Idiat Amusu, a lecturer at the Yaba College of Technology, Lagos, has raised the alarm that up to 60 million Nigerians go to bed hungry everyday.

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Amusu, who is the head of the department of Food/Agric Technology, said this while delivering a lecture titled ‘Reverse Engineering: Panacea to Waste Not, Want Not’ at the eighth inaugural lecture of the college on Thursday.

Shee described food insecurity as at a critical tragedy worldwide.

“Today, the issue of food insecurity worldwide is at a critical stage. All of us cannot deny that it is a tragedy of today that one billion people go to bed hungry everyday with a no better tomorrow,” she said.

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“Furthermore, it is uncomforting that over 200 million out of the figure come from the developing world, especially Sub-Sahara Africa with Nigeria contributing about one third of this population.

“That is to say that every day, about 60 million Nigerians go to bed hungry, this should challenge us as well as touch us deeply.”

Amusu appealed to the federal government to fashion out modalities for food security in order to reduce the level of hunger in the country.

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She said not being able to feed the populace is a serious factor that gives rise to multi-dimensional problems.

“Nigeria must increase food production through the development of relevant machinery and equipment to process and produce more food,” she said.

“Food insecurity is a major concern to majority of the developing world. Consequently, food production must clearly increase significantly to meet the future demands of an increasing and more affluent world population. We need to help ourselves, in addition to increasing food production.

“We need to develop the equipment for adequate processing and production to reduce hunger and become a food secure nation. One sure way and tested procedure that has elevated countries from not relevant to extremely relevant is to focus on development of all the relevant machinery and equipment that can kick-start our industries.”

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She argued that there was enough to reverse the situation but noted that lack of priority led to the current situation.

“Food insecurity, which has resulted in severe poverty, commenced when we left our cassava for wheat, our groundnut oil for palm oil, refined and packed back to us as vegetable oil,” she said.

“Today, we import food to sustain the nation and export our sweat abroad to enrich the farmers in Europe and other countries. Our farmers go to bed without food and our population is thrown into poverty.

“The burden is, therefore, on major agricultural producing countries to provide the world food supply to a point where innovative solutions that are culturally appropriate must be devised and implemented globally.

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“Countries must develop food systems focused at enhancing agricultural production technologies, food processing and preservation innovations. The food systems should also include food distribution capabilities and ultimately human health within the culture.”

Nigeria has a population of nearly 180 million people.



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