Nigeria has been ranked in the 103rd spot out of 121 countries by the Global Hunger Index as having serious hunger levels. This is the second consecutive year that Nigeria has been ranked as having one of the worst hunger problems globally. Continued violence in the most populous African nation is affecting millions of farmers leading to widespread food shortages in the country.
Media visited Linda Kure who stays with her family in the capital Abuja. She says they sometimes survive on just one meal a day.
“We eat corn meal from the farm because that’s the only thing we have, some days we eat just once and that’s it.”
The UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation says 19.5 million Nigerians are facing high levels of acute food insecurity. The latest Global Hunger Index ranking of Nigeria also indicates that nearly 13 percent of Nigeria’s over 200 million population is undernourished.
Experts say terrorism and insecurity are largely to blame.
“We are facing insecurity as a country and this is not getting any better,” says economic analyst Andrew Echono. “Most of our farmers in the farming belt in the north-central, northeast and northwest have abandoned their farms to seek shelter and safety in other parts of the country.”
The West African country is facing another challenge, the floods and the worst in a decade which have destroyed thousands of farmlands. The government blames this on the release of water from neighbouring Cameroon’s Lagdo dam, resulting in an overflow of the Niger and Benue rivers. But Echono says the government needs to address insecurity, allow farmers to continue to cultivate their land, and also provide a lasting solution to the flooding facing the country.
“Whatever it takes us to get our lands secure again, I think it will not be too expensive to invest. We need to get the right infrastructure in place, security, to ensure that farmers can go back to their farms and produce food that we require to consume locally,”
The government insists that it is working to ensure security in all parts of the country.
In August, The Nigerian Air Force launched an offensive operation tagged ‘Operation Show no Mercy’ against armed groups operating in the country. The government has also said it would hold talks with authorities in Cameroon next month on the periodic opening of its Lagdo Dam as part of efforts to address the flood crisis.”
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by Ajeck Mangut