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Thursday, October 27, 2011

ActionAid demands legislation on ‘right to food’

The ActionAid Nigeria has scored Nigeria 46 per cent in an overall rating, just as it disclosed that Nigeria has no legal framework for the “right to food.”

The scorecard also revealed that Nigerian’s hunger level is medium with a low climate vulnerability and low budgetary allocation to the agricultural sector.

Confirming this with NaijaAgroNet, the Programme Officer, Right to Food at ActionAid Nigeria, Ms Constance Okeke, noted that though the nation has a moderate plans for climate adaptation, yet more than 12 million are undernourished, almost one third of children are also underweight, just as 30 per cent of children shows signs of severe malnutrition.

She said that in order to withstand the increasing price of food in the nation, ActionAid advised Nigerian governments to increase spending in agriculture, increasing production on more than half of the uncultivated arable land.

The 2011 budget, ActionAid Nigeria pointed out had given only 3.5 per cent to agriculture and water resources; a declination compared to 2010 budget, which allocated 5.4 per cent, and the small portion of the budget allocated is not capable of scratching the surface of improvements or even the needed inputs in agriculture.

A commendable performance was recorded despite the low interest of governments in the sector, the sector still grew by 6 per cent in 2010 but the success could only be traced to good weather conditions.

Yinka Awosanya/LS

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