Breaking down Nigeria’s unique hunger challenge

Apr 25, 2023|Gbemisola Alonge

Key questions:

  1. How much progress has Nigeria made in improving food security?

  2. Is Nigeria's food production and importation sufficient to feed its population?

Let's begin with the good news: global hunger has declined by almost half in the last two decades.

In 2002, 13% of the global population (more than 800 million people) were undernourished; this reduced to around 7% (a little over 600 million people) in 2019.

Unfortunately, the last three years slightly reversed the efforts to maintain this reduced global hunger.

The prevalence of undernourishment was relatively unchanged from 2015 to 2019. Around 8% of the world was undernourished in that period, spiking to 9.8% in 2021. 

Essentially, 150 million more people have faced hunger since 2020, most of whom are from Africa. ​​​​​​



As of 2021, one in five Africans faced hunger, compared to one in ten in Asia and Latin America.

So, while hunger worldwide has reversed (as you’ll see below), Africa has disproportionately been on the receiving end.

This could be for several reasons, like Africa’s increasing population and the global spike in food inflation—shrinking the real income in Africa, the region with the lowest income.

But we won’t go into too much detail about Africa; instead, we’ll be zooming into Nigeria in this article, looking at how much progress (or the reverse) we’ve made towards reducing hunger and food insecurity, given our increasing population.

Hunger and food security mean

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