From Caucasoid to Negroid, Mongoloid to Australoid, the 7.8billion United Nation global population estimate has one thing in common; regardless of the dietary type, food remains the most basic need for human survival. Rationally, it’s expected that people have access to 3 meals a day, 7days a week, 4 weeks a month and 12 months a year. By implication, the food need of an individual according to dietary metric is approximately 1,008 times in a year. A multiplier effect of 1,008 in the tunes of the 7.8billion food consumers is a huge task for the spatial stratum of food producers.
The impending global hunger and threat to food security, warrant the urgency to address the whole processes of food transformation from pre-production phase to consumption. Food Aid Foundation posited that one in nine people on earth does not have enough food to lead a healthy active life. Now, bringing it home, Sub-Saharan Africa has been tipped to have the highest prevalence of hunger, a further analysis showing about 45 percent mortality in children under five. Hence, a wake-up call to build resilience in agriculture to meet the rising demand of the teaming population, secure our future and ensure perpetuity.
More so, the declining ratio of food producers to food consumers in the rapidly urbanizing world is alarming. And it is no news this urbanization is explicated by a rapidly growing network and aggregation of labour force in industrial and service sector whilst endangering the supply streak of food producers. More often than enough, these unsung heroes have been relegated to the back end of major happenings in the cities, forgetting that the golden course meal on the rich man’s table is the product of the toil of the hand that gets dirty.
Reflecting on the enormous challenges faced by farmers in Nigeria, food production has been plagued with myriad challenges spanning through the informative decision stage to post harvest predicaments. Similarly, the marketing chain is faced with daunting challenge of recurring gluts cemented with price volatility. Farmers groin in regrettable trauma of figuring out a worthy compensation for their earnest toil whilst seeking a better strategy or safe practices. How will it be, if they could be liberated on the cloaks of data-driven information system, appropriate for decision making. It is therefore expedient to preserve the passion of these savior of masses and elites; that are locked out of the big share in the metropolis, by advocating for sustainable development engendered in real data that reflect their needs.
As far as this sector is concerned, decision making has to be result driven and socially inclusive. In this regard, technology could be gainfully employed in building a robust agricultural database. This will in no wise build a support system for policy frameworks, helping farmers, governments and both indigenous and international donors make informed decisions.
Towards a food sufficient economy, the Community of World Food Security (CFS), has identified the importance of agricultural data and analysis as a key pivot in its thematic workstreams in making a difference in Food Security and Nutrition. CFS’s multi-year programme of work for 2020 to 2023 reflected data collection and analysis as a critical player in global policy guidance for policy convergence and coherence to achieve food security, improve nutrition and promote the progressive realization of the right to adequate food.
From the foregoing, in pursuit of the global goal on zero hunger, the impetus to drive agricultural production to sufficiently cater for the global food demand is a major concern. And the pathway to achieving this is in a holistic approach to making effective production decision, strategizing on the drawing board with an underlying insight from what data reveals. To achieve this, it is essential that efficient agricultural database is put in place, where quality data is at a click away to prospective users. Through this, many producers can be reached by a well-coordinated pluralistic set of providers in a manner that is financially sustainable and meets development objectives.
For Fooddata Nigeria.