According to world vision, (2022), food crisis occur when rates of hunger and malnutrition rise within a short period of time at local, national, or global levels. The war between Ukraine and Russia has so far threatened a massive shortage of food supply across the world. Prior to the current unrest, Ukraine exported about 6 million tons of food-based products to countries in Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. Today, only about 1m tons are exported. In Russia, there have been price spikes and supply chain disruptions.
Just as the world slowly recovers from the sordid effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on food and economic growth, it is once again hit by another tragedy – the Ukraine-Russia war.
The two countries together supply around 30% of global wheat exports and since the war started, there has been a surge in prices similar to the 2008 global food prices.
How other countries are preparing for a potential food crisis?
Countries like Afghanistan are preparing for potential food crisis by creating a well-coordinated scale of humanitarian food assistance alongside increased agricultural livelihood support. The UN’s World Food Programme(WFP) is working with farmers and training Women, creating jobs to support the local economy, and investing in climate adaptation projects so that families can grow their food.
Action against hunger, humanity and inclusion and other partners are working alongside farmers in The Democratic Republic of Congo by distributing some basic vegetable farming tools and training 63 relay farmers who would pass on the newly acquired knowledge to other people in their community. Some of these skills being taught and passed on include vegetable garden practices, how to recognize soil suitable for vegetable production, and how to plant seeds.
In Ethiopia, Mercy Corps is giving people access to education and enabling them to diversify their income. They believe in the power of transformative education so are educating families on a balanced diet and health. Herders are connected to markets where they can buy medicine for their animals, local veterinarians are also trained. Mercy Corps also partnered with the government to regulate its early warning systems network. It surveys things like rain and market information to foresee food scarcities before they happen.
In South Sudan, WFP is assisting people with cash to buy food and other basic needs in the communities. They are also training young people in food-related programs to boost knowledge and practice.
Is Nigeria Prepared?
Food production in Nigeria is limited. One of the reasons for this is that food is still imported even with our vast arable land. Nigeria imports fertilizers from Russia and due to the ongoing war, the import has been uncertain.
Food crisis in Nigeria needs to be combatted and to do that, food production needs to be increased. This can be effectively carried out by using modern tools and equipment for farming. Mechanizing farming will encourage the farmers, boost production and make farming faster. Also, reliance on imports needs to be reduced by introducing alternative sources of fertilizer. Another method to adopt is to encourage veterinary medicine by providing better drugs and care for animals farmed for consumption.