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Factors Contributing to The Increase in The Problem of Food Crisis in Nigeria

ABSTRACT

Food is the basic necessity of life. With the exception of clothing and shelter, it remains very vital to human existence. In view of this, this study is aimed at investigating the factors contributing to the increase in the problem of food crisis in Nigeria, with Afikpo North as case study. In order to find out the factors contributing to the increase in the problems of food crisis in Nigeria, questionnaires were used to administer to a number of respondents being 182, using convenient/accidental sampling techniques. The questionnaire were divided into sections, A and B, consisting of personal data of the respondents and key research questions respectively. Data analysis was by the use of frequency tables and simple percentages, the finding discovered that a lot of factor contributes to the increase in food crisis which includes land tenure system, increase in birth rate, over dependence on government for survival, neglect of agriculture by youths, to mention but this few. The recommendations redress the fact that newly improved agricultural products to be subsidized by government. Since not all farmers can afford to procure them considering its exorbitant costs, and there should be improvement on the preservative facilities for food in order to drastically reduce food waste in the economy.  

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background to the Study

          With the exception of clothing and shelter as the basic necessities of life, food remains the most vital because of its centrality to human existence. It is a known fact that the ruthless expedition for food has shaped human history, provoking wars, driving migration and underpinning the growth of nations. The recent escalation of food prices call for sober reflection, owing to the fact that the globe is facing a worsening food crisis period unseen in the last 20 years and the potential is leading to catastrophe. The discussion of this vital issue has taken a centre stage among world leaders, thereby increasing concerns about the world ability to feed its 6.5 to 7 billion people, to avert world-wide unrest and political instability (Njoku, 2008).

          According to Puchala (2011), despite the efforts, agriculture has been constrained by numerous challenges like rural-urban migration, wavering policies formulation and implementation, insufficient infrastructure support, poor input distribution system; emphasis on oil economy; pricing system, over dependence on rain-fed farming, poor capacity utilization, low investor’s confidence; environmental degradation; poor access to funds, poor socio-economic status of farms and insufficient technological transfer system corruption and poor commitment to implementation of agricultural policies. Besides, the target of the MDG of reducing hunger and poverty, sustainable development can only be attained through increased attention to agriculture, food security and sustainable water resources development, acknowledging the flaws of the past, to reconcile the current global food predicament.

          For Eze (2013), despite the strong growth in food production, sub-saharan Africa is the only region where the number of hungry has risen in the last decade. Analysis are of the view that high food prices will cause an increase in food security and widespread food crisis in many developing countries. Poor people in developing countries spend between 50 – 80 percent of their income on food and poor rural households tend to be net consumers of food. Any increase in food prices reduce food consumption and increase hunger, hence the study.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

          Nigeria is currently experiencing a serious food crisis in its history. The crisis manifests itself in the ability of the nation to produce enough food to feed its population and the need to import food at exorbitant prices. Food shortage and hunger have resulted in the incidence of malnutrition and kwashiorkor among its citizens. Successive government in Nigeria has failed to provide enough food to meet the need of their citizen. Food problems have forced some Nigerian to engage in social vices, which are having a negative impact on the nation. These social vices include ethnic-religion conflicts, armed robbery, prostitution, child trafficking, corruption etc. A hungry man is an easy target for selfish members of the bourgeoisie who would buy their service for a price to foment anarchy within the society. From time immemorial inadequate nutrition has been linked to lawlessness. Hence the study is posit of investigating the factors contributing to the increase in problem of food crisis in Nigeria, with Afikpo North Local Governent Area as focus. 

1.3 Purpose of the Study

          The general objectives of the study are to determine the factors contributing to the increase in the problem of food crisis in Nigeria, with Afikpo North as case study.

While the specific objectives of the study are as follows:

1.       To ascertain the people’s perception of food crisis in the study area.

2.       To find out the causes of food crisis in Afikpo North

3.       To determine the effect of food crisis in Afikpo North

4.       To make possible suggestion as regard the solution to the problem of food crisis

1.4 Significance of the Study

          The significance of the study will be conceptualized into the two broad categories: theoretical significance and practical significance.

          Theoretically, this study is significance in the sense that, it will provide information on documentation on the factors contributing to the problems of the increase in food crisis. This study will also aid the existing body of knowledge. This findings of this work will give a clear picture to any future researcher who may wish to carryout research on the factors contributing to the problems of increase food crisis in Nigeria.

          Practically, this study will be useful to the head of autonomous communities in Afikpo North NGOs, Civil Servants, Politicians and Civil Society, because food is important and essential to human survival.

1.5 Scope of the Study

          This research work is restricted to factors contributing to the problems of the increase in food crisis. It is equally restricted to Afikpo North Metropolis only.

1.6 Research Questions

          The following research questions were formulated to serve as a guide in investigating the factors contributing to the increase in the problem of food crisis in Nigeria, with Afikpo North Metropolis, as case study.

1.       What is the people perception of food crisis in the study area?

2.       What are the causes of food crisis in Afikpo North metropolis?

3.       What are the effects of food crisis in Afikpo North metropolis?

4.       What are the possible solutions to the ongoing food crisis in the study area?

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