An Appraisal Of The Legal And Institutional Frame Work On Food Sufficiency In Nigeria
One of the goals of Nigeria Agricultural Development policy is to achieve for the nation enough food sufficient for the consumption and utterly reduce the rate of dependency on imported foods, with the view of ensuring adequate and affordable food for all. This research work is aimed at evaluating food sufficiency situation in Nigeria looking at the intervals between 1991-2016. This research reveals that there is a shortfall in locally produced food. Taking into account the total population of Nigeria to 3.2% whereas the ratio of domestically produced food has been reduced to 1% which is an indication that the demand for food is far reached and higher than the supply for such food. Some of the identifiable factor responsible for this include, inconsistency in government policies, corruption, environmental degradation and unsuitable agricultural produce, therefore this research reveals that Nigeria solely depends to a great extent on imported food. Finally this study equally reveals various government policies, institutions and legal framework on achieving food sufficiency in Nigeria. This research work adopted analytical and comparative approaches in the analysis of relevant materials to the research contained in Nigeria and other international legislations, decided cases, journals, articles, newspapers and magazines including other relevant internet sources. The researches equally recommend some vital point which will be a panacea to achieving food sufficiency in Nigeria.
Keywords: Sufficiency, Environmental, Food Sufficiency, Sustainability, Institutional Framework and Legal Framework.
1.1 Background of the Study
Frankly speaking food is a basic necessity of life, its important is seen in the fact that, it is the basic need for sustenance, and the adequate food intake in respect to quantity and quality, is a vital key for health and productive living. The importance of food is also revealed in the fact that it accounts for substantial part of a typical Nigeria household budget. However, taking into account that there are various classes of food, such as carbohydrates, protein, fat and oil, vitamin and mineral, and all these classes of food are required in good quantity and quality to maintain a healthy living. Currently there is a growing census that food insecurity and poverty problem are closely related in Nigeria identified.
Three pillars, which is under pin food insufficiency in Nigeria, to include.
- Food availability.
- Food accessibility.
- Food utilization.
This implies that a nation whose food production level is unable to satisfy these requirements is said to have problem of food insufficiency
However, in view of the foregoing problem of food insufficiency in Nigeria. The Federal Ministry of Agriculture in 2010 revealed that over 53million people in Nigeria are hungry, accounting to 30% of the country total population, and 52% live below poverty line.However, it is crystal clear that Nigeria attained self sufficiency in food production and a next exporters of food to other continent/region as at `1950’s and 1960s,
Thus, the fall in the food production level, has resulted in the increase in food importation in Nigeria, so as to meet up with the asses demand over the supply of such food in Nigeria. Despite government polices and intervention to prevent this menace, the question is whether these government policies has actually achieved the intended objective. It is in view of the foregoing that this research intended, to ascertain the major cause of this food insufficiency in Nigeria.
1.2 Statement of Problem
Food insufficiency is one of the major problems suffered by many countries which Nigeria is not left behind and many efforts has been made to improve food supply and solve the problem of hunger as Nigeria is not excepted in the struggle to prevent food crisis. Many hands are on deck to solve this looming problem; among them are research institutions, tertiary institutions, government agencies and non-governmental organization. Food sufficiency implies the availability of food at all time for every house hold, whereas food insufficiency is the opposite. This research tends to solve the problem of food insufficiency thereby promoting agriculture in Nigeria through the aid of institutional and legal frameworks. One of the problem that tends to prevent the actualizational of this dream, is poor equipment used by farmers, fragmentation of land into smaller portions little or no legal frameworks etc hinders large scale agriculture in Nigeria. In spite of this, farm mechanization is recommended as a necessity to increase food productivity in Nigeria and reduce hunger to the lowers minimum.
1.3 Objective of Study
The main objective of this study is to examine and evaluate the food sufficiency situation in Nigeria and the challenges of achieving sustainable food sufficiency for all Nigerians and probably the way forward towards its actualization.
1.4 Scope of the Study
This research work is limited to investigating the relevant course of food insufficiency in Nigeria, government effort with regard to policy programmes, in actualizing food sufficiency for Nigeria taking into account that food is one of the basic needs of man. This research is aimed at investigating the relevant jurisdiction of Nigeria, so as to ascertain the extent of food sufficiency in some of the jurisdictions, problems causing availability of enough food, and possibly prefer solution to them.
1.5 Significant of Study
The above mentioned problem of food insufficiency is common to all developing countries, and findings of this research will contribute to the application of policy design and analysis in policy evaluation which is one of the new research spearhead, especially within the framework of government, and spatial Information management (GSIM) programme, and evaluating policy effectiveness is also viewed by many as the basic tools for monitoring progress. Despite its usefulness, critical evaluation of policy effectiveness is not carried out in majority of the developing countries like Nigeria.
Therefore it is in this respect that this research work, intended to carry out a study so as to evaluate the effectiveness of food sufficiency policy in Nigeria, with the view to ensuring food sufficiency in Nigeria.
1.6 Research Methodology
This research work employed both primary and secondary sources in it research in order to achieve its aim and objectives the primary data in this context relate to legislation (statute) and case laws, whereas the secondary data, relate to relevant research on text books, journals, Newspaper, magazines, and also adopted both analystical and comparative method of research.
