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Value Change Needed for Food Sustainability in Nigeria

By Kabir Singh and Mahek Uttamchandani

Nigeria has now become the 24th largest economy in the world, however, that is not due to the common man gaining more power and climbing the socio-economic ladder, but rather because of an exponential increase in multi-millionaires. Even though Nigeria is now sitting upon a cushioned economy, they are still severely underperforming in their economic output, which is inclusive of agriculture, both locally and internationally. This has caused rural regions of Nigeria to suffer greatly in poverty and hunger, where 80% of the population lasts on less than 1 USD/day. Nigeria is suffering this insurpassable problem, yet the International Fund for Agricultural Development has still placed the country first for agricultural development because of their production of yam, cassava, and cowpea. Despite this, the country has such a large community afflicted by starvation. These rural areas have lasted thus far due to subsistence farming, however, the absence of proper infrastructure and roads has caused them to be lacking in that department as well.

As stated by Isa Elegbede “Nigeria lacks enthusiasm for local products and often considers them inferior to imported food goods.” They also go so far as to mention that when oil companies began to inhabit the megacities of Nigeria, the country forgot its roots in agriculture. Not only that but, the country began to shrink away from localized products as mentioned before, which led to socio-economic issues and an economic decline, as well as a declination in food production within the country. So, it has been concluded, that unless something is done, Nigeria’s ability to sustain its growing population will decline.

A personal look on Food Security in Nigeria, as well as a system we created to aid the situation

Change starts from within. Something that is thrown about quite often with regards to making a difference or doing good. However, we fail to understand that we must first recognise the issue that needs changing, before we must fix it. Hence I think the most crucial way to help fix the issue of Zero Hunger when it comes to restaurants and hotels and just our food waste in general is changing our values and morals. This can be via a series of ways including:

  • Ordering just the right amount when going out, hence not causing too much to food to be made.
  • Make it a habit to ask the waiter how big portions are if you have never been to the restaurant/hotel before. This will give you an idea of how much you must order.
  • If there is excess food, don’t throw it away or leave it for them to clear up, and will eventually end up in a dump. Ask them to pack it for you, and if you see anyone homeless, or people who are deprived of food, give it to them.
  • Parents must instills morals into their children, and make sure they understand that if they don’t like their lunch given to them at school or when they are out or even at home: throwing it away is not an option. Food must be treated with the utmost respect, as it is a privilege to have. They must know that, and hence from a young age for them to put these values in practice when they’re older.

People believe that there is not much they can do with regards to helping the situation of hunger and starvation sitting in their living rooms, however that is not true. Simply by volunteering with organisations such as the Lagos Food Bank, you can make a significant difference in the life of a starving child, or a homeless man/woman on the road. So please, take the time to evaluate your economic stability, and truly ask yourself whether you can be doing even just a bit more to help someone in need. Tribes, Religion, Race are all things that divide us, but there is no point in being a devout anything or a proud member of something, if you aren’t fulfilling your duties as a human being.

Radisson Blu Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos

Sources:

“Become A Volunteer.” Lagos Food Bank Nigeria, Africa., www.lagosfoodbank.org/become-a-volunteer/#.XLunzRNKifU.

“Five Ways to Reduce and Manage Food Waste in Hotels.” LODGING Magazine, 31 Oct. 2018, lodgingmagazine.com/five-ways-reduce-manage-food-waste-hotels/.

“Food Waste at The Hotel Buffet – Creative Ways to Reducing It.” Mogogo F&B Furniture, 1 Apr. 2019, www.mogogo-buffet.com/blog/food-waste-hotel-buffet/.

Karla-Walsh. “What Do Restaurants Do With Leftover Food? | Eat This, Not That!” Eat This Not That, Eat This Not That, 4 Sept. 2018, www.eatthis.com/what-do-restaurants-do-leftover-food/.

Matemilola, Saheed, and Isa Elegbede. “The Challenges of Food Security in Nigeria.” Open Access Library Journal, Scientific Research Publishing, 1 Dec. 2017, www.scirp.org/journal/PaperInformation.aspx?paperID=81175.

“Nigeria Is an Untapped Agricultural Powerhouse.”Prichard, Meghan. “Quick Facts: What You Need to Know about Famine.” Mercy Corps, 4 June 2018, www.mercycorps.org/articles/nigeria-somalia-south-sudan-yemen/quick-facts-what-you-need-know-about-famine.

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COMMENTS: 1
  1. May 01, 2019 by Omar

    Hey Mahek and Kabir, this is a really lovely post, I like all the facts and information that you put into it. Also, I like how you used graphs and videos to share some of the facts with us because it made it easier for me to fully understand your point.

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