There is none denying the fact that food is the essence of life as man cannot live without food for so long; hence, food has become an instrument of national power. It is within that imperatival need for food that this paper takes a cursory look at the issue in all its ramifications. The paper with a comprehensive review of Nigeria’s agricultural policy noted that much still needs to be done if the crisis in the sector will not escalate more so, in a supposedly democratic dispensation which expectedly should promote the value of welfarism. The paper infers that Nigeria needs to come up with food policy which for now it lacks. What public policy makers pursue is merely an agricultural policy that still suffers enormously from a wide gap between intent and actual practices
- Background of the study
Food insecurity is a major problem worldwide and it is especially widespread in sub-Saharan Africa of which Nigeria is a major part. Food insecurity and hunger are two sides of the same coin and one cannot analyze one without analyzing the other. The problem of food insecurity is especially critical as World Bank data reveals that about 90 percent of Nigeria’s agricultural output comes from inefficient small farms. Also, most farmers do not even grow enough food to feed their own families. UNICEF statistics says that about 65 percent of our population is ‘food insecure’. Clearly, we are just a little away from a food crisis. The problem of food insecurity is not just limited to Africa alone, rather it is a worldwide phenomenon. Just as there have been cases of food crises in such African countries as Cote d’Ivoire, Cameroun, and Egypt, cases have also been recorded in such non-African countries as Indonesia, Peru and most recently, Haiti. This shows that food insecurity and the resultant food crisis is not peculiar to Africa alone but is most prevalent in most LDCs all around the world thereby making it a development problem. It is also a global issue and hence it should be treated as one. The general objective of this paper is to explore the concept of food security, appraise its impact on Nigeria, Africa, and the global economy as well as the implications food insecurity portends if we fail to tackle it now. Even though our major outlook will be the global economy, special reference will be made to Nigeria from the perspective of our efforts since independence to remain food secure and the policy models that have been implemented over time to achieve this. An inquiry will be made into the causes of food insecurity in Nigeria and then globally Food is a basic necessity of life, this is due to the fact that it is a basic means of sustenance also an adequate food intake, in terms of quality and quantity, is a key to a healthy and productive life. In Nigeria, food is important also because it accounts for a substantial portion of the typical Nigerian household budget.
Food security as defined by FAO, exists when all people at all times, have physical, social and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs and food preferences for a healthy life. Household food security accordingly is the application of this concept to the family level with individuals within these households as the focus of concern.
This definitional framework assumes that four major elements constitute food security. They include availability, adequacy, accessibility and sustainability of access. Availability connotes the physical appearance of food in large amounts, accessibility suggests sufficient purchasing power or ability to acquire quality food at all times while utilization demands sufficient quantity and quality of food intake. These elements of availability, accessibility, utilization and sustainability embrace the supply, demand and adequacy of food at all times. Food insecurity by contrast, exists when people do not have adequate physical, social or economic access to food as defined above. In considering food insecurity, it is necessary to also look at undernourishment and other related terms. Undernourishment exists when caloric intake is below the minimum dietary required intake (MDER). The MDER is the amount of energy needed for light activity and to maintain a minimum accepted weight for attained height.
Food security is regarded as the physical and economic access to adequate food by all household members without the risk of losing the access. The USAID’s concept of food security is made up of three key elements; food availability, food access and food utilization and newly added; “the risks that can disrupt any of the first three”.
There are therefore four major elements of food security. They are food availability, food access, food utilization and not loosing such access. Availability, access and utilization are hierarchical in nature. Food availability is necessary but not sufficient for food accessibility and access is necessary but not sufficient for utilization.
1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
The problem of development and food crises in emerging economy is alarming because food insecurity is a threat to human existence. In Nigeria food insecurity has led to retrogression and rural urban migration. Food insecurity can lead to inflation when the demand for food is more than the supply or more than what is needed the country has to rely on importation which also has effect on the national income of the country. In Nigeria 60% percent of food items are imported which has led to the country being termed as a dependent economy.
- OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDIES
The main objective of this study is development and food crises in emerging economy, however the researcher wishes to achieved the following objective:
- The importance of food security in and emerging economy
- The dangers of food insecurity in Nigeria
- The relationship between food security and economic development
- The benefit of food security in an emerging economy.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTION
For the successful completion of the study, the following research questions where formulated:
- What is the importance of food security in Nigeria?
- What are the dangers of food insecurity?
- What is the relationship between food security and economic development?
- What are the merits of job security in an emerging economy?
- SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
It is conceived that at the completion of the studies, the findings will be beneficial to the farmers who are the primary producer of farm product or food in the country, the study will also be of benefit to ministry of agriculture, NAFDAC and other agency who are responsible for protection and production of food items in the country. the study will also be of benefit to the academia, students, researchers and the general public.
- SCOPE AND LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
The scope of this study covers food development and food crises in an emerging economy, however the research has some constrain which are:
- a) AVAILABILITY OF RESEARCH MATERIAL: The research material available to the researcher is insufficient, thereby limiting the study
- b) TIME: The time frame allocated to the study does not enhance wider coverage as the researcher have to combine other academic activities and examinations with the study.
- c) FINANCE: The finance available for the research work does not allow for wider coverage as resources are very limited as the researcher has other academic bills to cover.
1.7 DEFINITION OF TERMS
Food is any substance consumed to provide nutritional support for the body. It is usually of plant or animal origin, and contains essential nutrients, such as carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, or minerals. The substance is ingested by anorganism and assimilated by the organism’s cells to provide energy, maintain life, or stimulate growth.
Historically, people secured food through two methods: hunting and gathering and agriculture. Today, the majority of the food energy required by the ever increasing population of the world is supplied by the food industry.
Food safety and food security are monitored by agencies like the International Association for Food Protection, World Resources Institute, World Food Programme, Food and Agriculture Organization, and International Food Information Council. They address issues such as sustainability, biological diversity, climate change, nutritional economics, population growth, water supply, and access to food
An economy is an area of the production, distribution, or trade, and consumption of goods and services by different agents in a given geographical location. Understood in its broadest sense, ‘The economic is defined as a social domain that emphasizes the practices, discourses, and material expressions associated with the production, use and management of resources’. Economic agents can be individuals, businesses, organizations, or governments. Economic transactions occur when two parties agree to the value or price of the transacted good or service, commonly expressed in a certain currency, but monetary transactions are only a small part of the economic domain.
- ORGANIZATION OF THE STUDY
This research work is organized in five chapters, for easy understanding, as follows
Chapter one is concern with the introduction, which consist of the (overview, of the study), statement of problem, objectives of the study, research question, significance or the study, research methodology, definition of terms and historical background of the study. Chapter two highlight the theoretical framework on which the study its based, thus the review of related literature. Chapter three deals on the research design and methodology adopted in the study. Chapter four concentrate on the data collection and analysis and presentation of finding. Chapter five gives summary, conclusion, and recommendations made of the study.