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Market 2 Kitchen (M2K)

To meet the food needs of the estimated population of over 400,000,000 Nigerians come 2050.

Photo of Alex Fintan
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Written by

Lead Applicant Organization Name

Altan's Integrated Services

Lead Applicant Organization Type

  • Small company (under 50 employees)

How long have you / your team been working on this Vision?

  • Under 1 year

Lead Applicant: In what city or town are you located?

Port Harcourt City

Lead Applicant: In what country are you located?


Your Selected Place: what’s the name of the Place you’re developing a Vision for?

Nigeria, located in West Africa. Considered the most populous African Nation on earth. A hub for thriving markets.

What country is your selected Place located in?


Describe your relationship to the place you’ve selected.

I love my country.

Describe the People and Place: Provide information that would be helpful for an outsider who has never been there and may have no context about this Place to better understand the area.

Africa's giant, Nigeria is widely known for its petroleum production and exportation as a major source of the nation's economy accounting for about 95% of foreign exchange income and 70% of government revenue. This black nation remains the largest oil producer in Africa and the 12th largest producer in the world. Nigeria is a country in West Africa. Nigeria shares land borders with the Republic of Benin in the west, Chad and Cameroon in the east, and Niger in the north. Its coast lies on the Gulf of Guinea in the south and it borders Lake Chad to the northeast. Noted geographical features in Nigeria include the Adamawa highlands, Mambilla Plateau, Jos Plateau, Obudu Plateau, the Niger River, River Benue and Niger Delta. Nigeria is found in the Tropics, where the climate is seasonally damp and very humid. Nigeria is affected by four climate types; these climate types are distinguishable, as one moves from the southern part of Nigeria to the northern part of Nigeria through Nigeria's middle belt. Nigeria has such a variety of people and cultures that it is difficult to pick one national dish. Each area has its own regional favorite that depends on customs, tradition, and religion. The different foods available also depend on the season: the "hungry season" is before the rains arrive in March, and the "season of surplus" follows the harvest in October and November. Fruits, however, are enjoyed year-round. A large part of Nigeria lies in the tropics, where many fruits are available. Some of the popular fruits are oranges, melons, grapefruits, limes, mangoes, bananas, and pineapples. The culture of Nigeria is shaped by Nigeria's multiple ethnic groups. The country has 527 languages, seven of them are extinct. Nigeria also has over 1150 dialects and ethnic groups. The six largest ethnic groups are the Hausa and Fulani in the north, the Igbo in the southeast, and the Yoruba predominate in the southwest, the Tiv people of North Central Nigeria and the Efik - Ibibio. The Edo people are most frequent in the region between Yorubaland and Igboland. Many of the Edo tend to be Christian. This group is followed by the Ibibio/Annang/Efik people of the coastal south southern Nigeria and the Ijaw of the Niger Delta. Blessed with abundant land and water resources, Nigeria’s agricultural sector has a high potential for growth, but this potential is not being realized. Productivity is low and basically stagnant. Farming systems, which are mostly small in scale, are still predominantly subsistence-based and for the most part depend on the vagaries of the weather. Many agricultural policies have also been ineffective, either because they have been misguided, or because their impacts have been swamped by macro policies affecting inflation, exchange rates, and the cost

What is the estimated population (current 2020) in your Place?


Challenges: Describe the current (2020) and the future (2050) challenges that your food system faces.

