Today on the podcast, Olumayowa Okediran, a Young Voices Advocate based out of Nigeria. Olumayowa wrote a piece in CapX titled “ Let us choose how rare our burgers are” and was kind enough to call into the podcast to talk abut it.
The United Nations (UN) has called for $5.6 billion in donations to fight a famine that threatens over 20 million people in Nigeria, South Sudan, Somalia, and Yemen. In Nigeria alone, upwards of 5 million people face acute food shortages.
In a country of over 170 billion people, there are fewer than 5,000 tractors.
Considering the progress Nigeria has made in food security since the 1980s, the country’s placement on the list is disheartening. While the UN’s efforts might bring temporary relief, the root causes of this famine must be addressed to prevent similar crises in the future. Boko Haram might be partly responsible for this crisis, but the reality is that Nigeria’s famine is worsened by protectionist policies that restrict agricultural trade and force Nigerians to depend on insufficient domestic food production.
Restricted Food Imports
In 1983, Nigeria averaged less than 2,000 calories per person per day. By 1998, Nigeria had caught up to the global average of over 2,630 calories. However, food production has dropped in recent years because Nigerian agriculture is stuck in the past. In a country of over 170 billion people, there are fewer than 5,000 tractors. Traditional small scale farming permeates the food production In Nigeria. Small plots a couple of hectares in size account for 90 percent of domestic food production. With a growing population, such small-scale production has become insufficient.
The most populous black nation in the world, Nigeria is witnessing a tense political and economic situation, along with internal mishaps. On the other hand, the President, Muhammadu Buhari, has been on a month’s long medical leave. In lieu of this, he has remained out of the country, in the United Kingdom since January 19, 2017. He was supposed to return back to work on the 6th February, 2017. However, in a written statement to the National Assembly, he informed the parliament of his desire to extend his leave in order to complete a pending series of tests recommended by his doctors.
The mysterious disappearance after brokering peace talks in the Gambia and a continued stay in the UK have led to deepening suspicions that his health is far worse than the reports claim. The 74-year- old former military dictator has been dogged by speculation about whether he was physically fit for office even before he took power in May 2015.