The Problem Statement
The incessant occurrence of the foodborne disease remains a significant health challenge in developed and developing countries despite the efforts being made by governments all over the world to improve the safety of the food supply.
The Nigerian Legislature seeks to address the issue of hunger, Food security, quality and malnutrition.
The Policy Solution
The Food Safety and Quality Bill is an Act to make Provision for Freedom from Hunger and the Right to Adequate Food of Acceptable Quality. The bill will strengthen institutional capacity for food safety and quality as well as improve information and communication systems for food safety in Nigeria. This was taken into cognizance to avert occurrences of our food export being banned by other countries.
It also made a provision for Nigeria to set up a Food Safety Council which is chaired by the Vice President.
The bill also gives the President the power to declare a food emergency if in his opinion there is a major shortfall in the domestic production or availability of a designated Agricultural commodity.
In addition, the ministers of relevant departments: agriculture, environment, science and industry, trade and investment amongst others will require an institutional framework to strengthen the implementation of this bill when enacted into law. Thus, the bill made provision to curb the incidence of food-borne illnesses through preventive measures.
NIGAC Constructive Position/Take
The Food Saftey and Quality Bill would be an excellent addition to the already ongoing bills. This bill would help to regulate the amount of substandard food that is being imported and that would help reduce the amount of food poisoning cases in the country.
With the increased threat of climate change to food security, the bill is increasingly important. There is a need for the enlightenment of farmers on the appropriate use of fertilizers and pesticides to avert the risk of these chemicals on food items. More focus should be directed on proper storage facilities and good road network.