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The Government of Nigeria aligned with the decision of the United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres to convene a Global Food Systems Summit as part of strategic action to accelerate the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Nigeria believe that the Food system summit will no doubt serve as catalyst to the objective of declaration of the year 2021-2030 as the recognized Decade of Action to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030. Food System Summit will crystalize the launching of a bold new actions to deliver progress on all 17 SDGs, each of which relies to some degree on healthier, more sustainable and equitable food systems.
It is our belief that Food systems touch every aspect of human existence. In Nigeria and elsewhere in the world, the management of food systems profoundly affects the health of the people, as well as the health of the environment, economies and cultures. Food systems have the power to bring people together as families, communities and nations. However, when food systems fail, the resulting disorder threatens all the key sectors of the economy with particular reference to Human Capital development including education, health, women, youth as well as human rights, peace and security as well as the growth drivers of the economy which includes Agriculture.
The Consolidatory dialogue on the food system will leverage the findings from the national inception dialogue, the exploratory dialogues across the six geopolitical zones, states, local governments and communities which corroborated that in Nigeria today, food systems are not functioning optimally. The series of exploratory dialogues confirmed that Food system in Nigeria are fragile and inequitable, as millions of people around the various States of the Federation, including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) have experienced before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. For many, especially those who were already struggling before the pandemic, the recent food system disruptions have led to job losses, hunger and malnutrition. However, it is important to note that the trouble didn’t start with COVID-19 crisis. Nigeria’s food systems have been affected negatively in the past by various factors which can be traced to both natural and man-made.
Consequently, the Federal Government of Nigeria, represented by the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning in collaboration with the UN Food Systems Summit and all relevant Ministries, Department and Agencies and other key stakeholders in Nigeria organized the Nigeria National Food Systems Dialogue (NNFSD) 2021 at the recommended three levels including the Inception National Dialogue, Exploratory Dialogue and the Consolidatory Dialogue that is proposed for 29th June, 2021. The three levels dialogues in Nigeria is being coordinated by the National Convenor of the NNFSD 2021 in Nigeria Mrs. Olusola Idowu who is also the Permanent Secretary Budget and National Planning, Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning.
It suffice to note that the National Inception Dialogue on Food Systems was held in Abuja on 23rd February, 2021. This was followed by Regional Exploratory Dialogues organized in two locations each in all the six geopolitical zones from 6th-9th April, 2021. Exploratory Dialogues was also held in selected Rural Communities in eight (8) Local Governments areas of the country as well as selected stakeholder’s exploratory dialogues for Organized Private sector, Value chain, Women and Youth Groups respectively. In addition to that were Independent Dialogues that involved Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) as well as other Groups. All the Dialogues brought together a diverse range of stakeholders from youth activists to indigenous leaders, women in farming, smallholder farmers to scientists and Chief executive Officers (CEOs) of Food, Nutrition and Agriculture Organizations to identify the most powerful ways to make food systems stronger and more equitable. The various Dialogues were dedicatedly coordinated by the National Convenor with reports uploaded in the UN Food Summit System portal. All the Reports from various Dialogues constitutes the basis for synthesizing the three years and ten years Action Plan that will change the narrative and result in Game changer for Food system in Nigeria.
- Objective of the Consolidatory Dialogue:
The overarching objective is to deliberate on where we are with regard to Action Trackers 1,2,3,4,5 and to agree on a national consensus on actions and steps needed by the Government of Nigeria in the next three(3) and ten(10) years to achieve an equitable and robust national Food system in Nigeria.
Specifically the Consolidatory Dialogue will:
- Evaluate the outcomes of the inception and exploratory dialogues held across the length and breadth of Nigeria will be subjected to discussions by key stakeholders to engender ownership, commitment and political will for a robust Food system in Nigeria;
- Provide opportunities for the High Level policy makers including the Governors , Ministers, Commissioners, Heads of Development Partners Agencies including UN in Nigeria to critically review the Synthesized medium (3 years) and long term plan (10 years) to achieve Food security in Nigeria;
- Deliberate extensively on aggressive implementation of the proposed national plan to reduce hunger and the prevalence of malnutrition, creation of more inclusive and healthier food systems, encourage a collaborative approach towards building an effective Food Systems in Nigeria as well as for Nigeria Food Systems to enhance the achievement of relevant SDGs.
Consolidatory dialogue with its unique nature will bring together all relevant key Actors and stakeholders in the food system including the High Level Policy makers to be led by the Vice President of Nigeria Professor Yemi Osinbajo GCON. The dialogue is expected to consolidate all the dialogues and add values to the draft synthesized medium and long term Action Plan for a robust Food system in Nigeria. The following are the steps taken for a robust Consolidatory Dialogue scheduled for 29th June, 2021 with the venue at the Transcorp Hilton Hotels and Towers, Abuja, Nigeria:
- Collation of all the national inception dialogue, exploratory dialogues across all locations, organisations, individual, Non-Governmental Organisations, Civil society Organisations, Women and Youth Groups;
- Engagement of a Team of Consultant to critically work on the report to come up with three year and ten year Action plan that will transform Food system in Nigeria, change narratives and result that will serve as Game changers in the Food sector of the economy;
- Organize participants including the Governors and their Commissioners, Hon. Ministers and their Permanent Secretaries, Head of UN agencies in Nigeria and other Development Partners into two (2) Groups each to dialogue on the three and ten years synthesized Action Plans that will transform Food system in Nigeria;
- Jointly look at the outcome of the four Group’s dialogue as an input into the draft document translating to consensus and agreement on a common position that will be forwarded to the UN Food System Summit as Nigeria position and national plan to achieve food and nutrition in the remaining ten years of SDGs implementation and;
- Use the outcome of the Consolidatory Dialogue to prepare a national Report for the UN Food System Summit for submission.