 Million Affected, Says UN

 

More than 821 million people suffered from hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition worldwide last year, the United Nations reported Monday — the third year in a row that the number has risen.

After decades of decline, food insecurity began to increase in 2015 and reversing the trend is one of the 2030 targets of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

But getting to a world where no one is suffering from hunger by then remains an “immense challenge,” the report said.

“The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World” was produced by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and other UN agencies including the World Health Organization.

“To safeguard food security and nutrition, it is critical to already have in place economic and social policies to counteract the effects of adverse economic cycles when they arrive, while avoiding cuts in essential services, such as health care and education, at all costs,” it said.

The authors said a “structural transformation” was needed to include the poorest people in the world, a move they said would require “integrating food security and nutrition concerns into poverty reduction efforts” while tackling gender inequality and the exclusion of certain social groups.

Malnutrition remains widespread in Africa, where around 20 percent of the population is affected, and in Asia where more than 12 of people experience it. In Latin America and the Caribbean, seven percent of people are affected.

Adding the number of people suffering from famine to those hit by food insecurity gives a total of more than two billion.

The FAO said current efforts were insufficient to meet the goal of halving the number of children whose growth is stunted by malnutrition by 2030.

Around 149 million children currently suffer from hunger-related growth delays.

At the same time, the report notes that obesity and excess weight are both on the rise in all regions, with school-age children and adults particularly affected.

AFP

Jigawa Lawmakers Disagree Over Deduction Of N5m To Fight Hunger

File Photo

 

Lawmakers in Jigawa State have disagreed over the deduction of five million naira from their Constituency Project Fund to support children suffering from malnutrition.

The lawmakers entered into a heated debate on Friday when the Executive Secretary of the Primary Health Care Management Board, Dr Kabir Ibrahim, was presenting a communique at the end of a two-day workshop organized by UNICEF, with the theme: The Role of Lawmakers in the Implementation of Jigawa State Nutrition Agenda.

The lawmaker representing Kanya Constituency, Mr Usman Haladu, first kicked against the idea when it was read by the Executive Secretary, saying that more deliberations are needed in order for the matter to be concluded.

Another lawmaker, Mr Abubakar Muhammad, representing Hadejia Constituency also argued that there are some modalities to be considered before it can be presented in the communique.

At the end of day, the statement was highlighted in yellow, to show that the issue would later be finalised.

Jigawa is one of the states in the country with the highest cases of children suffering from malnutrition with 54 per cent of the children in the state reported to be having stunted growth.

Flooding Now A ‘Major Emergency’ In Nigeria, Says Red Cross

 

The Red Cross says Nigeria is facing a “major emergency” with tens of thousands of people displaced by recent flooding at risk of hunger and disease if help does not get to them as soon as possible.

“Many of the 200,000 people who fled flood waters are now leaving displacement camps but some of them are finding nothing but destroyed homes and farmland”, Secretary General for the Nigerian Red Cross Society, Abubakar Kende, said in a statement on Thursday.

Some 200 people died in floods across 12 states after the rivers Niger and Benue burst their banks earlier this year.

“The world is ignoring a major humanitarian crisis. Nearly two million people have been affected by this flooding disaster… This is a major emergency,” the Red Cross said.

“If the world continues to ignore the humanitarian needs created by this flood disaster, the consequences are likely to be far-reaching,” it added.

It said unless concerted action was taken, the story of loss and death will be repeated.

“Research shows that the impact of climate change combined with rapid population growth in Nigeria’s fast-growing cities will increase the risk of disasters. We know that Nigeria will continue to face devastating floods like this at an ever-increasing rate.”

The humanitarian agency said although flood waters had receded, another crisis looms large.

“The worst-affected communities rely solely on agriculture as a source of food and income. With no crops expected from the flooded lands for months, thousands are facing the threat of hunger which is one of the causes of vulnerability to diseases,” it added.

The nation suffered one of its worst flooding disasters in 2012 when hundreds of people lost their lives and about two million were left homeless in 30 of the 36 states.

