OIC Selects Nigeria as Food Storage Hub for Member Countries
Nigeria has been selected by the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to serve as a hub for food and grain storage for its member countries.
The Director Federal Department of Agriculture, Abdullahi Abubaka, disclosed this yesterday in Abuja at the sidelines of the Islamic Organisation for Food Security (IOFS) Regional Training Workshop on ‘Strategic Planning and Policy Development in Food Security’.
He said the OIC Secretariat would mobilise resources, food commodities and grains and store them in the various silos in Nigeria for onward distribution to countries in need of them.
According to him, the selection is apt as the country already has over 36 strategic grain reserves across the country. Even though some have been concessioned, he added, it still has seven that are under the supervision and control of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture.
“All the member countries of OIC selected Nigeria as the storage hub. The Secretariat of the OIC will garner the resources, buy the grains and store them in Nigeria so that in the event of any food insecurity, we can distribute them from Nigeria to other places,” he said.
He continued: “In Nigeria, we have been given the centre of excellence for cassava, we are trying to see how we can also develop palm oil, rice and other commodities… In Nigeria, we have done our homework. We are just waiting for the end of this workshop to give us a marching order. The marching order is that we have already selected sites, we have liaised with the National Root Crop Research Institute, Umudike. We have sited the station in Kuru, Jos, all these are criteria and milestones they wanted us to identify.
“Another proposal that is on the table, which we hope this workshop will rectify, is for us to have a strategic food reserve system. We want to have a hub of grains and all sort of food commodities that are going to be used by the West African region in Nigeria.”
The Director General of the Islamic Organisation for Food Security (IOFS), Yerlan Baidaulet, said the body is to see that food systems worldwide are capable of addressing the problems of access to food and adequate nutrition.
He added: “The event is being organised under the IOFS ‘Year of Africa’ with the key objective to build the capacity of government officials on basics and practices of strategy development, legislation improvement, creation of government inter-sectoral mechanisms (high-level council/commission) on food security.”