Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun has identified hunger and malnutrition as the greatest challenges confronting the world today, canvassing for joint efforts towards addressing the issues.
The Governor who spoke at an event marking 2020 World Food Day, at the Arcade Ground, Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta, observed that it was imperative to increase food production towards achieving global food security and reduction in incidences of hunger and malnutrition around the world.
“It is important to note that eradicating hunger and malnutrition are of the greatest challenges of our time. Little wonder that even the United Nations recognises the need to fight hunger and unhealthy diets, as part of the global Plan 2030 as indicated in Goal 1 (poverty) and goal 2 (Zero Hunger) of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
“This shows the importance of fighting hunger as the stimulus for socio-economic development. It goes without saying that ‘one cannot think well, love well and sleep well if one has not dined well’, he noted.
Quoting from the Food and Agricultural Organisation report, Prince Abiodun said over 850 million people were suffering from chronic undernourishment out of which 60 percent were women, while one in nine persons, experienced chronic hunger and almost five million children under the age of five die of malnutrition-related cause globally every day.
” Today is a day of action, dedicated to tackling global hunger and a day to draw attention to the plight of the hungry and malnourished people across all races, creeds, and continents”, he said.
The Governor while describing the theme of this year’s celebration, “Grow, Nourish, Sustain Together” as suitable to the country’s peculiar circumstances, however, lamented that though food is essential to life and the bedrock of the society,
He said many still go without it or could hardly afford to have it, even once in a day, adding that preserving access to safe and nutritious food would continue to be an essential part of his administration’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly for the poor and vulnerable.
Governor Abiodun maintained that agriculture was the major pillar of the present administration, saying many programmes including the Flag-off of the Central Bank of Nigeria’s Anchor Borrowers’ Programme, the launching of FADAMA Graduate Unemployment Youth Scheme, facilitation of CBN’s credit facilities to 10,000 farmers across the State, where some of the steps taken to enhance the fortune of farmers and encourage other people to return to farms.
He said the State is the largest producer of poultry in the country, as it has graduated 54 participants who took part in the Ogun State Broilers Project, while a Joint Ogun International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD) Value Chain Project is ongoing across the State.
Speaking earlier, the State Commissioner for Agriculture, Dr. Adeola Odedina, while stressing the importance of land to Agric-Business, disclosed that the State. Government has ordered the review and reform of the process of land access to ease of doing Agriculture.
He said despite numerous challenges, the government was able to confront them by using agriculture as an opportunity to provide food, jobs, industrialisation, generate foreign exchange earnings and ensure the well-being of the people.
Press Officer, Office of the Governor