REES Visiting Speaker Seminar: Dr. G.B. Ayoola, President, Farm and Infrastructure Foundation (FIF) Abuja, Nigeria – Thursday, Mar 21, 2024

Date(s) - 21/03/2024
3:30 pm - 5:00 pm
550 General Services Building, 550 General Services Building University of Alberta , Edmonton Alberta

Title: Food for All in Africa: A Policy Experimental Model of Food Security in Terms of Human Right

Speaker: Dr. G.B. Ayoola, President, Farm and Infrastructure Foundation (FIF)

Date: Thursday, March 21, 2024

Time: 3:30 – 5:00 PM

Location: 550 General Services Building


In Nigeria a national campaign was implemented for 15 years (2008-2023), which involved
the quasi-experimental design to test acceptability of a right-to-food policy regime for the
country, through sustained policy and legislative advocacy as well as a number of technical
back-up brokering support services, for the promotion of a Bill for an Act of National
Assembly to recognize food as human right in the constitution. The successful outcome of
this experiment represents a proximate expression of the huge pent-up demand or revealed
preference of the people for food as a human right but not a mere human need anymore. At
issue is the perennial failure of public policy to deliver food security at implementation stage
with impunity. We posit that the solution to policy impunity in food systems on the African
continent lies in the instrumentation of the policy process with a right-to-food governance and
policy regime in which policy accountability reigns supreme, rather than the need-for-food
governance and policy regime in which policy accountability is relegated to the background.
The campaign seeks to empower to empower the people towards releasing their pent-up
demand for policy accountability, in a manner that makes policy implementation failure
actionable, justiciable and remediable by right; increasing participation of people in the policy
process affecting their lives and creating a demand pressure on policy actors for better
implementation outcomes at all times. Pursuant to this, the campaign was implemented
leading to the recognition of right to food in the constitution (the Right to Food and Food
Security Act No.34 2023), which lays the foundation for a comprehensive reform of the food
policy landscape and establishment of a right-to-food policy regime that we seek. Thus,
policy implementation failure becomes practically consequential, which enables the people to
hold policy actors accountable and ultimately to forestall policy impunity in the food system.
The new right-to-food policy regime so established signals to improved delivery of farmer
support services in Nigeria, and towards meeting preexisting regional and continental
commitments, including the ‘Malabo declaration’ of a 10% minimum allocation to agriculture
in the national budget at the instance of Africa Union. In contribution to economic theory the
model provides a framework for introducing and analyzing effects of the right-based policy
governance regime into food systems within the context of an empirical social welfare
function; wherein the estimated net producer and consumer surplus would be higher in the
right-to-food policy marketplace than it is for the need-for-food policy marketplace,
suggesting the possibility of a net economic gain accruing to society from the former, but
which remains to be contextually validated in due course.

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