“Our Actions are our Future, #A ZeroHunger World by 2030 is possible.” Is the theme for this year’s World Food Day 2018. A modest ceremony marking the day was organized by Hope for life Initiative in collaboration with Afreximbank. The event created awareness on eliminating Hunger and ways to improve the livelihood of Nigerians. The event created an opportunity for participants to share experiences, make comments and ask questions.
The event began with the introduction of key note speakers and guests. Following was the welcome address by the Project Co-ordinator of Hope for life initiative, Mrs Ebare. According to the project Coordinator marking the World Food Day was important because “it is a platform to tackle hunger particularly in our work with children and widows”.
“We realise the importance of food security and the need to raise awareness and to gather greater support and understanding to the approaches that can help to end hunger in Nigeria and the rest of the world. It is something we all, not just as members of the civil society sector but as citizens of this great nation must work to achieve”.
This fact she said was reiterated by the Secretary General in his message on World Food Day marked on the 16th of October. “In our world of plenty, one person in nine does not have enough to eat. About 820 million people still suffer from hunger
The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Chief Audu Ogbeh was also represented by Mr. Ogunwale Joseph Adebiyi, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development South West Region. At the event, he spoke on the need for everyone to provide solution to hunger and sufficient food production: which been a major focus of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development under the President Buhari lead administration. He further said that the Federal Government of Nigeria through the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, has committed itself in tackling food insecurity and ensuring Nigeria becomes a food Sovereign Nation in Africa through its Green Alternative programme and Agricultural Promotion Policies. The Federal Government had introduced an array of Agricultural programmes to ensure food security and the long term economic growth of the Nation. Over the years, Nigeria Agricultural sector has been focusing on the conventional paradigm of harnessing resources to sustain food security and that presently, the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development is committed to making the sector a pivot for economic stabilization in diversifying, generating employment and creating wealth in the country.
Mr. Adebiyi reiterated the Ministry’s position over the years in promoting the culture of best practices in Agricultural development through improving access of farmers to inputs and credit facilities in rural areas, employment generation, building a national extension system and driving agriculture through commodity value chain approach.
He said, there was no doubt that Nigeria can become a food secured Nation with the vast Agricultural lands it has, the over 70 million population of farm workers and the many policies Government always brings. What the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development is doing to achieve these is that we have created the enabling environment by ensuring access to inputs and loans, agricultural machinery to support Nigerian farmers.
Therefore as part of the Federal Government effort for sustainable food production through Agriculture Mechanization, the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with John Deere/NAMEL Tractors Manufacturing Company for the deployment of 10,000 Units of tractors under a special hiring scheme. In addition, the Federal Government is also poised to establish Agricultural Equipment Hiring Enterprises across the 774 Local Government Areas of the country. This scheme will bring solution to the challenges of mechanization in Nigerian Agricultural sector which is a major challenge of large scale Agricultural production in Nigeria and ensure that small holder farmers have access to available, accessible and affordable farm gate mechanization services for optimum yield per hectare.
Making the call, for both individual and collective efforts and also collaborations and partnerships from the public and the private sector was Mr. Godwin Aster International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) Communications and Knowledge expert, Representing Deputy Director General Mr Mr Kenton Dashiell. According to Mr Aster, the event today particularly for IITA reminds us of our collective decision to end hunger by 2030. He thanked the Deputy Director, partnerships and Delivery, Mr Kenton Dashiell for making his trip here possible. Unlike the millennium development goals that ended in 2015, the sustainable development goals takes a bottom up approach requiring that countries themselves not just develop strategies but implement the strategies and programmes to meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGS)
At IITA we are optimistic that the attainment of SDG’s in particular the SDG number two which is zero hunger is possible if we make a departure from mere rhetoric to action. We believe the attainment of zero hunger by 2030 requires concrete and deliberate efforts towards the attainment of zero hunger.
Also, Speaking at the event was Mr. Dodoyi West, Deputy Director Food National Agency For Food and Drug Administration and Control Representing Director General NAFDAC, Prof. Moji Christianah Adeyeye. He reiterated the role of NAFDAC in the food sector. He again emphasized the importance of NAFDAC whose primary responsibility is to facilitate, to regulate the production and processing of food production. He spoke of the importance of regulation not only in production but in exports and distribution including sales and advertisement and the use of these products. “To meet this expectation, we should as partners ensure that food is produced, processed, transported and stored under hygienic conditions that meet the relevant quality and safety criteria”, he noted.
The high point of the event was the presentation of Gift Certificate by Radisson Blu Hotel and a Free ticket by Rwanda Air.
Lasena Water also had a free Gift voucher for all guest present with ten percent off all online purchases.
At the close of the presentations, Goodwill messages where taken, first by Dr. Omolaso Omosehin
United Nations Population Fund(UNFP). Ass. Rep/Head Lagos Liaison Office. In his good will message, he spoke on the importance of this year’s theme. “Our Actions, Our Future, A #zeroHunger World by 2030 is possible. He said the World Food Day (WFD) was established by the member countries of FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization. Since then, the WFD is been observed in more than 150 countries every year; raising consciousness and knowledge of the problems and reasons behind hunger.
He then spoke on the activities of UNFPA, He stated that the United Nations Population Fund, formerly the United Nations Fund for Population, is a UN organization. It “is the lead UN agency for delivering a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe and every young person’s potential is fulfilled”. UNFPA programmes focus on improving maternal and new-born health, combating fistula and providing access to sexual and reproductive health of young people. Family planning measures aim to broaden access to high-quality services and improved management of contraceptives. Other efforts assist in producing key demographic data for development planning. He also made a call for stakeholders to sit up to ensure that more food will be produced. This will also mean that there will be enough food security.
Mr Dennis Onoise, Representing Head, Lagos liaison office, United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF). He apologised on behalf of the head, (UNICEF) Lagos LAISON office who could not be present due to a pressing commitment outside the country. He reiterated the commitment of United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund to attaining Zero Hunger by 2030.
According to him the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund was created by the United Nations General Assembly on 11 December 1946, to provide emergency food and healthcare to children in countries that had been devastated by World War II. Speaking on the importance of World Food Day, he said the day was very significant in raising awareness on the critical issues behind poverty and hunger. Also issues affecting children such as malnutrition.
All the speakers in their presentations thanked the initiators of the programme and also expressed their appreciation to Hope for life Initiative for contributing its quota to achieving this goal. The Zero Hunger goal.
Following was an interactive session with comments, and questions by participants. The event ended with the vote of thanks by Founder, Hope for Life Initiative Kendi Aig-Imoru who thanked the keynote speakers and their representatives and others for their excellent presentations. She also expressed her appreciation to all the invited guests and widows who attended the event. She closed with an inspiring quote by Martin Luther King,
“An individual has not started living
Until he rises above the confines of
His individualistic concerns to the
Broader concerns of all humanity”. So ZeroHunger by 2030 is Possible