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World Food Day: Food waste, threat to food security – Minister



World Food Day: Food waste, threat to food security – Minister

By Doris Esa

The federal government says one of the biggest threats to food security in Nigeria is farm-to-fork food waste.

Agriculture and Rural Development Minister Dr Mohammed Abubakar made this known at a press conference on Friday as part of activities marking World Food Day 2021 in Abuja.

Abubakar expressed concern about national food security, saying the ministry had inaugurated the “Zero Reject” program to improve the quality of the country’s domestic production to local and international market standards.

“One of our biggest threats to food security in Nigeria is farm-to-fork food waste.

“To deal with this threat, we have launched the ‘Zero Reject’ program aimed at improving the quality of our domestic production to the standards of local and international markets.

“Zero Reject production would ensure an increase in the nation’s food supply for the people and income from export activities.

“The government will always protect farmers’ crops because that is the way to help them continue to produce and make the country sufficient with food.

“When farmers add value to their produce, it will reduce the post-harvest period and good storage practices will tackle the threat.

“So let’s focus not only on food production, but also on processing. The government is also looking at how to add value and transformation.

“We are adding value to cassava flour, and this will go a long way in reducing imports of wheat flour of which Nigeria is one of the biggest importers. We have investors who come to invest in storage facilities, ”he said.

Abubakar also stressed the need to promote research and development with technology to achieve food sufficiency in the country.

“Regarding research and development, on my first day at the ministry for the handover ceremony, I mentioned that research and development will be a key issue on which we will focus to energize the sector.

“We are engaged in research and development and even more in terms of intra and international levels, even here we are engaged with them, and we intend to take this to the next level because there are various cultures and seeds that we can improve to increase yields.

“So it is a high priority to achieve this, and it goes hand in hand with mechanization to ensure food security,” he said.

The minister, however, expressed optimism about the full launch of the National Livestock Transformation Plan (NLTP) to ensure that there is quality meat for domestic consumption and for export.

“We hope that the National Livestock Transformation Plan (NLTP) would solve all the problems associated with our animal production activities and ensure an adequate supply of quality meat for domestic consumption and export for foreign exchange earnings.” , did he declare.

Source: NAN

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