The Federal Government of Nigeria through the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD), held a Stakeholder Technical Meeting to deliberate on strategies to forestall the looming food insecurity in the country.
This was organised by the Department of Animal Husbandry Services (DAHS) of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development on Thursday 25th March 2021 in Abuja.
TheFact Nigeria reports that the African Development Bank (AFDB) projected that the pandemic will cause a 3.4% contraction in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2020; with West and Central Africa as potentially worst hit.
Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Food Programme (WFP) forecasted that the food crisis looming Nations will have a multiplier effect on other aspects of National life such as security, economy etc,
And that conflict-hit communities in North-East Nigeria, particularly, Borno, Adamawa, and the Yobe States would experience extreme hunger in the period 2020-21 due to the crisis bedevilling the region and the outbreak of COVID-19.
In view of the above, the Department of Animal Husbandry Services held a Stakeholder Technical Meeting on the impact of COVID-19 and flood on animal agriculture and deliberated on strategies to forestall the projected food insecurity in the country and also discuss interventions that will cushion the effects of the pandemic and prevent future crisis.
The Director of the Department of Animal Husbandry (DAHS), Mrs Winnie Lai-Solarin Services highlighted that the department is saddled with the mandate to coordinate livestock development policies, programmes, and interventions to attain self-sufficiency in animal proteins, production, processing, and marketing of livestock and livestock products nationally and for export, hence the move.
The current threat to food security in Nigeria arising from the impact of the global COVID-19 pandemic has been a major concern to all and sundry. Therefore the proactive steps mapped out by the ministry include:
-To identify the impact of COVID-19 on Animal Agriculture and develop strategies that will cushion the effect.
-To build individual capacity in the implementation of Livestock policies, and animal husbandry practices.
-Dialogue with DAHS Staff and refresh capacity in Global Best Animal Husbandry Practices.
-To develop a special intervention that will reduce the impact of the pandemic, effect of floods, as well as meet the protein needs of the country.