Following the outbreak of coronavirus in Nigeria, Agriculture Bureau Association of Nigeria has warned that if the uncoordinated production and distribution of foodstuff continue, the country is at risk of food shortages for large portions of the population, extreme inflation of food prices and massive food wastage.
The group of indigenous Agro Business investors in a statement signed by its coordinator, Suleman Dikwa and made available to the journalists warned that if the country fails to act now, it might be facing a crisis of food supplies as it has never seen before.
Dikwa who is also the Managing Director of Green Sahara farms said “having worked with farmers across all of Nigeria’s regions, food manufacturers and exporters, we believe it is time to organise ourselves to avoid a crisis in the food supply of our nation. This is an opportunity to bring key stakeholders to the table to rationalise activities and keep the food chain flowing.”
The Bureau harped on the need for government to immediately identify key players in the food supply chain, track levels of food availability and manage supply and distribution as this would require better linkages between users and producers.
Dikwa pointed out that with fewer air travels and government scaling down waste, more resources would be available in the system hence the need for states to start saving as Nigeria now has the potential to grow its own food and live healthier.
“We need to bring in all active players in the Agriculture and allied industry, the pharmaceutical companies, the logistic companies into an emergency mode and develop a strategy to keep our supply chain running”, he said.
The bureau, therefore, advised the need for farm camps, where only people working on the farms are isolated adding that the logistics can be worked out with drop-offs and pickups.
They said shutting down the food chain would kill more people than the virus stressing the need to take data of resources within our geographical area.