With over 200 million people (2020), Nigeria is the most populated country in Africa and represents about 47 percent of the population of the whole of West Africa. Agriculture is the major occupation in Nigeria, employing almost two-thirds of the active work force and contributing 40 percent of the national GDP. However, based on date from U.S. Energy Information Administration (2015), Nigeria has the largest natural gas reserves in Africa and is the continent’s biggest oil exporter. These wealth of resources have helped it maintain Nigeria’s relatively steady economic growth even in the face of recent global financial meltdown. Nigeria leapfrogged South Africa as Africa’s largest economy in 2013 with Nigeria’s GDP growing from $169.48 billion in 2010 to 522.64 billion in 2014. This development cushioned Nigeria’s economy to 24th largest in the world, behind Poland and Norway and leap-frogging of Belgium and Taiwan. It also means that Nigeria’s GDP per capita substantially rose to $2689, up from a previous estimate of $1555. Unfortunately, the new figures will not put more money in the pockets of the common man in Nigeria, where about 70% still live below $1.25/day. The new figures only emphasis the level of marginalization in a country in which a generation of multimillionaires and billionaires has emerged. However, economists both locally and internationally have severally pointed out that Nigeria’s economic output is underperforming. Also, the 2012 Global Hunger Index ranked Nigeria 40th out of 79 nations while the 2011 UNDP Human Development Index placed Nigeria 156th out of 187 countries. The prevalence of poverty and hunger is more pronounced in the rural regions of Nigeria where up to 80% of the population survive on less than acne US dollar per day. Food insecurity has persisted in Nigeria and many developing countries because of inefficient policies especially with respect to agriculture, trade, economics and other adjourning sectors. If governments fail with these policies, hunger will naturally persist or even worsen. Indeed, many countries have failed in their efforts to develop due to failure to properly administer policies and initiatives which has connection to food. This problem arises sometimes when the focus on policies objectives, structures and institutions were designed without adequate consideration of public interest. When policies designs which are not inclusive in structure, tend to disenfranchise the exempted populace. The use of modern technologies in the production and distribution of agricultural products is very low in Nigeria so the sector depended more on manual labour for farm activities. This is because of lack of innovation in local technology, particularly as it relate to mechanization of agriculture to improve productivity. Additionally, local farmers can hardly afford imported technologies and lack maintenance capacity.

Full Vision: How do you describe your Vision for a regenerative and nourishing food future for your Place and People for 2050?

