Policy development and opportunities in ICT for sustainable food and nutrition security in Nigeria
Some 815 million people world-wide suffer from chronic malnutrition and the most devastating and persistent problem of food security and environmental degradation are found in rural areas. These people are also information marginalized due to remote nature of most of such areas as in Nigeria. The objective of the research study was to identify opportunities in ICTs for sustainable food and nutrition security and propose policy framework towards achieving sustainable food and nutrition security through the use of ICTs. The information generated through literature showed that to be food secure, households need information and the understanding of what constitutes an appropriate diet, as well as the skills and motivation to make sound choices on family care and feeding practices. It was determined that nutrition knowledge is significantly associated with child nutrition, independent of mothers’ level of formal education or household income. Acceleration of agricultural development by increasing agricultural production, improved marketing and distribution that would lead to food and nutrition security can only be possible through knowledge and information. Bridging the digital divide through development and utilization of information communication technologies (ICTs) which include fixed lines, mobile phones and Internet services will go a long way in making significant impact in solving the problem of food security and malnutrition.
Key words: Hunger, malnutrition, ICTs, access, capacity building, policy