Nigeria is starving

Posted on 1 September 2018 by Makhosi Mahlangu

Nigeria is now the country with the highest number of extremely poor, with 87million Nigerians in abject poverty. In today’s Nigeria, one of the Major Problems of Food Production is Poverty. This is disheartening, but true. The country officially overtook India which has 73million of its population living in poverty. It is noteworthy that India’s poverty numbers appear more benign than Nigeria’s due to its high population. With an estimated population of 1.3billion, 5.26% of Indians live in extreme poverty. By comparison, 45% of Nigerians live in extreme poverty. Nigeria officially has more poor people who struggle to feed themselves.

Photo credit wikipedia

The falling trend in food supply has resulted in rising food prices, increased food importation and workers’ craving for higher wages. In spite of the various policy measures that have been adopted to curb the decline in the supply of the basic foodstuffs, no appreciable improvement appears to have been made.

Development economists and policy makers have in recent times focused attention on child poverty as a crucial aspect of poverty. The importance of the analysis of child poverty partly lies in the fact that children are the most vulnerable group in every society. The basic needs of children are different from those of adults; for instance, the dietary requirements of children are different from those of adults.

This poverty situation in Nigeria is unarguably worrisome and it demands urgent agricultural policies. Meanwhile, the weak growth in the formal economy suggests that employment in this space will be relatively inadequate to reduce poverty. The sector grew by 0.8% in 2017. In fact, employment in Nigeria’s formal sector does not guarantee a break from extreme poverty.

Nigeria might need to tilt towards an informal driven economy to create more employment and significantly reduce poverty. The formal sector of the economy, which represents the aggregate output, grew by 0.8% in 2017.5 This weak growth might not be enough to reduce poverty levels in the country. A new approach is expedient.

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