KADUNA, North-West, Nigeria – The Civil Society Scaling-Up Nutrition in Nigeria, (CS-SUNN), has called for proper
implementation of the National Food and Nutrition Policy and National Plan of Action for Food and Nutrition to ensure all Nigerians have Right to Food.
Senior Monitoring and Evaluation Officer of CS-SUNN, Jayne Arinze-Egemonye, stated this during a 5-Day capacity building for Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), Community Base Organizations, (CBOs) and the Media on Breastmilk Substitute, (BMS) Code, Right to Food, Maternity Protection and Food Fortification training held in Kaduna.
In her presentation titled “Understanding the Nigerian Policy Landscape for Right of Food,” she said despite the country being signatory to many Intervention convention on the Right of Food, Malnutrition is still widespread in the country.
She added that even though the Constitution of the country makes Provision for Right of Food for all, the poor and vulnerable are still exposed to chronic food shortages, malnutrition, unbalanced nutrition, erratic food supply, poor quality foods, high food costs, and even total lack of food.
The CS-SUNN official described the enormous amount of money spent in attempting to assure food security of Nigerians without success as worrisome.
She called for a review of the past approaches and achievements to see what lessons could be learned to re-strategize and develop an approach that will ensure that every Nigerian have Right of Food as enshrined in the Constitution.
“The enormous amount of money spent in attempting to assure food security of Nigerians without success calls for a fundamental review of the past approaches and achievements to see what lessons can be learned to re-strategize and develop an approach that will ensure that better progress is made toward achieving the first Millennium Development Goal,” she said.
She expressed dismay that there is a high level of malnutrition among children in Kaduna state despite the state being agrarian.
She tasked participants at the training to ensure enable socioeconomic and political environment are created at the national and subnational level for food security, since it influences food availability, stability of food supplies, and access to food, which in turn influence the amount of food consumed.
“This gap needs to be filled to make progress in changing the food and nutrition security situation of rural dwellers in Kaduna state.
“You as stakeholders must Identified gaps in knowledge include the issue of mainstreaming nutrition considerations and activities into poverty reduction, agricultural development policies, and food security interventions.
“There is a need to understand and appreciate the distinctness of nutrition and prioritize its appropriate integration into all sectors and departments working on food security in Nigeria,” she said.