The UN Development Programme (UNDP), on Thursday, warned that Nigeria might experience food shortage, if urgent interventions were not put in place to enhance food production.
Prof. Emmanuel Oladipo, Lead Consultant, UNDP project on “Targeting Interventions to Foster Sustainable and Resilient Food Security in Nigeria”, gave the warning in Abuja in an interview.
“There’s a general concern that if care is not taken, many parts of Nigeria will suffer from severe food insecurity,” he said.
“To ensure that food security does not add more to the problems that we already have, the Global Environment Facility is supporting Nigeria to develop and implement food security projects.
“The support is to develop and implement projects in Nigeria to foster sustainable and resilient food security systems, which means in the area of production, marketing, processing and value-chain.
“The main aim of the project was to ensure that the country’s food production system is preserved, irrespective of unforeseen challenges.
“The project is sustainable, meaning it can continue; resilient, in the sense that it can absorb shocks and bounce back.
“So, even, if there are climatic shocks, the food production system will not be completely wiped out,” Oladipo said.
“It is unfortunate that the tomato issue came up but it shows again that when the land is good to us, a time will come that it might be weak.
“We keep using the land the same way; every time, the same fertiliser is applied; we keep using a lot of bad, drainage water to wet the land for tomatoes.
“It is all these, which many people don’t see, that are reacting, creating a lot of fight back that is allowing this tomato pests now to destroy the crop.”
He, therefore, called for an integrated approach in proffering solutions to the tomato crisis rather than waiting for a crisis to develop before struggling to address the problem.