A United Kingdom-based think tank, The Institute of Development Studies, has rated Nigeria as the second poorest country in the world in terms of food affordability.
The institute used publicly available global cost-of-living database, Numbeo, used in creating a cost of food basics analysis that compares the monthly minimum recommended spend on food per adult and monthly average wage in 107 countries across the world.
Reacting to the UK based institute’s report, the National President of All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), Mr. Kabiru Ibrahim said that the adverse impacts of COVID-19 on global economy and Nigerian agriculture in general was responsible for many households inability to eat three square meals and also afford buying foodstuffs that will cater for them abundantly.
Ibrahim said that food sufficiency in the country is being threatened by climate change, insecurity and policy summersaults, saying that Nigerian farmers cannot be blamed for Nigerian populace accessibility to food affordability.
The AFAN president noted that government has good plans for agric development in Nigeria, but COVID-19, climate change and worsening security situation brought setbacks to local farmers’ agric outputs in a bid to contribute to sustainable food production that would give access to food sufficiency and affordability in the country.
According to him, the association’s members were determined to go to the farms to cultivate food for Nigerians, saying that governments must step up their responsibility in protecting the local farmers in their farms to achieve food security.
However, the top 10 countries where basic food is least affordable in are Syria, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Ghana, Indonesia, Algeria, Iran and Uzbekistan.
Basic food is least affordable in Syria, where the minimum recommended monthly spend would account for 177 per cent of average wage income per adult, followed by Nigeria where 101 per cent of the average wage is spent on food.
In particular, the minimum recommended amount of food is based on 12-14 basic items that together would account for 2,100 calories per adult per day which is the level recommended by the world health organization (WHO) for energy needs.
The cost of food basics found that more than one year since the outbreak of Covid-19, there is vast disparity between countries in terms of the proportion of average wages needed to afford enough food.