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Change the agricultural system.

Our world today is confronted with so many life threatening diseases that are associated with diets. The most traceable cause is the dramatic shift from the consumption of locally produced foods to highly processed ones. The world seeks a sustainable solution. As an end, if diet can reduce the quality of life, diet can also increase it.
Without doubt, actions must start from countries that are the primary producers of food, of which Nigeria is one.
Nigeria is commonly referred to as the giant of Africa with more than 150 million people and 250 ethnic groups. Located at the extreme end of the Gulf of Guinea, the country is rich economically because of its abundance of natural resources.
In the 1960s, Nigeria was one of the most prominent agricultural producers globally. Between 1962 and 1968, Nigeria exported crops and was the highest globally in palm oil exports, well ahead of Malaysia and Indonesia. Within the same period, Nigeria exported 47 percent of oil groundnuts, putting it ahead of the US and Argentina. Not only this, Nigeria is also blessed with both marine and fresh water bodies with significant number of seafood, and therefore has a good number of potential fishermen and small traders.
In spite of the presence of oil, the country has over 30 hectares of farmland, under cultivation season to season making agriculture a contributory source of the country’s economy. However, despite the abundance of agricultural resources, Nigeria has a significant number of people living in ill health due to a noticeable decline in the attention given to the country’s agricultural sector. This is a reflection of activities related to poor funding of the sector, inadequate agricultural knowledge and research, illegal food imports, frequent pest and disease attacks, and rural—urban migration.
So, while the country once provided 18% of the global production of cocoa, the rate is now down to 8% and Nigeria that was the seat of tomato production, is now the largest importer of tomato paste.
The rate of healthy food supply is declining so fast and thus the health of citizens is deteriorating which in turn affects the economy The time to act is now!
Collaboration of farmers with local communities and agencies that are directly involved in the cultivation of locally produced foods should be encouraged. This collaboration would ensure the appropriate use of organic fertilizers that can improve the production of food and the preservation of seasonal food.
In addition to this, our society should preserve the agricultural environment by protecting the local pollinators. This can be done by nurturing flowers that beautify the earth, satisfy the bees’ need of nectar and supply pollen for the production of fruits.
Furthermore, our marine environment needs protection from debris. Therefore there should be a reduction of the use of materials that cannot be recycled to avoid ocean debris and habitat destruction. Measures to curb oil spillages should be taken too for the safety of our water bodies.
These measures if adopted would create a path for preservation of food supplies, development in farming sustainability, access to diversity of healthy diets, as well as the treatment of diet-related chronic diseases.
In essence, we need to understand that together, we can increase the production of healthy foods, availability of same for consumption and improved human health.

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