Prices of food items have shut-up across the country due to the coronavirus pandemic ravaging the globe in recent times, leaving over seven million Nigerians in dire straits as food shortages are expected to kick-in between June and August; the March 2020 Cadre Harmonisѐ (CH) Analysis Outcome for 16 northern states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT, on the projected food insecurity situation, has revealed.
A market survey conducted by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) indicated an upsurge in prices of many staple foods, which are expected to continue rising as the federal government and state governors move to shut down the country. Basic foodstuffs like rice, garri, beans and even sachet water have all witnessed a price increase of at least 25% in the local market.
The CH analysis process was jointly led and facilitated by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO), the World Food Programme (WFP) and the Permanent Interstate Committee for Drought Control in the Sahel (CILSS).
FAO Representative in Nigeria, Mr. Alhassan Cisse, in a statement made available to journalists in Abuja on the presentation of the March 2020 CH analysis outcome for 16 states and the FCT, explained that Cadre Harmonisѐ had been a regional framework for consensual analysis of acute food insecurity situations across the West Africa countries.
Cisse said results from successive CH analysis in Nigeria had become the major yardstick for estimating the areas and population of vulnerable people in need of humanitarian assistance. “The improvement has largely been due to the efforts of the government and massive intervention of the humanitarian communities, without which the situation would have worsened,” he said.
The exercise, which according to him started in 2015, has been adopted by the Nigeria Food Security stakeholders as an early warning tool for preventing food crisis. He said FAO would continue to work with its partners in the provision of livelihood assistance to the vulnerable groups identified through the process.
Also, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Mu’azu Abdulkadir, expressed hope that the outcome from the current analysis would provide information on the prevailing acute food and nutrition security going from the last CH analysis released in 2019.
He, represented by Mr. Anthony Amu, said CH analysis had been adopted as the most acceptable and informative tool used for classifying states into the five phases of food nutrition and insecurity, including estimated population affected by acute food nutrition and insecurity challenges across the 16 participating northern states and the FCT.