By Justina Auta
The Federal Government on Thursday, inaugurated the Sub-National Food Systems Dashboard to inform policy actions and measure the food system transformation agenda for national development.
Sen. Sabi Aliyu-Abdullahi, Minister of State for Agriculture and Food Security, said during the event in Abuja, that the dashboard would facilitate the transformation of Nigeria’s food system in each state.
Aliyu-Abdullahi added that the dashboard would also give insights and outline priority actions for stakeholders.
“The dashboard is not just a data repository, it is a catalyst for positive change because it is designed to guide Nigeria policy makers and businesses at both national and subnational levels.
“This will ensure informed decisions that will enhance our food systems and empower civil societies to hold various actors accountable.
“The dashboard will also provide a unified data base for researchers both within and outside Nigeria to conduct further studies that will strengthen the evidence necessary for future policy making.
“Furthermore, this dashboard will serve as a platform for fostering collaboration and synergy between the various components of the food system,” he said.
The minister explained that the dashboard was linked to the global food system dashboard and analyses data for public and private both within the country and globally.
He added that the dashboard incorporates 99 indicators that have been meticulously identified and screened in a comprehensive view of Nigeria’s food system at all levels.
“It offers a list of suggested policy actions and decisions for each state, based on thorough diagnosis of the data collected by the dashboard.
“These actions have the potential to improve food systems and advance national development efforts,” he added.
He said that the government has already developed a food system profile for some states.
This, he said, would be instrumental in advocacy efforts to engage key decision makers in the transformation of Nigeria’s food system.
He said that move would also provide a map of emerging business opportunities and potential areas for investment in food system transformation.
According to him, the cost and affordability of health diet and diet polity, which are key indicators from the dashboard, had been adopted to improve nutrition and food security in the country.
In his remarks, Dr Micheal Ojo, Country Director, Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) Nigeria, said that the dashboard would provide the needed evidence to inform policies and decision making on food security.
Ojo lauded the Federal Government for prioritizing food security, nutrition security, including the declaration of a state of emergency on food security.
He described the dashboard as “critical evidence-based policy” for transforming the food system.
“Business leaders and entrepreneurs can identify areas for investment and see business more than technology innovations and improve financing mechanisms.
“The dashboard will provide information for baseline studies and reports for government, policy analysts, statistics agencies, and support partners.
“It will help policy makers to identify, and prioritise interventions needed to achieve the right level of impacts in transforming the country’s food systems without disrupting the dynamics of the markets in Nigeria,” he added.
He also said that researchers, academics, and students would easily access comprehensive data to identify and analyse insights and emerging trends in the country’s food system. (NAN)
Edited by Philip Yatai