1.7 Definition of Terms
Sustainable food sufficiency has been defined in various ways by different scholars. According to World Health Organization defined food sufficiency as the access to food needed by all people to enable them live a healthy life at all time. A country is said to be food sufficient when there is access to food of acceptable quantity and quality consistent with decent existence at all time for the majority of the population.
This means that food must be available to the people so as to meet the basic nutritional standard needed by the body . But it should be noted that availability of food does not mean accessibility to food. Availability depends on production, consumer price, information flows and the market Dynamics.
World bank defined sustainable food sufficiency as an access to enough food for an active healthy life at presents as well as ability to provide enough in future.
Abudulahi, Defined sustainable food sufficiency as when people have physical and Economic Access to sufficient food to meet their dietary need for a productive healthy life at present and as well as in the future. This definition outlined some indices for measuring the extents or degree of food sufficiency to be achieved by any country and the indices are, adequate national food supply, nutritional content, accessibility, affordability, and Environmental protection. Absence of food sufficiency is food insufficiency, food insufficiency; on the other hand represents lack of access to enough food and can either be chronic or temporary.
J. Adeoti. opined that chronic food insecurity arises as a result of lack of resource to acquire and produce enough food, thereby leading to persistent inadequate.
(FAO 2010) Referred to food insufficiency as the consequence of inadequate consumption of nutritious food bearing in mind that the physiological use of food is within the domain of nutrition and health. When individual cannot provide enough food for their families it leads to hunger and poor health. Poor health reduces one ability to work and live a productive healthy life; poor human development, destabilizes a country potential for economic development for nations to come. Therefore the core determinants of food security are availability, accessibility, Utilization, and stability.
Availability of food plays a conspicuous role in food security, having enough food in a nation is often necessary, but not adequate to ensure that people have satisfactory Access to food, over the year population has increased faster than the supply of the food thus resulting in food availability per person.
Generally the ability to have access to food, depends on the availability and quality of infrastructure needed for the production and distribution of food, lack of Economic access to food is as a result of increased poverty.
This concept can be measured by two factors which reflect the impact of inadequate food intake and utilization the first outcome is measured by under five years of Age nutrition level while second measurement is quality of food, health and hygiene.
According to FAO measuring the nutritional status of under five years of age is an effective approximation for the entire population, the indicator for the measurement of under five years of age are wasting (too thin for height) underweight (too thin for Age) and stunting(too short for Age). Accordingly in some cases, progress in terms of having access to food is not always and often accompanied by progress in the utilization of the food. A more direct indicator of food utilization is underweight, because it shows improvement more promptly than stunting and wasting which improvement can take a longer time to be noticeable.
Stability has to do with exposure to short term risk, which have a way of endangering Long term progress, key indicator of exposure risk include climate shock such as drought, erosion, and volatility in price of input for production, the world price shock leads to domestic price instability which is a threat to domestic food producers as their stand the chance of losing invested capital, Nigeria farmers are mainly small holder farmer,(i.e.) subsistence farmers, this makes it difficult for them to cope with changes in the price of input, and it also lower their ability to adopt with new technologies thus resulting in reduced overall production, changing whether condition as a result of climate change, which has played an adverse role in reducing the overall production, changing whether condition, as a result of climatic change have played apart in reducing food supply. For instance flood in the southern part of the country and drought in the north part, leads to sustained losses in production and income. It is the interplay of this entire variable that determines whether an individual house hold, states, or nation is food sufficient or not. This is because sustainable food sufficiency at the House hold level does not determine or guarantee sustainable food sufficiency at the state level or even at the national level.
However this above theoretical analysis is based on Thomas Malthus theory of population where Malthus warned that the population will exceed the earth capacity to grow food. This is because population grows in geometric progression whereas food production grows in Arithmetic progression.
Food Production, Food Supply and Nutrient Status in Nigeria
A Holistic study of the demand for food, supply for food, as well as the nutrient status will give a better understanding of food sufficiency and availability situation in Nigeria.
A food sufficiency situation is said to exist when the demand side is balanced with the supply and anything contrary suggest food insufficiency.
Nigeria produced all its food needs and surpluses for its Agro-Industries in1970s, and showed remarkable trends that Nigeria was, and could remain self sufficient in terms of food requirement for its citizen and for exportation in recent years, there is low Agricultural productivity in Nigeria, the expected yield from crops, soils, rivers, lake, live stocks, and forest are far below potentials. Even with low productivity in Agriculture, a significant proportion of food produced is lost during storage, and transportation, which arises as a result lack of efficient and effective storage facilities to preserve the produced food. Also the Roads are so bad that most of these foods are lost before they get to the consumers.
Sources of Food;
It is important to note that depending so much on food importation is not good for any economy, it could only lead to vulnerability and incase of down term in the economy as we are currently experiencing, the country will be left with no option than to depend on food aid and further exposing the country to chronic food insufficiency situation.
