Strategy For Guarantee Food Security In Edo State: Case Study Oredo Local Government Area
Strategy For Guarantee Food Security In Edo State: Case Study Oredo Local Government Area Since independence in 1960, the Nigerian economy had operated under two major economic philosophies with the turning point being 1986. Prior to 1986, the economy was highly regulated with government taking direct control of the “commanding heights” of the national economy. By the early 1980s, significant distortions were thought to exist in the economy with respect to pricing of tradeable items leading to sub-optimal allocation of resources in the economy. Hence, in 1986 an economic reform programme in the form of a Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP) was embarked upon anchored principally on the deregulation of the economy and liberalization of trade.
The targets of these measures were principally the relaxation or abolition of import licensing, tariff structure, price control, foreign exchange control and interest rates control. Reform processes such as those embarked upon in Nigeria in 1986 usually leads to “a complete re-orientation of the economy” (Olashore, 1991) and this was indeed the case in Nigeria where the deregulatory and liberalization philosophy remains the critical basis of economic policy despite the official abandonment of Structural Adjustment Programme in the 1990s. Spurred by globalization, which itself is essentially deregulation on a global level, the Nigerian economy has since remained anchored on free-trade, market mechanism and private sector orientation, the key instruments of the SAP that channeled in the reform of the economic philosophy underlining the Nigerian economy in 1986. Although the shift to economic deregulation and trade liberalization affected many sectors of the economy, its impact on the agricultural economy was one of the most acute and remarkable (Adubi, 1996; Ojo, 1994).
The key features of agricultural production and the long tradition of governmental regulation of the sector became radically affected by the deregulation and liberalization philosophy with vital consequences for food security. Following over two decades of deregulatory practices, this research work reviews the strategies for food security in Oredo Locl Government Area of Edo State, Nigeria and the effects of this shift in economic philosophy on one aspect of human well being, namely, food security using trend examination and descriptive methods. The paper compares the food security status of the country before and after the adoption of deregulation as the dominant economic philosophy. It considers the lessons derivable from Nigeria’s experience and proffer suggestions in this regard.
The outcome of this study revealed a young vibrant farming population with male dominance with majority of the respondents been married, with one form of formal education or the other. This study also indicated that majority of the respondents were food insecure consuming less than the recommended daily calories intake of 2260kcal. Food secure households in the study area exceeded the calorie requirement by 69% while the food insecure households fell short of the recommended calorie intake by 37%.
It was further found out that thefood security situation of the farming households in the study area was determined by educational level, household size, farm size and total householdincome. It can be concluded from this study that increase in educational level, farm size, household income and decrease in household size have the potential to increase the number of food secure household in the study area.
Considering these findings, Government should provide an integrated approach that promotes formal education as regard farm production activities among farming households to enhance their production activities thereby improving their food security status. It was further recommended that enlightenment programmes on nutrition and birth control measure should be directed at the farming households in the study area. This will help to check the consumption of unbalanced diets and uncontrolled child births respectively. Also there is need to promote commercial or large scale farming among the farming households in the state.