The International Food Policy Research Institute has called on the Federal Government to put in place early-warning agricultural systems in order to avert sudden food crises across the country.
IFPRI is a global organisation that provides research-based policy solutions to sustainably reduce poverty and end hunger and malnutrition in developing countries.
In its latest Global Food Policy Report 2023, which was obtained by our correspondent in Abuja after its unveiling, the institute explained that early-warning, early-action systems would provide alerts of potential food crises.
It said such crises were identified as sudden and substantial increases in acute food insecurity, adding that the early-warning systems would also provide guidance to policymakers and international development agencies about needs for humanitarian action.
“To increase the effectiveness of early warning systems, it is important to expand the country’s coverage and frequency of consensus-based acute food insecurity analysis.
“Revise the protocol for declaration of a famine to ensure it is operational in conflict-affected locations, and better integrate the various types of early warning systems for food crises through much stronger collaborative efforts across responsible international organisations,” it stated.
The report further noted that to increase the effectiveness of early warning systems, Nigeria, as well as other nations, should improve the monitoring of risk factors and structural causes of crises to support the development of real-time early warning systems that could anticipate and potentially help prevent food crises through timely and well-targeted responses.
IFPRI presented the 2023 Global Food Policy Report at an event in Abuja that had representatives of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, the United States Agency for International Development, among others in attendance.
“A critical approach to food crisis response and challenge in Africa would not only focus on humanitarian assistance, which is usually short-term and expensive, but that would require repurposing the current public support towards food and agricultural development,” the Deputy Division Director, Africa Regional Office, IFPRI, Samuel Benin, stated.