Threat Of Malnutrition Still High In Somalia – UN

Somalia Election: Mohamed Abdullahi Emerges As PresidentHunger in Somalia has doubled the number of children admitted at nutritional centres supported by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) even with the onset of the rainy season.

In Baidoa town, this nutritional centre is one of few facilities where malnourished children below five years of age can access treatment in south and central Somalia.

Baidoa hospital which hosts the nutritional clinic has recorded an increase in patients, which has stretched the hospital’s capacity far beyond its 150-bed limit.
Tents have been put up to accommodate more patients.

The centre has now admitted 230 children compared to the 100 children admitted the same time, last year.

Dominik Stillhart, the ICRC director of operations worldwide was recently in the country visiting facilities supported by the organisation.

“What we saw in the two nutrition centres that we are supporting in Kismayo and in Baidoa, is nearly double the number of children that have been admitted to these two centres, which is clearly the result of the severe food crisis that is currently affecting Somalia,” said Stillhart.

“I have a lot of pictures of children when they come in with very severe malnutrition, be it marasmus or kwashiorkor and the photos after that. The parents usually say; when we brought this child here he was dying,” said Suuldano, the nutrition centre supervisor at Baidoa Regional Hospital.

Suuldano, the nutrition centre supervisor at Baidoa Regional Hospital.

Across the country, the number of malnourished children at its stabilisation centres and those run by the Somali Red Crescent Society has shot up 80 percent, to 12,710.

Uncertainty about sufficient rainfall during the current Gu season (April – May) has raised fears that the effects of the drought will persist and the risk of the situation deteriorating further remains very real.

The rains began in parts of the country in the second week of April and have since spread to most areas. The rains will allow farmers to plant crops as well as grass for the livestock that sustain Somalia’s nomadic families, although the long drought has already wiped out livestock herds and forced many farmers to seek aid in cities.

In addition to food shortages, Somalia is experiencing a rapid spread of cholera, with more than 20,000 cases reported nationwide. The outbreak is expected to worsen due to the rainy season.

Six years ago, a devastating famine in the country led to the death of over a quarter million people, half of them children.

Half of the country’s 12 million citizens are expected to need aid by July according to agencies.

“We are aiming together at reaching up to 7 million people until the end of this year and we have an appeal for roughly 600,000,000 Swiss francs from our donors,” said Stillhart.”

Food shortages are worsened by fighting in some areas occupied by al Qaeda-linked al Shabaab militants. But unlike in 2011, when al Shabaab’s restrictions on movement and its refusal to allow many aid groups access pushed up the death toll, the group is allowing people to move.

Save Nigerians From Hunger – Fayose Tells Buhari

Road Construction, Fayose,
Mr. Fayose says FG should immediately ameliorate the poverty rate in Nigeria.

The governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose says the APC-led administration is losing focus as it should first save Nigerians from the pangs of hunger and reduce the poverty that pervades the land.

Governor Fayose who said this in a statement released on Tuesday in Ado Ekiti, added that President Muhammadu Buhari’s government should concentrate on delivering the social welfare programme it promised Nigerians instead of coming after him.

“This project ‘Fayose must be implicated at all cost’ will definitely not put food on the tables of Nigerians and for all I care, the Economic and Financial Crimes
Commission and its collaborators can keep running from pillar to post while I keep delivering good governance to Ekiti and its people.” He said.

‘I got no Kobo from Obanikoro’

The governor also dismissed claims that former Minister of
State for Defence, Senator Musiliu Obanikoro confessed to the EFCC
that he received funds from the Office of the National Security Adviser
under retired Colonel Sambo Dasuki to fund his election.

“We have gone pass this stage of media trial, EFCC should rather keep its
gun powder dry, when we get to the bridge, we will cross it.

They said more than this in the 2006 poultry scam blackmail, despite that, I am
the governor today.” He said.

According to the statement signed by his Special Assistant on Public
Communications and New Media, Lere Olayinka, Governor Fayose said he
is reacting to these allegations to fulfill all righteousness.