Going by its definition, food security however will not be achieved by simply increasing the production of food. Even when food is sufficiently available, a poor hungry man will remain food insecure as long as he cannot afford to buy it. Hence, all four components viz.; availability, accessibility, utilization and stability must be present. Economic Strategies a. Promoting decent employment in the agriculture sector: this is particularly effective in the rural areas. A great proportion of the rural population depends on agriculture for survival, yet they are the most food-insecure part of Nigeria. Like in other developing nations of the world, rural farmers in Nigeria are highly informal with casual approach to farming activities. This makes them highly vulnerable to exploitation. Policies and programmes should be implemented to facilitate equitable market place for the informal farmers such as training and monitoring schemes. b. Promoting the non-farm economy in the rural areas: again the rural population who are most susceptible to food insecurity are the targets here because the Nigerian urban economy is mostly non-farm based. As important as agriculture is to the rural people, there is need for diversification. While some rural farmers may begin to enjoy the dividends of access to the transforming equitable agricultural market enabling them to find their rout out of poverty and food insecurity, others may not be so successful. The whole rural economy cannot be based on agriculture. Some may need to exploit other non-farm opportunities which may as well be economically viable such as paid employment or trading. The government needs to provide orientation program and the enable environment for diversification of rural economies. c. Provision of credit and incentives: credit facilities has been shown empirically in various studies to have improved farmer’s productivity. It is important for small-holder farmers to have access to credit facilities particularly during the sowing period to enable them to enable them afford quality seeds, pesticides, fertilizers as well as hire/purchase of equipment needed for production. Fund may also be needed for labor support during harvest and for storage facilities. Other incentives such as subsidy on fertilizers can also help improve farmers’ productivity. Social Strategies a. Social networking and organized farmers cooperation: livelihood of small-holder farmers through inter-connecting and cooperating with one another. This helps protect the interest of the most vulnerable farmers in a group and can serve as base for human resource development enabling the weaker farmers cope with risks. It can serve as a viable capacity building platform for farmers and other social groups to form a force and gain access to credit facilities, inputs, markets and other resources. b. Accessible education: this is indeed a mechanism that facilitates productivity in any field of career. Lack of or inadequate education is the bane of farmers in Nigeria particularly in the rural settlement. This is mostly not because of their lack of interest but because they lack access to it. The government needs to make education affordable for the low-income urban and rural people. This will improve their ability to navigate opportunities and technical know-how in employing farm implements. c. Provision of infrastructure: even in the most developed urban centers, lack of basic infrastructures as access roads, electricity and portable water can have immense impact on the economy. For farmers to be productive these basic amenities need to be accessible. Electricity for an instance cannot be compromised to power storage facilities of sometime farm equipments. Road and transport give them access to the market and thus improving their economy. Environmental Strategies a. Improved management of industrial effluents: Islam, et al. (2006) in their research of Impacts of industrial effluents on plant and soil in Bangladesh showed that industrial effluents significantly reduce deplete the nutrient content of soil which reduces the growth, yield, and nutrition of agricultural products. In Nigeria, oil spillage, gas flaring and other industrial effluents have consistently constituted a scourge for the agricultural sector, crippling productivity. There is a need for an improved monitoring system of industrial compliance to Environmental Management Plan (EMP) and follow-up program to reduce impact on agricultural productivity. b. Regulation of the use of fertilizers and other agro-chemicals: the importance of fertilizers and agrochemicals in today’s agricultural practice cannot be overemphasized. However, they also have their associated environmental consequences. Where nitrogen from fertilizers washes into water bodies it causes eutrophication killing aquatic lives. Phosphorus can also make algae to accumulate in water bodies depriving fishes of oxygen leading to suffocation and thereby affecting the supply or availability of fish for consumption. Measures should be taken to control the usage of fertilizers and pesticides by farmers through trainings and orientation programs. Technological Strategies a. Crop rotation and diversification: crop rotation, mixing and diversification is an important practice that can improve quality and yield of agricultural produce. This technique basically help improves soil nutrients and can be used to control pests and diseases. This system should be encouraged amongst farmers. b. Irrigation system: irrigated farms in the dry savanna agro-ecological zones give higher productivity than non-irrigated farms in the same region. This system will be particularly useful in most part of the northern Nigeria. c. Promotion of mechanized farming system: despite the use of indigenous CRP rotation system in Africa, Asia and the Latin Americas, food insecurity has been on the rise as these techniques are not enough to meet the demand of the fast growing populations. There is the need for mechanization of agriculture in Nigeria to improve production through the use of equipments, machineries and implements. Although, some large scale farmers have been using the mechanised farming system, there is the need to promote mechanized farming amongst small-holder farmers. To achieve an overall inclusive agricultural mechanization, the Nigerian government needs to engage other public and private corporations as well as financing institutions d. Agricultural biotechnology: although agricultural biotechnology which involves genetically modified foods is still not generally accepted due to unresolved safety issues. It represents one of the success stories of science and technology in recent times which has an immense potential to significantly reducing the global food security challenges. Conclusions Although food insecurity is a global phenomenon, it is more prevalent in the developing nations including Nigeria. Fortunately, Nigeria is blessed with abundant fertile land for agriculture and enormous human resource. Nigeria has a rich history of agricultural practice but it all soon changes with the discovery of oil in the now unenviable oil-rich Niger-delta region of the nation. The prospect of huge financial resource that could be generated from the oil resource distracted the nation from its agricultural blessing as all attention was diverted. The so-called financial returns from the oil resources are consistently manipulated and diverted by government officials and alas it is the common man who suffers the consequences. Hunger, starvation and malnutrition are ravaging the nation. Food security can, however, still be restored in the country but some factors are still militating against the restoration such as insufficient production, gender inequality, inefficient policies and corruption, conflicts and civil insecurity, climate change and natural disasters, low technology for processing and storage amongst others. To surmount this challenges, the government must go back to the drawing board to provide enabling environment through promoting decent employment in the agricultural sector and non-farm sectors as well as providing credit facilities to serve as platform for the most vulnerable to cope with the economic realities particularly in the rural areas. While social networking and cooperation among small holder farmers will give them a voice, the government needs to provide basic infrastructures such as access road and electricity and make education more accessible to build farmers capacity. Oil spillage and other industrial effluents constitute a major source of pollution of soil and water and other components of the environment, thereby reducing agricultural productivity. There is the need for government to develop a robust monitoring mechanism to control indiscriminate discharge of effluent. Lastly, modern science and technologies must be adopted to improve agricultural productivity.

How did you hear about the Food System Vision Prize?

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Join the conversation:

Photo of Koldun Victor

Photos of your dishes look pretty attractive, but, nevertheless, your chefs still need to work on a presentation. ;-)

Personally, I cook in the same way. 1: 1. But, when I go to the cafe - I want a more refined presentation

Photo of Alex Fintan

We sure will. Thank you very much for your honest opinion.

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