You Should Worry About Nigeria’s Hunger Crisis

October 18, 2022

On October 14, 2022, a German-based Welthungerhilfe and Dublin-based Concern Worldwide published the Global Hunger Index 2022 report which exposed an open secret about hunger levels in Nigeria.

The index has five levels of hunger — low, moderate, serious, alarming, and extremely alarming. Nigeria ranked 103 out of 121 countries with a score of 27.3 which signifies “serious” hunger levels. Last year, Nigeria held the same position and finished in the 98th position in 2020.

While “serious” may seem manageable because it’s an average score, we don’t need to get to an “extremely alarming” level before we realise there’s fire on the mountain and we should be running. Or doing something about it.

What’s responsible for Nigeria’s hunger crisis?

Why exactly is there a major hunger crisis in Nigeria? There’s a long list:

Floods

With the current flood situation happening in key food-producing states like Benue and Kogi, farmlands have been totally destroyed. A disruption in food production inevitably leads to scarcity and a severe hunger crisis. Experts have pegged the food inflation at 23.34% and they don’t see it slowing down anytime soon with the damage caused by the floods.

Image Source: AP

Insecurity

The activities of armed bandits, terrorists, and militants have affected food production and caused food inflation, and an increased reliance on imports. For safety reasons, many farmers have abandoned their farmlands, fled their communities, relocated to urban areas, or taken shelter in Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps. And when the farmers are not around to farm, how would there be food?

COVID-19

Even though the severity of the pandemic has reduced greatly, it’s needless to say that it caused way more damage than expected. Due to the lack of revenue coming into the country as a result of the lockdown, Nigeria had to borrow as usual

The country also slipped into its second recession in four years and food security took a hit we haven’t recovered from. 

The Russian-Ukraine War

Nigeria relies heavily on imports of major staple foods such as rice and wheat, but trade has been disrupted by the Russian-Ukraine war that started in February. With the two countries being major exporters of agricultural produce for Nigeria, food prices have increased to unimaginable highs. It also doesn’t help that enough local food isn’t produced. 

How can we escape the crisis?

Now that you know the causes, what can be our solution to the hunger crisis? Ending terrorism, responding well to the flooding crisis, and praying for the end of the Russian-Ukraine war are obvious answers, but those won’t happen immediately. So instead, here are some solutions that seem much simpler:

Cultivate the habit of buying food materials in bulk

When you buy food items in bulk, you’re almost always saving money. Plus, the more food you have, the lesser the need to buy more. It’s that simple.

Please, let’s slow down on imported foods

Food grown in Nigeria will always be cheaper than food imported elsewhere. Let that Basmati rice rest for once.

Avoid food wastage

It only goes without saying that we should exercise discipline in eating the foods we consume. For instance, don’t finish one bag of rice in a day. You never know if it’s going to be the same price as when you bought it.

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