Policy Dialogue on Food Security in Nigeria:The Communiqué
The Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) with support from Oxfam in Nigeria organized a one day Policy Dialogue Session on Food Security in Nigeria. The dialogue was held at the Bolton White Hotel, FCT, Abuja on 7th January 2013. The meeting had 37 participants comprising of representatives of members of various House Committees in the National Assembly. Committees on Women Affairs, Agriculture, Environment as well as staff Ministry of Environment, Women Affairs, National Emergency Management Agency, Women Community Centre, CSOs and participation from media representatives.
During the dialogue, a key presentation was delivered on the ‘Trouble shooting the role of Civil Society Organization as Principal Actors in the Policy Process for Food Security in Nigeria’. The dialogue was aimed at creating a platform for interaction between members of the Legislature, the Executive, Media and Civil Society to foster collaboration toward the achievement of Food availability, affordability and accessibility in Nigeria. The dialogue also had the objective of
creating needed synergy for, evaluating and interrogating the progress towards Food security in Nigeria. At the end of the discussion, the meeting had the following observations and recommendations;
1. Corruption still remains a threat to food security in Nigeria as it is still widespread, severe and multi-dimensional and requires a holistic strategy to deal with.
2. The issue of policy inconsistency, poor policy implementation and replication of institutions by successive regimes, is counter-productive to evolving efficient and sustainable food security in Nigeria.
3. Women constitute a large proportion of the population involved in agriculture but are still greatly marginalized in the socio-economic and political configuration of agricultural policies and access to land and agricultural facilities.
4. The awareness on food nutrition is still relatively low resulting in poor food use and inadequate nutrition among households especially in rural communities.
5. There is a gap in policy leading to the exclusion of youths from participating fully in development and agriculture and food production in particular.
6. The regulatory mechanisms in the value chain of food production and distribution is weak resulting in high prices and making it unaffordable to many especially amongst the vulnerable groups.
7. There is no policy support that encourages all year availability of food leading to glut and wastages during harvest and subsequently, scarcity and high prices.
8. The collaboration of government and CSOs in the areas of Food Security is relatively weak.
1. All stakeholders should intensify efforts to stamp out corruption in the agricultural sector and food security policy implementation.
2. Government should ensure policy consistency, strengthen and streamline relevant institutions to achieve optimal Food Security policy implementation.
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3. Government policy processes should be inclusive of women participation and empowerment especially those domiciled in the rural areas.
4. Government, CSOs and all relevant institutions should improve in awareness of nutritional at all levels to secure people against malnutrition.
5. Government should provide an enabling environment and incentive to encourage youth participation in Agriculture.
6. Government should strengthen existing regulatory institutions to increase yield in food affordability and accessibility across the entire value chain.
7. Government should focus on programs that will promote irrigation, adequate storage facility, mechanize farming, enlightenment, etc ensure steady production and availability of food production all year round
8. CSOs need to build adequate capacity to be able to strengthen collaboration with government in the area of Food Security in Nigeria.
Participants thanked CISLAC and Oxfam in Nigeria for providing the platform for the dialogue as it would serve to further strengthen progress towards the attainment of Food Security in Nigeria.
Auwal Ibrahim Musa (Rafsanjani)
Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre
LAZ-EKE MILLICENT (MRS)
House Committee on Women Affairs
ONYEMEREKWE C.I. (MRS)
House Committee on Agriculture
International Organisation for Youth Advocacy & Development (IOYAD)
MR. MONDAY OSASAH
African Centre for Leadership, Strategy and Development (Centre LSD)