Nigeria : UN says West Africa’s food economy may hit $480 billion by 2030

  • 16 March 2022 / News / 448 / Fares RAHAHLIA

Nigeria : UN says West Africa’s food economy may hit $480 billion by 2030

The United Nations in Nigeria has projected that the food economy in the West Africa and Sahel sub-region would hit $480 billion in 2030 with the non-agricultural sector accounting for 49 percent of the value added.

The Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for the United Nations in Nigeria, Matthias Schmale, stated this yesterday in Abuja at the 13th Multidisciplinary Team Meeting with the theme: “Joining Efforts to Build Resilient Agrifood Systems in West Africa and Sahel”.

Schmale, who attributed the expected growth to the systemic approach undertaken by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) in securing the development gains in the fight against hunger, tasked West African countries to seize the opportunities for building resilient agri-food systems in the region.

These significant trends, he said, provide great prospects for the West African food system to increase production, value addition, job creation, and food security.

According to him, it is a big concern that over the years, countries in West Africa and the Sahel have witnessed the negative impacts of climate change, a declining natural resource base, recurrent natural and human-induced disasters, and rising insecurity.

“All of these have adversely impacted agri-food systems, causing agric production and yields in the sub-region to be the lowest in the world. COVID-19 significantly worsened the food security situation of many households in the region, especially poorer households”.

He stressed the need to align the FAO strategic framework with the priorities to address structural policy constraints. In his remarks, FAO Representative in Nigeria and to the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Fred Kafeero, noted that the three-day meeting is aimed at deliberating on the current food and nutrition situation in the West African sub-region, its determinants, and mitigation measures.

He added that it would also offer an opportunity to enhance collaboration, joint planning, and mutual accountability in driving actions towards a resilient Agri-food Systems in West Africa and Sahel.

Kafeero said the FAO is putting emphasis on the area of data and analytics for generation of evidence to guide responsible investments and partnerships for food systems transformation.

“We are glad our partners from ECOWAS are joining us to advance food security and nutrition in West Africa and to contribute to knowledge sharing regarding challenges, threats, and opportunities to move agri-food systems in the region towards sustainability”, he added.

On his part, Minister of agriculture and rural development, Dr Mohammad Abubakar, who said Nigeria’s food and nutrition security still remains a big challenge despite the country’s modest achievements in the sector, assured of the federal government’s willingness to partner with FAO and other development partners in driving actions towards a resilient agrifood systems in the country in particular and in West Africa and Sahel in general.


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