Food insecurity is defined as the disruption of food intake or eating patterns because of a lack of money and other resources.
It is the state of being without reliable access to a sufficient quantity of affordable, nutritious food.
Nigeria is of particular interest given that the numbers of individuals experiencing food insecurity are rising fast. According to a Food and Agriculture Organization, FAO (2015) report, despite Nigeria having achieved the reduction of undernourishment of the population by more than half, from 19.3% in 1990 to 8.5% in 2010 to 2012, the number of people who are undernourished in Nigeria increased from roughly 10 million to almost 13 million from 2010 to 2012. Additionally, there is regional, rural, urban, and cultural variation in food security across the country.
Food Insecurity in Nigeria is caused by several factors and discussing the causes of food insecurity in Nigeria is a very difficult
task; this is because most Nigerians develop apathy towards locally
produced food and prefer imported food which they consider as superior to domestically produced ones.
The emergence of the oil sector and the substantial revenue being accrued from the sector has shifted emphasis from agriculture to the extent that even domestic food production is not given the required attention. The government felt that it was better to import food than to embark on local production
The above reasons notwithstanding, there are other factors that contribute to food insecurity in Nigeria ranging from gender inequality, policies, inconsistency/corruption, poverty/Hunger, conflicts, natural disasters, low level of technology, low agricultural financing and rural-urban migration which all pose a serious threat to food production in the country.
SOLUTIONS TO THE PROBLEMS
Food Security is a basic human need and fighting hunger is one of the greatest challenges of this century.
The key point of focus in solving the problem of food insecurity should be the development and implementation of the National program of Food Security that will make sure that all the causes of food insecurity mentioned above will be tackled effectively.
Other Solutions are:
1. The development of sustainable food markets like the Farmsby Trade
Technical re-equipment of agricultural enterprises; improving the competitiveness of products; improvement of land relations.
Improving the competitiveness of products so that they can compete favourably with their foreign counterparts
Improvement of land relations.
Conservation of indigenous crop species
Eradicating hunger and poverty requires an understanding of how these two injustices are interconnected; Hunger and the malnourishment that accompanies it. These two injustices prevent poor people from escaping poverty because it diminishes their ability to learn, work,
and care for themselves and their family members. Food is not like other commodities, it is an indispensable and important factor in every
nation‘s quest for economic growth and development. Being an inevitable commodity, all efforts must be geared toward ensuring its adequate supply for sustainable economic development and human survival. In Nigeria, most of the food need is produced by peasant farmers who are scattered all over the rural areas and not multinational companies who produce on large scale for export and profit. For the dream of food security to be realised agricultural policies must target the peasant farmers and their rural environments.