However, the readily available quality of diet shows imbalances, as a result of heavy dependency on root crops, tuber and cereals, as a major contribution to the availability of food, does not only depends on or does it come only on Agricultural crops, fisheries and forest product also serve as the available source of food, as their have high nutrient content, forest food and aquatic animals are highly nutritious and can be used as supplement for food lacking essential vitamin and minerals. It is estimated that between 15% and 20% of animal. In Nigeria forest food constitute essential sources of our diet, such as nuts, wild animals, and food preservation lead to deforestation thereby worsening the food availability situation in a country.The Diet Energy Reserve (DER) derived from cereal, root, and tuber increased from 113% in 1992 to 123% in 2015 indicating an improvement in dietary supply, the minimum dietary energy requirement increased from 170kcal in 1992 to paltry of 1730 kcal in 2008 yet far less than not 1800kcal (7500kj). Which is the minimum energy required of person daily as recommended by FAO et.al.
However, the available sources of food are:Tuber, such as cassava, yam, cereals, rice, wheat, maize, etc., Animal. Such as aquatic life, wild animals etc. and the nutrient derived from these classes of food are essential for healthy living. For instance, protein, are gotten from, meats, egg, fishes, etc.
Generally food is classified into six groups which include: Carbohydrate, Protein, Vitamins, Fat and oil, Mineral & Water.
Conclusion and Recommendations
This research work is an attempt to evaluate the legal framework on food sufficiency situation in Nigeria.
The factors responsible for food insufficiency are also disclosed, and as well solution or panacea to the lumming problem was also discussed in this research work. Achieving sustainable food sufficiency means ensuring continues access to food both in quality and in quality at all time by every house hold in Nigeria both in the present and future generations. This research revealed that Nigeria is food insufficient just like some other African countries. This was as a result of the fall in food production, below the demand for food, even though the government tries to supplement through important of food.
The research identified the major challenges for food in insufficiency in Nigeria is poverty. Thus reducing the purchasing power of the people making it difficult for them to acquire their daily minimum requirement of food other factors include environmental factors. Inconsistent government policies, unsustainable agriculture productivity and prior infrastructural facilities, especially among the rural farmer who are the main producers of food.
The research also looked into method of production and preservation of food. Finally another major problem of food sufficiency is little or no legal framework on food sufficiency in Nigeria making it difficulty for investors to invest in agricultural sector.
To this effect, the paper equally recommend, intensive promotion of research which will help increase food production in Nigeria, policy changes in order to ensure sustainable food sufficiency in Nigeria.
It is worthy of note that food production is only a means to an end. Therefore achieving sustainable food sufficiency must include reduction in the level of poverty because income must be improved in other to enable people meet the basic necessities of life, including food. Although reduction in poverty level takes a long time to be achieved, therefore immediate solution must be taken and these solution includes the following:
A. Improved Agricultural Productivity:
Different schemes and projects has been established by different governments in the country in order to boast agricultural productivity, but these projects and schemes has always failed because of poor policy implementation. In order word, Agricultural productivity can be improved by or through the encouragement of research, which is to the effects that research institution should be funded by the government so as to encourage innovations and participation research, this is because through research foreign technologies can be modified and applied in Nigeria for instance in organic fertilizers and chemicals can be replaced with alternatives such as cow waste, and campsite manure which are environmentally friendly also extension services should be encouraged and strengthen this is because, through the extension service new technologies can be transferred to the farmers. Consequently effort should be made to ensure adequate storage facilities to enable the farmers store their proof harvest crops. This is because most farm produce are perishable and as such farmers are always in a haste to sell their farm produce quickly thereby making revenues that do not meet their daily needs. The store facilities can help them preserve their product before taking them to market for sale. These storage facilities play a very large role as it help to provide enough food reserve for the country.
B. Environmental Management:
Generally effort to increasing food productivity have led to pressure on the natural resources as well as environmental damages. There should be effective management of the environment by reducing the rate of deforestation. Trees should be planted as often as possible especially in the desert. Providing habitat for agricultural pests and increasing resilience to shocks and long terms climate change can help in the improvement and management of the natural resources of the environment. Therefore tree planting can be encourage because forest tree outside the forest help in protecting the soil and water recourses promotes soil fertility and produces protection from extreme whether event.
C. Sustainable and Favourable Government Policy:
Sustainable food security can be achieved if the government adopts inclusive growth in its development effort. Development should be participatory and environmentally friendly people cantered agricultural development parts the farmers first and attack poverty with opportunities and education. It requires involving the rural peoples in decision at every stage of agricultural production. The inability of government to involve these set of people in defining and designing project has led to the failure of some of these projects. There should be well design social protection system such as risk insurance scheme and community empowerment, to help household sustain their resilience’s to shock.
D. Agricultural Biodiversity:
Improved Agricultural biodiversity through improved agricultural practice will also increase food supply. Large scale farming includes planting one type of crops in a large piece of land, but with improved farming difference genetically improved crops type and species may be planted on a piece of land. Mono cropping also exposed crops to both pests and diseases and also increase the use of organic fertilizer, and pesticides that erodes soil biodiversity in order to achieve sustainable food security. Nigeria farmers as well as government should embrace this modern food production techniques that comes in form of agricultural biodiversity aimed at increasing livestock’s and crops production.
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