The Food Problem

Nigerians need more food than is currently produced and imported into the country. Food demand is higher than the food supply in Nigeria, and so we are unable to meet our food needs. Although agricultural productivity has increased, it has been outpaced by population growth, insecurity, and climate change. As food is expensive, scarce and inaccessible, we have a food security problem.

The biggest challenge to the food security issue is our population. The UN suggests there will be 440 million Nigerians by 2050, meaning over 200 million more mouths to feed. If food production does not increase at a similar pace, there will be more starving Nigerians. And right now, food scarcity is amplified by poverty. The average Nigerian household spends almost 75% of their income on food.

Another cause of food insecurity is climate change. Climate change leads to intense droughts in dry areas and flooding in wetter regions, which means less agricultural land and food products. Worse, climate change may lead to conflict and violence which affect food production. Two major political disputes in Nigeria are tied to climate change and food security. In the Niger Delta, oil pollution has led to poor farming, and fishing conditions and farmers are finding it difficult to feed their communities. In the Middle Belt, desertification causes herders to move south to ensure that their animals are fed, but this comes at the cost of lost food crops to farmers. Hence, conflict ensues.

In summary food is expensive for a lot of families and is becoming even more expensive with year on year inflation. Low income earners and even middle class families most times do not have the salary increase to match these price increase. There lies a problem.


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