By: Melody Ogar & Ubani Vivian.
Contents Curator & Campus Director, HULT PRIZE (CRUTECH).
The Cross River State University of Technology (CRUTECH), joins her counterparts in the World as the compete for the US 1m dollar 2021, Hult Prize challenge on Food Insecurity with the Theme: “Food For Good.”
CRUTECH students embarks on a one million US dollar ($1,000 000) challenge to produce food as a means of survival to become a vehicle for change with every dollar earned. This is being achieved by developing sustainable food venture that will provide food for over 200 million Nigerians and 10 million people globally by 2030.
Food insecurity has been on the rise for the past 4 decades and in 2016, statistics showed that 3.7 million Nigerians across 16 states are facing food insecurities due to devaluation of Naira, trade liberalization and withdrawal of government from economic activities.
Food insecurity can be characterized by the in-availability for insufficiency of food. The amount and quality of food available is not sufficient for the larger population in demand for food. This could lead to hunger and starvation.
Food is different from other commodities because of its inevitability for survival and existence and it is an indispensable factor for a Nation’s quest for economic growth and development.
Unfortunately, most of the food needed in Nigeria is produced by peasant farmers who lack capital, skills, energy and other viable ingredients to produce in large quantity that would meet the voluminous demands of an already over-populated country.
It could also mean food is not available for the masses. In times of recession and economical set-backs, so many commodities especially food prices get spiked and unreasonably high that only the rich can afford while the masses do so with assistance.
Lack of quality food could also be termed food insecurity. When food is not of good quality, it could lead to malnutrition or dietary complications. One of the deadliest products to be of poor quality are dairy products.
Due to civil conflicts, large scale displacements, rising food prices, climate change, population growth, natural resources degradation and poverty, there has been a neglect in food production with oil becoming the major export product, there is a huge decline in the economy thus leading to food insecurity.
Food insecurity can also be due to socio-political instability and gender inequality, Data shows about sixty percent of people who suffer food insecurity are woman and girls, having 98% of them from global south countries. In Nigeria, statistics shows that the highest rate of food insecurity is in the Northern part of the country due to the ratio of higher percentage of population to fewer job opportunities.
The breakthrough Nigeria deserves or is in need of is restructuring of her agricultural sector and empowerment of peasant farmers who cultivate in small quantities and those that lack proper skills.
Importation of foreign foods should be banned or totally reduced so as to encourage local production of natural and quality food for consumption.
Subsidization of basic commodities by the government that a major percentage cannot readily acquire easily should be encouraged and implemented as this would help the larger population maintain a
stable living condition. This would help reduce the rate of hunger and starvation and drastically decrease mortality rate in infants who cannot access good livelihood.
Food insecurity in Nigeria can be curbed when there is general co-operation amongst the government and citizens and a dire need to strengthen the economy to further increase yields that would help eradicate food insecurity in Nigeria. This would only be possible when funds are disbursed to the now dying agricultural sector of the nation.
Provision of job opportunities and provision of the right farm equipments.
Students at Cross River University of Technology seeks to unravel food insecurities in Nigeria and the global world by tapping from her rich natural resources in good crops and cash crops.