IFPRI, others unveil food security simulator

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By Bukola Adewumi

The International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) has unveiled the Nigeria Food Security Simulator (FSS Nigeria) tool to address food and income shortage in Nigeria.

The initiative was inaugurated on Tuesday in Abuja in partnership with U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security.

Dr Kwaw Andam, Country Programme Leader, IFPRI Nigeria, said the tool  was an innovative and easy-to-use, MS-Excel-based tool for assessing the potential short-term impacts of food price or household income shocks on food security and people’s diets.

Andam, who is also the Initiative Lead, National Policies and Strategies (NPS), said the simulator was an ideal tool for forward-looking evaluation of direct, household-level outcomes of economic crises and policy responses in a timely manner.

He said the FSS Nigeria underscored government’s ambition towards  making food security a priority which as part of the president’s eight point agenda.

According to him, the tool will help analysts estimate the impact of changes in food prices, and other factors on food consumption.

“This tool will allow users to enter positive and negative price in percentage terms and provide simulated changes for a diverse set of food-consumption- and diet-quality-related indicators.

“In addition to detailed tabular presentations of all simulation results by household income  and residential area, key indicator results are summarised in concise overview tables and visualised in graphs for easy export and use in reports.

“The underlying data include estimates from representative household survey data and rigorous, sophisticated food demand models to capture consumer behavior,’’ he said.

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Dr Oliver Ecker, Senior Research Fellow, IFPRI, in his presentation, said FSS Nigeria would help unlock the insights of household data and enhance analysis and understand the concept of food security in the country.

He said the tool would help the policymakers and the policy analysts in the Ministry of Agriculture and Food security as well as the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs in their decision making.

IFPRI has been working in Nigeria since 2007 implementing the Nigeria Strategy Support Program (NSSP) and the USAID Feed the Future Nigeria Agriculture Policy Activity, in partnership with Michigan State University.

It is also supporting the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security and other partners in the implementation of Nigeria’s national development plans. (NAN)

Edited by Chijioke Okoronkwo

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