Human security

Horticulturalists and the challenge of food security – Blueprint Newspapers Limited

The company made up of several professionals from many organizations recently gathered in Ibadan to discuss a new course on food security for the country. BAYO AGBOOLA reported on the meeting.

Horticulturalists from across Nigeria converged at the Nigerian Cocoa Research Institute (CRIN) Ibadan, the state capital of Oyo, November 15-17 for the 39th Annual Nigerian Horticultural Society Conference (HORTSON) on the theme ‘The role of horticulture in food security and sustainable health in the era of climate change and COVID-19’.

This was to show, among other things, the importance and relevance of society for humanity and society as a whole, especially in the aftermath of COVID-19, climate change and the declining level of l ‘economy.
HORTSON was founded as a non-governmental organization (NGO) in October 1977 with the function of advancing and supporting research in or related to horticulture, providing members of society with opportunities for exchange of ‘opinions and discussion on research issues related to horticulture and horticultural education.

It organizes, holds, promotes and / or supports conferences, seminars, meetings, symposia, demonstrations and conferences relating to the objectives of the company and also organizes the publication and dissemination of files and reports of the deliberations of the company or associated activities, under any form of registration which would further the aims and interests of society, while its objectives will be the advancement and development of the science and art of all branches of horticulture in Nigeria.

The 39th annual conference brought together over 500 delegates from across the country on the way forward for society amid the many challenges facing the organization and Nigeria as a country as a whole, with experts and authorities alike. in the relevant and related field presenting papers and lectures.

Timely meeting

The company’s outgoing chairman in council, Dr Usman Ibrahim, during his speech at the opening of the 39th annual conference, said the theme for this year’s conference is timely with an increasing demand for horticultural crops for the prevention and treatment of communicable and non-communicable diseases.

Dr Ibrahim stressed that the COVID-19 pandemic is jeopardizing diets and food security around the world, with markets, affordability and access to safe and nutritious food out of reach, saying: “Evidence shows that horticulture can be a solution to improve food security. . Foods such as fruits, vegetables and spices play a key role in the health and well-being of families and communities.

“Sustainable horticultural production aims to produce nutritious and healthy food while reducing negative impacts on the environment, preserving natural resources and improving healthy ecosystem services. “
Dr Ibrahim stressed that climate change, environmental degradation and stagnation threaten agricultural production and global food security.

“It is now recognized that the huge gains in agricultural production and productivity achieved through the Green Revolution have often been accompanied by negative effects on the natural resource base of agriculture. These negative effects are so severe that they endanger its productive potential in the future. It is also clear that current food production and distribution systems are failing to feed the world. “In view of the current and growing future challenges, for our supply of horticultural crops and for the environment, sustainable horticultural production emerges as a major priority for policy makers and international development partners. “

According to him, “The population of hungry and malnourished people in the world is approximately one billion. Drastically increasing food production is needed to feed a population of nine billion people by 2050.
“This can be achieved by doubling agricultural production in developing countries like Nigeria; however, there is a decrease in availability and greater competition for land and water, increasing urbanization and a shift to peri-urban production, shifting consumption patterns and climate change. The increase in agricultural production is usually associated with an increase in the use of pesticides and fertilizers as well as subsidiary elements such as the supply chain and transport.
He stressed that it is the role of horticulturalists to provide farmers with adaptable and relevant technologies and to ensure that governments provide them with enabling policies, infrastructural and industrial support.
Dr Ibrahim said that to make this a reality, HORTSON developed a strategic plan to enable it to advocate for the necessary changes and developed a strategic plan for the company that would cover 2020-2027, when the company is 50 years old.
“We have also developed a draft document for a Horticultural Regulatory Council (COHORT) project in Nigeria. This document has been reviewed by various stakeholders.

Speakers’ speech

One of the keynote speakers at the conference, Prof. Oluwole

Fatunbi of the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA) in her presentation underlined among other things the importance of horticulturalists for the growth of a country like Nigeria by ensuring good and healthy living conditions for humanity in the field. of food consumption. This, he said, clearly showed the importance of roles, the contributions of horticulture to humanity cannot be overstated.

Professor Fatunbi pointed out that at present, 14 million Nigerians representing 23% of the total population experience severe food insecurity, while 14.6% of the population suffer from food insufficiency. In addition, he pointed out that the number of Nigerians living in rural areas is 99.1 million and climate change in the country has resulted in loss of food production, reduced food production.
The keynote speaker highlighted the need for horticulturalists across the country to start generating ideas to remove the negative impacts of climate change and COVID-19 on Nigerians, especially the oppressed who urgently need to pull themselves out of the effects. negatives of climate change and COVID-19[FEMININE[FEMININE

He argued that climate change and COVID-19 are undoubtedly having significant effects, especially on the country’s economy, which he says is striking, leading to the loss of jobs for many Nigerians as well as the closure of so many factories in Nigeria and across Nigeria.
Professor Farounbi, however, underlined the urgent need to review the research system in Nigeria to enable Nigeria to have the indispensable task of eating nutritious foods abundant in horticultural foods as well as solving the major constraints in the practice of horticulture, especially pests. and diseases, hence the need for the Nigerian government to focus more on research and invest heavily in it.

According to the keynote speaker, now is the time for the horticultural system in Nigeria to be given the much-needed priority and adequate attention to be able to meet the nutritional needs of everyone in Nigeria and across Nigeria.
Other people who presented papers at the 39th Annual Conference are the Executive Secretary of the Agricultural Research Council of Nigeria (ARCN), Prof. Sharubutu Garba Hamidu, Engineer Ms. Omolara Olorode, Zone Director, NTA Ibadan Zonal Network center and the Executive Director, Cocoa Research Institute of Nigeria, (CRIN), Dr Patrick Adebola.

New set of leaders

At the end of the 39th annual conference, a new set of executive boards was put in place by members of the society including Dr RR Ipinmoroti as the new chairman in council of HORTSON with others as Dr Mrs O O Idowu-Agida; vice-president 1; Dr Abdul-Rafiu A Mongur, Vice-President 2; Dr EO Ajayi, Secretary General; Dr Ben Okafor, Deputy Secretary 1; Dr J. Raymond, Assistant Secretary 2; Dr Mrs. SY Yusuf, Treasurer; Dr Mme BO Fagbola, company manager; Dr Mme EA Adeyemi, fruit coordinator; Prof AA Mohammed, vegetable coordinator; Mallam Nasiru Usman, ornamental coordinator; Dr JM Adesina, PRO; Dr Usman Ibrahim, ex officio 1; Dr OO Alamu Ex Officio 2 to lead the company ship for the next three years.
With the new team in place, it is expected that HORTSON, as an organization, will continue to perform its intended roles in ensuring the production, availability and consumption of healthy foods necessary for the growth and development of human survival in Nigeria and across Nigeria.