FOOD SYSTEMS POLICY PRESCRIPTION BLOG SERIES (FSPPBS) Number 2
|Sustainable Energy Security and Food Availability in Nigeria
Imuetiyan Elizabeth Omo-Irabor, No Hunger Initiatives Food and Energy Policies Researcher.
Nigeria, known as the giant of Africa with a population of about 200 million people has the fastest striving population in Africa with an annual growth rate of 2.6%. . However, between 2017 and 2019, on average 9.1% of population in Nigeria experienced hunger. Due to the fast-growing population, the demand for food is increasing and the problem of food insecurity among the Nigerian populace is rising .
Nigeria’s agricultural sector which comprises of growing of crops and rearing of livestock plays a vital role in the economy. It accounts for 20% of Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Profit (GDP) . Similarly, it is a major source of employment; about 70% of households in Nigeria participate in crop farming activities and 41% own or raise livestock .
One of the major challenges facing food availability in Nigeria is the issue of energy scarcity in the agricultural sector. Nigeria produces an abundant amount of food crops but a large portion of them is lost during harvest and others are lost because of poor storage facilities. A lot of attention is given to land clearing, fertilizer distribution and other agricultural inputs, but there is little or no consideration to the energy demand in the agricultural sector.
Globally, it is recognized in agricultural production and processing that energy is the second most important input besides land. Yet the agricultural sector in Nigeria has access to less than one percent of the total conventional energy supply in the country . Important activities that require energy inputs include agricultural activities (irrigation, land preparation and fertilization, livestock rearing operations); household activities (lighting, food processing and conservation, cooking); commercial activities (lighting, processing); community and social services (water pumping, lighting of communal buildings) .
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