Nigeria has suffered from a high level of food insecurity for a few years. This resulted from the neglect of food production because oil was discovered, and it quickly became the main export product. Food is an indispensable factor in the quest for social and economic development because it is different from any other commodity. Food is needed by everybody existing to survive and is a significant contribution to economic growth and development. As it stands, most of the food consumed in Nigeria is produced by Smallholder farmers who lack capital, skills, energy and other essential details that they would need to produce a larger quantity that will meet the nutritional requirement of the growing population. Food security exists only when all people, at all times, have physical, social and economic access to sufficient food that is safe and nutritious. The food needs to meet their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life. The United Nations Millennium Development Goals are some initiatives directed at eradicating food insecurity in the World. On the list of goals, the first Millennium Development Goals state that the UN was to eradicate extreme hunger and poverty in developing nations or reduce it by half by 2015. By 2016, the Sustainable Development Goals or Global Goals were created as a collection of 17 interlinked global goals designed to be a blueprint for achieving a better and more sustainable future for all. The United Nations General Assembly intends to achieve the sustainable development goals of eradicating hunger and poverty by 2030. As it stands, agricultural productivity is the key player if this is to be completed. Eradicating extreme hunger and poverty are the two SDGs that depend on agricultural productivity entirely to succeed.
CAUSES OF FOOD INSECURITY IN NIGERIA
One of the features of food insecurity is when people lack adequate nutrition due to a physical scarcity of food or their lack of access to good food. People who suffer from food insecurity usually find that their food intake falls below the minimum body requirements. They may also exhibit physical symptoms due to a deficiency in energy and vital nutrients. These are some of the final results of an inadequate or unbalanced. The significant causes of food insecurity include;
Any situation that causes a particular group to be denied access to participate in labour is a cause for considerable concern. Women often work as unpaid and self-employed workers on and off-farm employees, entrepreneurs, traders, providers of services and caretakers of children and the elderly. They play many roles in land use, production, distribution, processing, marketing accessing, trading and food availability. They make up at least 43 per cent of the agricultural workforce.
Policy inconsistencies and corruption
The poor performance rates of government agencies implementing food and agricultural policies have a severe setback on food production and distribution in Nigeria. Corrupt practices by department heads and government officials ensure that progress is not made in food production, storage and transportation, leading to a decline in food availability.
The increasingly significant role played by financial markets in the agri-food sector. This process affected food systems in recent decades and ensures that poor people cannot access healthy food because they cannot afford it. These people keep losing the mental and physical stamina required to work and earn money, and the cycle of poverty continues. The struggle against hunger and malnutrition is now hindered by market priorities and the need for profit, which has now reduced foodstuffs to a commodity like any other, that is subject to financial speculation and scarcity.
Climate change leaves a deep mark on food security in Nigeria in different ways. It affects crops, livestock, forestry, fisheries, and aquaculture. The climate change issues in Nigeria indirectly affect people's socio-economic conditions through agriculture, market effects, etc. The social and economic disturbance is observed with the changes in agricultural incomes, food markets, prices and trade patterns, and investment patterns. They can influence physical capital and force farmers to sell their cattle and fields to absorb income shocks.
Ethnic or religious conflicts have devastating effects on economic activities, especially food production and transportation in the areas where they occur. Conflicts here do not always mean the physical fighting of wars. Sometimes it can be a disarticulated country or society that is experiencing systematic violence and oppression.
One of the solutions to these issues raised is to foster an environment for new-age innovations to flourish. At Crop2Cash, we are promoting farming technologies, especially in finance, advisory and supply chain management. Nigeria has seen a rapid growth of agricultural innovations that offer digital solutions aiming to address the challenges faced by smallholder farmers and to improve their livelihoods. Around 90% of Nigerian farmers use manual farming methods, while only 3% use mechanized farming and farming technologies. Increasing mechanized farming in Nigeria will aid agricultural productivity, thus reducing food insecurity. Crop2cash exists intending to improve yield, efficiency, and profitability. We provide agricultural technology in products, services, and applications to enhance farming's various input/output processes.