He said “those who arranged the dramatic and compromised return of Senator
Obanikoro to Nigeria obviously did so in continuation of their project
‘Fayose must be implicated at all cost’ but I am not bothered because
my election was legitimately funded.”

A Challenge to EFCC

The governor also challenged the EFCC to probe the funding of the APC during the last general elections.

Governor Fayose said; “Since we are now in the era in which financial assistance from Nigerians to fund elections is being criminalised, the international community, especially those funding EFCC must insist that the commission probes the funding of APC elections before further funds are released to the commission.”

African Nations Increase Farm Spending, Winning Poverty Battle

President Barack Obama hosts the leaders of four African nations this week, all of which are cited in a new report for effectively increasing spending on agriculture to combat extreme poverty and hunger.

The report by the ONE Campaign, an anti-poverty group co-founded by Irish rockers Bono and Bob Geldof, said Senegal, Malawi, Cape Verde and Sierra Leone either met or were close to meeting targets for increased budget spending on agriculture.

All of the countries, except Cape Verde where there is little data, are also on track or close to meeting a U.N. target of halving extreme poverty by 2015, the report said.

The African leaders will visit the White House on Thursday to showcase their fledgling democracies, but also their potential in a region where strong economic policies are attracting increased investment.

A recent World Bank report said Africa’s agricultural sector could become a $1 trillion industry by 2030 if farmers modernized their practices and had better access to financing, new technology, irrigation and fertilizers.

“Despite record improvements by select African countries, Africa overall is still far from realizing its agricultural potential,” said the ONE Campaign report, which assessed progress by 19 African countries and donors that send them aid.

“For African governments, donors and the private sector alike, 2013 is the year to deliver on these building blocks that impact farming and expand economic opportunities for farmers,” the report said.

This year marks a decade since African governments committed to allocate 10 percent of national spending to boost agricultural production, reversing decades of under investment in the sector. The so-called Maputo commitments expire this year, giving world leaders the opportunity to lay out a bold new plan with targets, the report said.

According to ONE’s analysis, at least four of the 19 African countries analyzed – Ethiopia, Cape Verde, Malawi and Niger – met or exceeded the target of 10 percent total expenditure on agriculture. Senegal and Sierra Leone are close to the target.

Meanwhile, the laggards are Nigeria, Liberia and Ghana, which spend less than 2 percent of their budgets on agriculture.

The report also called on industrialized nations – the United States, France, Britain, Canada, Japan, Germany and Russia – to make good on their various funding promises to help African nations increase agricultural production.

The G8, which meets in June this year, has repeatedly promised to support Africa-led initiatives, yet G8 agriculture investment plans have only secured about half of their required financing, and many donors contribute only a small fraction of their agriculture aid to poor countries, the report said.

The report shows that European Union institutions, Canada and Germany increased their share of foreign assistance to agriculture, while Britain, Japan and France cut theirs.

Stay hungry for change in Africa, 2face tells Big Brother Housemates

The Housemates in the Big Brother Africa stargame show on Tuesday were pleasantly surprised when 2face paid an unscheduled visit to them via the Television monitor in the House.

The Housemates were strategizing how to go about the task of building their own vegetable garden as part of the ONE campaign following step-by-step instructions.

ONE is a grassroots advocacy and campaigning organization that fights extreme poverty and preventable disease, particularly in Africa, by raising public awareness and pressuring political leaders to support smart and effective policies and programs that are saving lives, helping to put kids in school and improving futures.

Just as the Housemates were digesting the information of their impending Task, 2face appeared on the giant screen in the lounge and encouraged them to soldier on.

“My brothers and sisters, we are united in the belief that Africa can stop the vicious cycle of poverty and hunger once and for all,” 2face said.
The ace singer told the Housemates that the task of building their own vegetable garden is not just to test their will power but to give them “a taste of what millions go through every single day.”

2face said “No one in Africa should go hungry, not in 2012; not in the continent as rich as Africa. Housemates, you are the future. Stay strong. Stay committed. Stay hungry for change.”