The United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) on Wednesday charged government at all levels to prioritize better incentives for farmers to ensure increase in and diversify the production of high quality foods.
FAO’s Director-General, Mr Qu Dong Yu, represented by the Head of Office, FAO Northeast, Mr Al Hassan Cisse, gave the charge during the celebration of 2019 World Food Day, with the theme: “Healthy Diets for a Zero Hunger World” organised by FAO in Maiduguri on Wednesday.
He noted that food system transformation requires a strong political commitment for collective synergy and holistic design of agriculture and food chains.
“Governments need to adopt policies for food standards and regulations that prioritize the availability and affordability of safe and nutritious foods. Farmers need better incentives to increase and diversify the production of high-quality food.
“Research Institutions need to provide the best scientific advice and push the boundaries of knowledge and technology.
“The private sector can positively influence the food environment by adapting its products to modern nutritional recommendations. Individuals also need to think about their food choices and eating patterns through awareness and learning,” he said.
Cisse said FAO supports its member countries in their efforts to make sustainable healthy diets a reality for all.
“FAO strengthens the capacity of countries to evaluate and monitor the nutrition situation, supports knowledge transfer and provides food standards. We also want to increase the production and consumption of high-quality food through investors in agriculture, regulatory frameworks, technologies and innovations,” Cisse said.
In her speech, Borno State Commissioner Ministry of Animal Resources and Fisheries Development, Comrade Juliana Bitrus, said the challenge of food insecurity is a major problem in the northeast, saying federal government is fully committed to addressing hunger in northeast Nigeria.
“I will like to reiterate that the fight against hunger and malnutrition is both national and global. Zero Hunger goes beyond hunger; it means enough nutritious food for everyone, everywhere, with the aim of making healthy diets available to all.
“This year’s theme is particularly pertinent to Northeast Nigeria where levels of food insecurity and malnutrition are still a major concern due to the insurgency.
“I must, however, highlight that the efforts of the Borno state government and development partners have been yielding results. Still, much more remains to be done to restore the wellbeing of our people,” Juliana said.