UN Warns of Looming Food Crisis in Nigeria, 82 Million at Risk of Hunger by 2030

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The United Nations has issued a stark warning that 82 million Nigerians, accounting for about 64% of the country’s population, could face hunger by 2030 due to rising food prices, climate change, pest infestations, and other threats to agricultural productivity.

“The government of Nigeria, in collaboration with others, conducts an annual food security survey. This year’s results are alarming: approximately 22 million Nigerians will face food insecurity in 2023, and around 80-82 million are at risk of severe food insecurity by 2030,” said Taofiq Braimoh, UN official and representative of the Resident Humanitarian Coordinator of the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), at the launch of CropWatch in Abuja.

Braimoh emphasized the importance of leveraging technology to strengthen the agriculture sector and ensure food security. “Satellite-based crop monitoring can provide real-time data on crop conditions, aiding farmers and policymakers in making informed decisions,” he noted.

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The warning comes amid rising food prices in Nigeria, with the National Bureau of Statistics reporting a record high food inflation rate of 40.66% in May 2024. The country’s food inflation has averaged 13.42% historically, with the lowest rate of -17.50% recorded in January 2000.

Organized Labour has highlighted concerns over rising food prices and fuel scarcity, warning that the current situation threatens the survival of workers. Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Olisa Agbakoba, recently cautioned that a hunger riot could break out in Nigeria if the government fails to act swiftly.

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The FAO had predicted in 2023 that at least 2.6 million Nigerians in Borno, Sokoto, Zamfara states, and the FCT could face a food crisis between June and August 2024. A government-led Cadre Harmonisé analysis released in March 2024 indicated that approximately 4.8 million people in Borno, Adamawa, and Yobe states are experiencing severe food insecurity, the highest level in seven years.

 

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