President of Africa’s largest economy, Muhammadu Buhari has said Nigeria has no money to import food due to the impact of the Novel Coronavirus on the Nigerian economy.
According to the Nigerian leader, farmers in the country will have to do more to produce enough food for citizens.
President Buhari’s comments follow discussions around food insecurity during the coronavirus pandemic.
Nigeria has been trying to boost domestic rice production for some time, cracking down on smuggled imports from Thailand by closing the country’s land borders last year.
Prior to the ban, Nigeria used to import over a million tonnes of rice from Thailand annually.
Now it only allows foreign rice through its ports – and imposes high import taxes.
Food prices have however risen in the West African country since the outbreak of the Novel Coronavirus and government revenues have been hit badly by the fall in global oil prices.
Every year, it is estimated that nearly a billion people suffer from some form of hunger, brought about by war or climate change or simply a lack of means.
But now, according to the United Nations, the number of people who are classified as having acute food insecurity—a level of hunger at which a person’s inability to consume adequate food endangers their life or livelihood—could rise from more than a hundred and thirty million to nearly three hundred million, owing to the coronavirus pandemic, which has brought world economies and supply chains to a standstill.