Countries around the world, including Nigeria, have been called upon to stop economic protectionism, avert pandemic hunger and let peoples have access to cheaper, quality and sustainable foods as climate change and other factors hamper food production globally.

With estimates indicating over two billion children would be born by 2030, experts at an ongoing poultry and pork show in Sao Paulo, Brazil, said making food available and taming hunger that could escalate conflicts should be the focus of countries rather than protectionism and destructive international politics.

Ricardo Santin – ABPA Presidents views

Protectionism – the president of Brazilian Association of Animal Protein (ABPA), Ricardo Santin, said – is counter-productive and political, contradicting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and exposing vulnerable peoples to hunger, malnutrition and extremely expensive foods.

ABPA said, as a member and partner of the International Poultry Council (IPC), it is committed to focusing on five of the 17 UN SDGs and encourages its members to introduce measure that can help achieve these goals, including zero hunger, good health and well being, quality education, industry, innovation and infrastructure, and climate action.

Limited resources

Factors hindering food production around the world, he identified, include climate change, inefficient technologies, limited resources and conflicts, such as in Ukraine, Nigeria and other countries. It will be recalled that Nigeria has put restriction on importation of over 40 agro-food items, including poultry, while insurgency and conflicts between farmers and herders have reduced food productivity, amid poor use of technologies, fertiliser and other food productivity-enhancing input.

Emphasising the role Brazil could play in closing food shortage around the world, especially, protein sources, Santin said ABPA has 140 companies and entities from the entire production chain: producers and exporters of poultry, swine, eggs and poultry genetic material, state and industry associations, suppliers of equipment, certification bodies, laboratories and several others.

Brazil’s role

He said Brazil, as a global player in food production, is the number one producer of coffee, orange juice, soybeans and sugar, while it is the second largest producer of tobacco and beef; third in chicken, and second in ethanol, as well as the third largest producer of corn and cotton, and fourth largest producer of pork.

He said four million jobs have been created through the poultry value chain, as the country is number one, exporting 30 per cent of its production while 70 per cent is consumed locally. The strength areas of Brazil, according to him, include natural resources, one of the most advanced production systems in the world, grain availability, integrated production, sanitary status, flexibility, and variety of markets.

Request for countries like Nigeria to cooperate

ABPA Director Luis Rua said Brazil is ready to cooperate with Nigeria in poultry and livestock production, processing and crop production. But protectionism should be minimized while focusing on food affordability, technology transfer and mutual benefit. By protecting his 66.8% of primary forest, technology has helped maximize yields per hectare and minimize forest depletion and environmental damage, he said.

Noting that Nigeria is an economic powerhouse in the region, Satin said awareness-raising will take place by 2023 among stakeholders in Nigeria’s poultry and pork to explore areas of cooperation.

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Source: Gaurdian

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