National Insecurity and the Challenges of Food Security in Nigeria
Nigeria has been overly dependent on oil for its foreign exchange earnings and government revenue since the oil boom of the 1970s. Prior to this period, the country was reasonably self-sufficient in food production and carved a respectable niche for itself as a major exporter of several cash crops. However, as agriculture lost its primacy to oil, it went into steady decline due to neglect by successive governments. The neglect led to mass abandonment of farms resulting in extreme peasantization of the sector. A related negative fallout was Nigeria’s transition from food self-sufficiency to food-dependency and attendant massive importation to bridge food gaps. However, efforts are being made by the government to reposition the agricultural sector to boost its productive capacity and make it competitive. The major task of this study is to evaluate Nigeria’s quest to achieve food security against the backdrop of national insecurity. Considering the categorization of Nigeria as food insecure, the study examines the interconnection between national insecurity and food production as a prelude to the actualization of food security. The study relies on primary and secondary data to evaluate the feasibility of food security in the face of sustained insecurity across the country. The study finds that the achievement of food security would be impossible if the insecurity that pervades and envelopes farming communities is not resolved.
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