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UK envoy projects prolonged high food prices for Nigeria, others






The United Kingdom has projected that Nigeria and other African countries may for a very long time experience high food prices and food insecurity, saying issues with farm inputs, especially fertiliser and water, is going to be prolonged.


The food crisis situation in Africa was attributed to the impact of COVID-19 pandemic the Russia-Ukraine war, the rising cost of fertilisers as well as the impact of climate change on food production.


The UK Ambassador to Nigeria, Catriona Laing while delivering a keynote address at the Feed Nigeria Summit, stated that energy prices, restrictions on exporting of fertilisers, covid-19 pandemic and its disruptive effect on supply chains, as well as the ongoing Russia and Ukraine war may result in long term food security issues, among others.


Noting that Africa has been the worst hit by the global food crisis, the UK envoy stressed the need to intensify efforts so as to move Africa from being reliant on the rest of the world for food, to being self-reliant.


The high commissioner, who was represented by the Director, UK Department of International Trade, Africa Agric, David Burton, further noted that climate change has negatively impacted on Nigeria’s ability to fully maximize its agricultural sector, adding that climate change will make between 10 per cent and 25 per cent of land currently farmed un-farmable.


He said: “That is why the UK is investing £95 million through a new Propcom+ programme to support climate-resilient and sustainable agriculture in Nigeria. Propcom+ will support more than four million people to adopt and scale sustainable agricultural practices – such as improved climate-resilient seed varieties and integrated soil fertility management – that increase productivity and resilience, reduce emissions, and protect natural ecosystems.”


To address the current food crisis challenge in the country, the UK envoy stressed the need for finance, investment and official development assistance to bolster food production and address food insecurity.


She said the bureaucracy and extensive policies that restrict opportunities and deter investors and partners could be mitigated by building up the sector’s digital economy, which, if implemented properly, could reduce both costs and risks to support trade growth as it allows trade and related activities to become more efficient, less risky and less expensive.


In his remarks the Director-General, Feed Nigeria Summit Secretariat, Richard Mbaram, said the programme was organised to galvanise stakeholders in the agricultural sector to chart the way forward for the industry.

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