FOOD SECURITY AS A MEANS FOR NATIONAL SECURITY OF NIGERIA: LESSONS FROM BANGLADESH
Keywords:FOOD SECURITY, NATIONAL SECURITY OF NIGERIA
The relevance of food security to national security stems from the dependence on agriculture characterized by crop production, livestock, ﬁshery and aquaculture for sustenance of the economy, employment and poverty reduction as well as food being the most basic of human needs for healthy living. Yet, Nigeria is far from food security in spite of its enormous natural endowment and favourable agroecologies for self-sufﬁciency in food production. Accordingly, the study on ‘Food Security as a means for National Security of Nigeria: Lessons from Bangladesh’, investigated the challenges militating against attainment of food security for enhanced national security of Nigeria. The study revealed that the food security situation in Nigeria has led to increased food import bills which limit ﬁscal space against other national obligations, added to level of malnutrition, and is responsible for more than 60 per cent maternal and infant mortality of children under-ﬁve years. Some key challenges militating against food security in Nigeria are inadequate allocation and poor implementation of budgets for agriculture, weak agricultural research-extension-farmer linkage system, inadequate and poor infrastructural facilities, climate change versus poor irrigation system, and poverty and unemployment. There is prospect for self-sufﬁciency in food production towards food security arising from the abundant natural resource potentials in Nigeria. To overcome some of the identiﬁed challenges, it was recommended that the three tiers of government should increase annual budgetary allocations for agriculture capital expenditure to at least 10 per cent of annual capital budget; and collaborate to establish and fund ‘one stop’ private sectorled farm support centre in each of the 774 local government areas in Nigeria to provide agriculture extension services. The Federal Government of Nigeria could also initiate legislative process to establish Social Safety Net Programmes (SSNPs) and dedicate at least 2.5 per cent of the Federation Account as SSNPs Fund. The implementation of these recommendations would lead to food security for enhanced national security in Nigeria.
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