Nigeria’s annual food import bill of $22bn (N6.9tn) equates the country’s annual 2017 budget of N6.8tn. The more Nigeria imports food, the more local farmers lose their source of livelihood and puts the country’s agricultural development in jeopardy. This project aims to bring into the spotlight the human cost of the high food import culture of the country, telling the story through the lives of local farmers who cannot find market for their commodities due to the proliferation of cheaper imported food. This project intends to provide an comparison calculator that would determine the impact of each tonne of food brought into the country on food production by individual local farmers.
This project would involve, our team has chosen three locations from the country’s geo-political zones - Benue State for the North, Oyo State for the West and Edo State for the South. In each of these locations, the impact of wasting land would be accessed through the lives of local farmers on the ground.
The project would make use of a drone to give an aerial view of portions of lands that are without cultivation in a wide expanse of area. Nigeria has 82 million hectares of agricultural land. Less than 42% of this is cultivated.
Part of this project involves monitoring importation for some days with the assistance of customs officers at Nigeria’s border with Benin Republic at Seme to gain an insight into how food imports stream into the country on a daily basis. The same would be done at the Apapa Port in Lagos which is another point of entry of imported food into the country.
In this project, mapping of agricultural land would be necessary while copious use of videos for social media optimisation along with the use of data visualisation.
A serialised form of the report will be published in Saturday PUNCH title of The Punch Newspapers while a more interactive form will be published on Punch’s online platform. Social media will play a vital role as a result of popularity of Twitter and Facebook in Nigeria.