The quantity of food imported into Nigeria has continued to drop on a yearly basis, the Federal Government has said.
It said efforts by indigenous farmers were yielding meaningful results as most foods consumed in the country were produced locally.
The Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, gave the report on Tuesday and stressed that Nigeria was doing well in its bid to ensure adequate food security.
She said, “Nigeria is trying and one way to measure that in economics is to look at the amount of food imports over the years.
“The statistics we have show that food import is going down and this means that domestically, Nigeria is trying to cover up most of the imported foods. This, therefore, points to the fact that we are doing more in terms of food security.”
Okonjo-Iweala spoke in Abuja through her special assistant, Dr. Emmanuel Nwosu, at the 2013 World Food Day talk show organised by Oxfam – an international confederation operating in Nigeria.
The minister stated that it was important to educate school children on the importance of food security so that when they grow, they would work on what they learnt.
“This is because in Africa and most developing world, we have malnutrition problems and one of the MDG goals is to fight hunger and provide food for the population,” she added.
Okonjo-Iweala, however, observed that the challenge in Africa had a lot to do with its growing population, adding that this often led to food security problems.
She said the programme was important as it would help to inculcate the right ideas in youths to combat the problem of food in security.
The minister said, “There is a lot of work because most people in Nigeria are running away from agriculture. They think that it is just for the old. But when agriculture is taken seriously, we will achieve better results.”
The Gender Officer, Oxfam in Nigeria, Ms. Boyowa Roberts, said the organisation was using the opportunity to raise awareness on agriculture.
She said, “The theme for this event is ‘Grow, Think, Act’. We are working with youths from three secondary schools here in Abuja, who will become food heroes and will be able to mentor other people on healthy feeding habit and a lot more.”