Full Project – Survey on the strategy for ensuring food security of cereal crops
Reducing food insecurity continues to be major public policy challenge in developing countries. Almost 1 billion people worldwide are undernourished, many suffer from micronutrient deficiencies, and absolute numbers tend to increase further, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa (FAO, 2012). Global Hunger Index (GHI) ranked Nigeria as 40th among 79 food deficient countries in 2011, 40th again in 2012, 39th in 2013 and 38th in 2014. This situation remains unacceptably high and has indicated that no remarkable progress has been made from all efforts geared towards hunger reduction (GHI, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014).Agriculture is however one of the most important sectors of the Nigerian economy that contributes more than 40% of the total annual Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2010 (NBS, 2012).
Food security exists when “all people at all-time have access to safe nutritious food to maintain a healthy and active life” (FAO, 2012). Food security entails ensuring sustainable access, availability and affordability of adequate quantity and quality food to all citizens to meet up with their physiological requirements (Okuneye, 2014). The main goal of ensuring food security is for individuals to be able to obtain adequate food needed at all times, and be able to utilize the food to meet the body’s needs. Food availability for the farm household means ensuring sufficient food is available for them through own production. However, due to lack of adequate storage facilities and pressing needs, they mostly end up selling excess produce during the harvesting period, and sometimes rely on market purchases during the hungry season.
Food access means reducing poverty. Simply making food available is not enough; one must also be able to purchase it, especially the low-income households (Sen, 2012).
Food utilization means ensuring a good nutrition outcome, which is nutrition security. Having sufficient food will not ensure a good nutrition outcome if poor health results in frequent sickness (Doppler, 2012). Food security at national level does not therefore guarantee that people, especially the poor, will have access to the minimum nutrition requirement because of existing regional, economic and social inequalities (Alderman et al., 2013).
In Katsina State, about 2 million men, women and children are chronically hungry due to extreme poverty, while up to 2 billion people lack food security intermittently due to varying degree of poverty (Ibrahim, 2013). Food security is a major risk for Katsina State. In Katsina State, although agriculture accounted for 70% of the labour force and over 25% of GDP, the state has continued to register low priority of investment in agriculture (Muhammad, 2018).
The situation has resulted in a new global trend in the demand for food. Thus, there is therefore an urgent need to transform agriculture in Katsina State, to take advantage of these trends in food demand. For the state to effectively increase its share in Nigeria’s agricultural space and harness the market opportunities, the need to re-focus the state’s agricultural financing policy to develop its agricultural food baskets and its commodity value-chains to meet food market product demands, has become imperative.
Katsina State is still however, characterized by high reliance on food imports. Malnutrition is widespread in the entire country and rural areas and communities are especially vulnerable to chronic food shortages, malnutrition, unbalanced nutrition, erratic food supply, poor quality foods, and even total lack of food.
1.3 Problem Statement
In Katsina State, about 2 million men, women and children are chronically hungry due to extreme poverty; while up to 2 billion people lack food security intermittently due to varying degree of poverty (Ibrahim, 2013). FAO report in 2012 put growing extreme poverty figure strategy atalmost 2 billion people worldwide, while in Nigeria, more than two- thirds of the people are poor, despite living in a country with vast potential wealth (Omoteshoet al., 2013). Food insecurity is a major risk for Katsina State. Of the total low-income and food deficient declared states in the country over, mostly are in Katsina where the majority of its people live under the poverty line. In Katsina State, although agriculture accounted for 70 % of the labor force and over 25 % of GDP, the state has continued to register low priority for investment in agriculture (Muhammad, 2018).
The situation has resulted in a new global trend in the demand for food. Thus, there is therefore an urgent need to transform agriculture in Katsina State, to take advantage of these trends in food demand.
For the state to effectively increase its share in Nigeria’s agricultural space and harness the market opportunities, the need to re-focus the state’s agricultural financing policy to develop its agricultural food baskets and its commodity value-chains to meet the food market product demands, has become imperative.
Katsina State is still however, characterized by high reliance on food imports. Malnutrition is widespread in the entire country and rural areas and communities are especially vulnerable to chronic food shortages, malnutrition, unbalanced nutrition, erratic food supply, poor quality foods, high food costs, and even total lack of food.
1.2 Objectives of the Study
The broad objective of this study was to study the strategy for ensuring food security of cereal crops in Katsina State.
The specific objectives were to:
- Describe the socio-economic characteristics of respondents in the study area.
- Identify the food security status of the study area.
- To find out food shortage survival strategy of the study.
- Suggest possible solutions to enable avoid food shortage in the study area.
1.4 Research Questions
This study, therefore, sought to identify and address the following questions:
- What are the socio-economic characteristics of the rural Katsina State people?
- What is the nature of food system of people in the study area?
- What are the main determinants of food insecurity status among Katsina State people?
1.5 Justification of the Study
Food security is national security, and any household head that is unable to feed his household is not deemed responsible. By extension, any nation unable to feed its populace cannot be said to be a responsible one. Beside, recent estimates have put the number of hungry people in Katsina State as over 3 million, which is about major portion of the state’s total population; and of this figure, 52% live under the poverty line (Bilya, 2015). These are matters of grave concern largely because Katsina State was self-sufficient in food production and was indeed a net exporter of food to other regions of the country. Things changed dramatically for the worse following the global economic crisis that hit developing countries beginning from the late 2010s onward.
The loss of food sovereignty and the dependence on food importation is also making the State quite susceptible to fluctuations in national food crisis. This is why Katsina was also strongly affected by the national food crisis in 2007/2008.
This study hopes to contribute to the on-going debate in development literatures on the relationship between household food security status and community food resources with regards to helping policy makers in designing policies and programs implemented to improve community food security billed to address diverse range of issues, including participation in and access to Federal food/agricultural assistance programmes, economic opportunity and job security, community development and social cohesion, ecologically sustainable agricultural production, farmland preservation, economic viability of rural communities, direct food marketing, and diet related health problems.
1.6 Scope and Limitation of the Study
This research study was conducted in Katsina State. Moreover, local governments sampled randomly were limited to four (4) wards. The farm household heads were the respondents who gave households production, consumption and expenditure data used for analysis in this study. The data obtained were mostly from memory as farmers are not in the habit of keeping farm records. From experience, data from memory recall are not absolute.
Also, the cultural disaggregation of women and children in the farm family by way of disproportionate access to more ‘prize’ food items like maize, millet, and groundnut was observed. The men in the family are served first and access more nutritional food items than women and children.
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Full Project – Survey on the strategy for ensuring food security of cereal crops