- Former vice president Atiku Abubakar has called the federal government's attention to a report released by the FAO regarding the looming food crisis in northern Nigeria
- The PDP chieftain said famine in the north will have a national impact as the region is the country's food basket
- To avoid the impending food crisis, the former presidential candidate recommended three steps the Nigerian government should take
Atiku Abubakar, Nigeria's former vice president, has raised alarm over a looming acute food crisis in the northern part of the country.
In a statement posted on his verified Facebook page on Friday, July 30, Atiku said the warning given by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) on Thursday, July 29, of the looming food crisis should not be ignored.
The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic People (PDP) in the 2019 elections said the FAO's warning "should be seen and heard as a whistleblowing moment" that should attract the federal government's focus.
Saying that northern Nigeria is the nation's food basket, Atiku submitted that any famine in the region will have a national impact on the rest of the country and in the West African sub-region.
FG's laissez-faire approach to food insecurity regrettable - Atiku
Atiku also accused the federal government of adopting a laissez-faire approach to food security, saying such a stance is regrettable.
The former vice president said:
"Food security is a vital part of national security, and where this issue is not resolved, the resultant crisis may unsettle the nation and her immediate neighbours.
"Now is the time to proffer solutions, so that our countrymen and women do not starve in a land with so much prospective abundance."
Food security: How to avoid the looming crisis
Atiku further stated that the major cause of the looming food crisis is insecurity, noting that farmers can no longer go to their farms.
To address the crisis, the Adamawa-born politician recommended three solutions.
1. Establishment of Food Security Military Taskforce
Atiku advised the federal government to establish a Food Security Military Taskforce to provide security for the nation's farmers.
2. Temporary moratorium on all agriculture loans
The former VP further advised federal and state governments to place a temporary moratorium on all loans to the agricultural sector in the affected states in the northern region.
He noted that small, medium and large scale farmers cannot be expected to service debts when they are not even able to access their farms and other businesses in the agricultural value chain.
3. Provision of seedlings and fertilisers
Atiku also advised the federal government to provide free seedlings and fertilisers to the farmers.
He said the policy was implemented during the Goodluck Jonathan administration and helped to reduce hunger levels in the country.
The PDP chieftain was making reference to the e-wallet policy introduced by the former agriculture minister, Dr Akinwumi Adesina.
He advised the federal government to reintroduce and ramp up the policy.
Increase in prices of foodstuffs: Nigerians reveal what FG should do
Earlier, Legit.ng reported that many Nigerians identified insecurity as one of the major causes of the rising increase in the prices of foodstuffs.
They, therefore, advised the federal government to focus more on providing security for farmers as one of the steps to stop the price increase.
Source: Legit Nigeria