The Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) yesterday conferred an award of excellence on President Goodluck Jonathan for his administration’s efforts in tackling hunger in the country.
Receiving the award at the presidential villa, Jonathan noted, however that, government was working hard to attain the remaining part of the millennium development goals (MDGs).
“We are yet to reach where we want to go but surely we will get there,” the President stated.“I have to thank Akinwumi (the minister of agriculture) and his team that worked tirelessly to get us to where we are. Let me use this unique opportunity to tell Nigerians and the rest of the World that we appreciate this recognition”, the President said.
Minister of Agriculture, Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina who presented the global FAO award to the president observation on the need to attain other MDGs hinted that Nigeria bagged the award because “the number of Nigerians suffering from hunger reduced from 19.31 million in 1990 and 1992 to 13.38 in 2010 to 2012″.
According to him, there was a remarkable decline in the prevalence of under-nourishment in the country from 19.3 per cent in 1990/1991 to 8.5 per cent by 2010/2012, which “is below the MDG target of 9.7 per cent that was set for 2015.
“Even as we have made much progress, there is still more challenges along our way”, he added, stressing that the administration has done well in curbing hunger in the country, which was why it clinched the laurel.
Akinwumi said, “Mr President you are feeding Nigeria and the international community recognizes your efforts and leadership in feeding Nigeria. The FAO of the UN have just given a special recognition to Nigeria for the achievement in reducing the number of people suffering from chronic hunger and for making notable progress in guaranteeing food security for our citizens”.
Noting further that the administration’s push for food security was yielding result, said that Nigeria has added 9 million metric tons of food to its domestic food supply and there is an on-going effort to start feeding school children in order to empower farmers by “buying foods from” them “to create market for them and also help their kids to stay in school”.