The Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo in his remarks delivered virtually at the preparatory meeting of the United Nations Food Systems Summit 2021 on Tuesday expressed sadness over the rising cases of post-harvest losses of agricultural produce in Nigeria.
At the Pre-Summit which is a prelude to the culminating global event scheduled for September 2021, in Rome, Italy, Osinbajo blamed the losses on poor storage, poor rural infrastructure and non-automation of food processing.
This revelation was made by the Senior Special Assistant to the Vice President on Media and Publicity, Laolu Akande, in a statement titled, ‘Why we are transforming our food systems, by Osinbajo’.
Osinbajo was quoted as saying, “Post-harvest losses in Africa, and particularly in Nigeria, are more than 20 per cent of production for several food groups.
“This is due mainly to poor storage, poor rural infrastructure and non-automation of food processing, amongst other things.
“The situation in many African countries is given increased urgency with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has led to growing levels of acute food insecurity.
“This is of great concern to all of us, especially if we recall that before the pandemic, the prevalence of severe food insecurity was as high as 22 per cent.”
According to him, transforming Africa’s food system would require the active mobilisation and prioritisation of both public and private investments. This explained the resolve of the Federal Government in complementing existing development plans, sectoral strategies, and prioritising investments in specific innovations and technologies to transform food systems in the country.
The Vice President affirmed that the Nigerian government was committed to addressing the drivers of food insecurity such as food inflation, changing consumption patterns and climate change, amongst other things.