Experts have listed low power supply as one of the reasons for food insecurity in Nigeria.
This was unanimously agreed during The PUNCH Media Foundation webinar series on ‘Food Security, Nutrition and Food Safety,’ held on Tuesday. According to the experts, Nigeria lacks the industrial capacity to store food due to low power generation.
“There is a point I would like to make as to one of the key reasons Nigeria is food-insecure. One of the reasons is electricity. I hope most people know that Nigeria is at 5000MW and sometimes at zero. The global standard for sustainable development is 1000MW per one million people. So, Nigeria should be at 200, 000MW, and we are at 5000MW or less. So, we do not have the capacity to store food on an industrial scale” one of the panelists, a journalist and food expert, Rotimi Sankore, said. Sankore noted that food insecurity was one of Nigeria’s biggest national issues, which should draw the attention of policy makers.
Another food expert and one of the panelists at the series, Arigbabu Suleiman, said Nigeria has low per hectare yield due to the low support given to small-scale farmers. “Nigeria does not provide the farmers with good, accurate, reliable and timely climate access. Many farmers plan when they should not and lose after they had borrow money to plant. The opportunities lost are one of the major reasons we have food insecurity,” he said.
A professor of Community and Public Health Nutrition, University of Nsukka and current President Federation of African Nutritionists Society, Prof. Ngozi Nnam, said unsafe food often created a cycle of diseases. “Contamination of safe food can cause diarrhea which could lead to death,” she said, adding that contamination should be avoided by separating raw foods from cooked foods. She also said that cooked food should be consumed within two hours after preparation to avoid contamination.