Are you ready to indulge in another round of our monthly food news? We’ve got some exciting things to share with you this month, from the latest events to the challenges that the Nigerian food industry is currently facing.
In this month’s edition, we’ll be covering the devastating impact of Tomato Ebola, on Nigerian farmers, the ongoing struggle to achieve food security in the country, and the increasing food challenge affecting millions of Nigerians.
So grab a cup of your favourite drink, sit back, and let’s dive into what’s been happening in the Nigerian food space last month.
IN APRIL’S EDITION
- Tomato Ebola: Farmers Lose N1.3bn and 300 Hectares of Farm Land, Threatening Tomato Scarcity
- Why Nigeria Continues to Struggle with Achieving Food Security
- The Increasing Food Challenge in Nigeria
- How Stakeholders are Combating Nigeria’s Food Crisis and Malnutrition
- Nigerians and Traders Affected by High Food Prices and Low Sales During Easter
- A Feast to Remember: The 6th Edition of GTCO Food & Drink Festival
- Food Safety Concerns: Restaurants Using Spoiled Ingredients in Their Cooking
Tomato Ebola: Farmers Lose N1.3bn and 300 Hectares of Farm Land, Threatening Tomato Scarcity
Tomato farmers in Nigeria are facing a crisis as the Tuta Absoluta insect, also known as Tomato Ebola, is destroying tomato farms in various states in the country. The insect builds its home under tomato leaves, and it can destroy an entire farm within three days, leading to a scarcity of perishable items. Over 500 farmers in Kano alone have suffered huge losses due to the disease, and it is spreading fast, affecting other states such as Kaduna, Katsina, Jigawa and Gombe. At this time, The Secretary-General of the National Tomato Growers, Processors and Marketers Association of Nigeria, Sani Danladi, has called for a holistic approach to stop the spread of the disease, which is dangerous to human health.
Why Nigeria Continues to Struggle with Achieving Food Security
Nigeria is facing internal and external policy challenges that are hampering its efforts to achieve food security. These challenges include inadequate funding for the agricultural sector, climate change, insecurity of agricultural land and investments, insufficient value addition and agro-industrial processing facilities, and low agricultural exports. To address these issues, the country needs to collaborate more with international institutions like the FAO and adjust its relationships with regional and sub-regional institutions. Moreover, the government should also be more discerning about the suggestions made by developed countries against subsidies in agriculture in developing countries. These actions can help Nigeria achieve its food security goals.
The Increasing Food Challenge in Nigeria
The World Food Programme (WFP) has released a report stating that 64.3 million Nigerians, or 32% of the population, suffer from insufficient food consumption, and 170 million people in 19 countries in West Africa are facing acute food shortages. The dry season and high domestic food price inflation are expected to worsen food insufficiency in West African countries. Policies supporting Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, along with emergency response programs that include good governance, social development, and agricultural projects, may help address the food crisis in the region. Currently, around 2 million children in Nigeria suffer from severe malnutrition, and immediate action is necessary to tackle this food challenge to promote human development and a healthy population.
How Stakeholders are Combating Nigeria’s Food Crisis and Malnutrition
Small-scale Women Farmers of Nigeria (SWOFON), Small-scale Women Farmers of Nigeria (SWOFON) has emphasized the importance of women’s participation in agriculture and rural economy development in Nigeria. SWOFON’s Ogechi Okebugwu stressed that women need access to information, land, funds, inputs, and education, as well as favourable loan facilities and easy access. Women also face inheritance issues and have limited access to land ownership, and when they lease land to cultivate, the owner may demand a return before harvesting. In response to the nutrition crisis and malnutrition in Nigeria, several state and federal governments have taken steps such as distributing farm inputs, establishing grazing reserves, and developing food security systems and logistics hubs.
Nigerians and Traders Affected by High Food Prices and Low Sales During Easter
Traders and residents in Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory complained about the high cost of foodstuffs and low patronage during the Easter celebrations. According to a report, traders have noted that there is no sign of festivity as the price of goods, especially foodstuffs, is high while patronage is very low. This situation is due to the hike in prices of various foodstuffs, which has caused customers to buy fewer goods.
The increase in the cost of foodstuffs has affected traders, reducing their profit margins, and has also caused a reduction in patronage. In addition, some frozen food dealers have complained about the poor electricity supply, which has damaged their goods. An economist has called on the Nigerian government to take practical steps to review its economic growth strategies and plans, as the situation is too tough and unbearable for Nigerians.
A Feast to Remember: The 6th Edition of GTCO Food & Drink Festival
The GTCO Food & Drink Festival held its 6th edition from April 29th to May 1st, 2023, and it was a weekend to remember! Food enthusiasts from across Africa and around the world came together for a gastronomic extravaganza.
For three days, the festival provided an endless feast of delicious foods and drinks, featuring the most talented and innovative chefs from around the globe. Attendees also had the opportunity to sample the best of Nigerian cuisine, with small business owners showcasing their culinary expertise.
Food Safety Concerns: Restaurants Using Spoiled Ingredients in Their Cooking
Some eatries restaurants use spoiled or rotten ingredients to save costs, posing a risk to customers’ health. Despite the dangers, this practice persists. Consumers must be vigilant and cautious when choosing and restaurants to protect themselves from food borne illnesses.
Nigerian On-Air-Personality, Vee, has expressed concern over unhygienic food items being used by some restaurant owners in Nigeria. In a Twitter thread, Vee shared her experience of visiting a store where she went to blend tomatoes and pepper she had bought in bulk. She was shocked to find a restaurant owner bringing in rotten tomatoes and pepper to be blended by the store owner, which she claimed was a common practice. Furthermore, Vee mentioned that a woman came to the store with a bowl containing items that belonged in the dustbin, instructing them to wash and grind. Vee’s tweets serve as an alarm for restaurant owners to prioritize hygiene in their kitchens and the need for customers to be mindful of where they eat.
The Solution – Pricepally for Business
Pricepally for Business is a program designed to cater to the needs of chefs, hotels, supermarkets, restaurants, hospitals, staff cooperatives, boarding schools, and anyone who runs a food business. With this program, you can enjoy the benefits of farm-fresh foodstuffs, deeper discounts for bulk purchases, next-day free delivery, efficient customizable service, and a dedicated relationship manager. These features are tailored to make your food business operations seamless, efficient and cost-effective. By partnering with Pricepally for Business, you can ensure that your business has access to high-quality foodstuffs while reducing your procurement costs. With the dedicated relationship manager, you can receive personalized attention and support for all your business needs. Let Pricepally for Business help take your food business to the next level.