More Than 82 Million Nigerians Will Face Severe Hunger By 2030, UN Warns

More Than 82 Million Nigerians Will Face Severe Hunger By 2030, UN Warns

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UN Predicts Hunger Crisis

The United Nations has issued a warning that by 2030, approximately 82 million Nigerians, or 64% of the population, may face severe hunger.

This alarming prediction highlights the urgent need for the Nigerian government to address climate change, pest infestations, and other threats to agricultural productivity.

The UN’s report underscores the dire consequences of inaction and calls for immediate measures to improve food security in the country.

Rising Food Prices Exacerbate Crisis

Nigeria has been grappling with a persistent hike in food prices, which has only worsened the hunger crisis.

According to the National Bureau of Statistics, Nigeria’s food inflation rate hit a record high of 40.66% in May 2024, surpassing the previous month’s 40.53% increase.

This surge represents the largest year-on-year increase in food prices since records began in 1996. A senior advocate, Olisa Agbakoba, warned, “A hunger riot might soon break out in Nigeria if the government does not act fast.”

UN’s Call to Action

During the launch of CropWatch in Abuja, Taofiq Braimoh, representing the Food and Agriculture Organisation, stated, “Approximately 22 million Nigerians will face food insecurity in 2023, and around 80-82 million are at risk by 2030.”

READ ALSO: United Nations Calls For $4.7bn To Aid Over 20m IDPs In Nigeria, 5 others 

He emphasised the impact of climate change and other factors on food security, urging the government to leverage technology to enhance agricultural productivity.

“Satellite-based crop monitoring can provide real-time data on crop conditions, enabling informed decisions and optimizing agricultural practices,” Braimoh added.

Climate Change as a Key Factor

Tobi Awolope, an agricultural economist, attributed the high hunger rate to climate change, which has severely affected smallholder farmers.

“Climate change has reversed the progress towards eradicating poverty and hunger. Smallholder farmers are struggling to adapt, leading to declining food availability and rising prices,” she explained.

Awolope called for government support, including subsidizing production inputs and providing technology and irrigation assistance.

Science and Technology in Agriculture

Dr. Adepoju Mathew, Director General of the National Space Research and Development Agency, highlighted the importance of science, technology, and innovation in advancing agriculture.

“The world population is projected to reach 9.5 billion by 2050, and food production must increase by 70% to meet this demand.

Space science, technology, and innovation play a crucial role in transforming agriculture and enhancing food security,” he stated.

Farmers Echo UN’s Concerns

Dr. Yinusu Alidu, National Secretary of the All Farmers Association of Nigeria, stressed the importance of taking the UN report seriously.

“The UN report reflects the real situation in the country. It’s not magic; the UN is only gathering reports and speaking to the current situation,” he said.

Alidu urged the government to promote irrigation farming and create dams to support farmers. “The government has a responsibility to make farming easier for farmers,” he added.

Government’s Role in Addressing the Crisis

Mr. Adeyemi Adejare, President of Integrated Agricultural Services, South-West, described the UN’s report as a reflection of the government’s failure to support agriculture.

He called for aggressive farming and genuine government support to avert the predicted crisis. “The only way to avert the UN’s prediction is to engage in aggressive farming and get genuine support from the government,” Adejare said.

He emphasized the need for a holistic approach to promote sustainable agriculture and empower farmers with the necessary resources.

Urgent Measures Needed

The UN report serves as a wake-up call for the Nigerian government to take immediate action to address the factors contributing to food insecurity.

Proactive measures, including leveraging technology, supporting farmers, and addressing climate change, are essential to prevent a severe hunger crisis by 2030. As the world population grows and the demand for food increases, it is crucial

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Emmanuel Ochayi is a journalist. He is a graduate of the University of Lagos, School of first choice and the nations pride. Emmanuel is keen on exploring writing angles in different areas, including Business, climate change, politics, Education, and others.

Emmanuel Ochayi is a journalist. He is a graduate of the University of Lagos, School of first choice and the nations pride. Emmanuel is keen on exploring writing angles in different areas, including Business, climate change, politics, Education, and others.

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