By Busayo Onijala/Augusta Uchediunor
The United Nations Resident Coordinator, Edward Kallon, on Tuesday said that sustainable food systems should be put in place to ensure sufficient food for the present generation.
He said the systems do not just end hunger but helps future generations have access to adequate food and proper nutrition.
Kallon spoke at a virtual media briefing on “The Nigeria UN Food Systems Summit Dialogue (UNFSSD)” scheduled to hold on Feb. 23.
The News Agency of Nigeria(NAN) reports that the media engagement is a prelude to series of dialogues on the UN Food Systems Summit (UNFSS) 2021, being organized by the Federal Government in collaboration with the United Nation in Nigeria.
According to Kallon, as population grows, there is greater need to understand how availability of quality food can cater for the needs of people in a sustainable way.
“The UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, will convene the Food Systems Summit in September, as part of the Decade of Action to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030.
“The Summit will launch bold new actions to transform the way the world produces and consumes food.
“The UN and the Government of Nigeria is bringing together key players in science, business, policy, healthcare and academia, as well as farmers, women organisations, youth organisations, consumer groups, food processors, logistics organisations, environmental activists, and most importantly, the media,” he said.
Kallon urged media partners to get in the flow of the UN Food Systems Summit and “support our efforts by encouraging debate and discussion among the population on issues of sustainable food systems for the country.”
He said that without the media, all dialogues would be likened to ‘winking in the dark’, because no one would see what was being done .
“As you all know, every individual has a role to play in our efforts towards sustainability of food systems and we are all stakeholders when it comes to food – because we are all at least consumers,” he said.
Mrs Olusola Idowu, Convenor of the summit in Nigeria and Permanent Secretary, Budget and National Planning, said that in order to have a seamless Food System Dialogue, committees had been constituted.
These committees, she said, included sector experts within the government, development partners and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) with specific responsibilities.
She said it was envisaged that the dialogues would harvest contributions to shape pathways leading to collective determination of sustainable food systems and how they would contribute to achieving food security in Nigeria.
“The dialogues will identify the practices and policies that will have the greatest impact on the achievement of the desired future vision within the Nigerian local food systems.
“Also, it will help consider the possibility of assessing progress towards improved food systems, as well as determine who needs to be involved in achieving the overarching objective of building effective food systems in Nigeria.
“The dialogues provide opportunity to different stakeholders to work together to devise pathways for the sustainable future of national food systems that makes contributions to the SDGs,” Idowu said.
NAN reports that in order to generate a robust discussion during the inception, a dialogue is scheduled for Feb. 23 with lead paper entitled, “An Overview of the Food System in Nigeria – Challenges, Prospects and the Way Forward.” (NAN)