13million Nigerians Face Starvation UNDP Warns

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Economy Specialist at the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) |  Intel Region

…Northern Nigeria to be worse hit

 

Olusola Bello

 

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) – Global Environment Facility (GEF) has said that the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO),had projected that an estimated 13 million people in the northern part of Nigeria faces the risk of acute food insecurity in the next few months.

Rhoda Dia, Project Manager, UNDP – GEF, in charge of Resilient Food Security Project, who disclosed this in Abuja, said the warning had become imperative because the country was facing growing levels of acute food insecurity due to decades of insecurity across the country.

She said the insecurity had resulted in increasing poverty and economic crises.

She said the situation has been worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic and recently, the series of clashes between farmers and herders.

She also said women, girls, and the elderly were the most vulnerable groups to climate change, adding that it was because they were highly exposed to climate risks.

According to her, the adaptive capacity of these groups was low, which according to her was constrained by the poor quality of access to, and control of resources.

She said they were more likely to live in poverty, as they were traditionally excluded from the decision-making process at local, national, and international levels.

She added:“Food production requires the use of valuable resources such as land, ecosystems, water, energy among others and its wastage results in high water and carbon footprint losses”

She also said  that the global estimate of agricultural waste produced yearly was approximately 1,000 million tonnes with the current market size for waste to energy of 30 billion dollars at a rate of 4.4 per cent.

The project manager said that, Nigeria’s palm oil production industry alone generated over 90 million tonnes of effluent annually.

“The country is also generating 4.34 million tonnes of rice straw and 0.9 million of rice husk, and has an estimated 19.5 million cows which also generates waste.

“With the increasing Nigeria population, it is projected that the quantity of agriculture waste generated in the country will triple in coming decades,” she said.

Ms Dia said that with respect to agricultural waste, there existed the potential of resourcefully reusing the materials to reduce environmental harm and boost soil fertility and farm productivity.

She said that the time was ripe for northern regions to tap into the potential present in converting agricultural wastes to energy as well as other economically viable re-purposed products.

Ms Dia said it was against this backdrop that Sonvisage Nig. Ltd. in collaboration with the UNDP- GEF- IAP Project was training extension agents from project communities.

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