As the Keynote Speaker, Prof Evans Osabuohien graced the 2nd International Conference at Lead City University in Ibadan, on the 4th and 5th of April 2023. The conference was themed “Achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in 2030: Approaching Possibilities through Socio-Political, Economic and Management Dimensions”.
During his presentation titled ‘Agricultural Value Chain, Food Security and Sustainable Development: Conceptual Discourse from Nigeria’, he noted that out of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), agriculture is crucial to the achievement of more than half of them.
Furthermore, he educated the audience on the four dimensions of food security, notably availability (production and supply), accessibility (cost and purchasing power), utilisation (usage for healthy living), and stability. Using statistics on the subject, he showed an increase in the number of people experiencing acute food insecurity between 2014 and 2021. Also worthy of note in his presentation was that initially, men had a higher prevalence of severe food insecurity, but since 2017, women have had it worse. Some of the reasons he adduced include the fact that women have limited access to financial and land resources, especially in developing countries.
The issues of climate change, socioeconomic difficulties, and growing conflict came up as other factors threatening food security were also discussed in his presentation. He added that despite being the top producer of rice and cassava, the value of both crops in Nigeria is underdeveloped, which does not make the country harness the numerous benefits therein. Thus, the need for value chain development cannot be overemphasised. This is because evidence shows that more than 80% of returns in the agricultural sector are found in the value chain, he noted.
In his concluding remarks, he suggested some policy solutions, including: promoting youth involvement in agriculture (especially in the value chain); more interaction between the public and private sectors (to attract investment and technological innovations); and the pursuit of more content-specific policies that will help to reduce post-harvest losses.
His other related presentation is online.