Daily VideoApril 16, 2009
Rich Nigeria Can’t Feed Itself
Nigeria’s 140 million people face starvation because of high prices and the lack of food and water.
According to the United Nations, a third of Nigeria’s children are significantly underweight and some families have resorted to eating leaves and shrubs during the country’s dry farming seasons. Even families with farms are unable to sustain themselves because supplies like fertilizer and diesel fuel are so expensive.
The problems of Nigeria’s farming community were in part caused by decades of military dictatorships which promised to modernize the country but never followed through on their expensive plans.
Many farmers have yet to see the benefit of dam or silo projects that were supposed to help them.
Thomas Odemwingie of the non-government group, Action Aid says, “The local people, what do they have to show for the [expensive infrastructure projects]? You know, their poverty — their situation never changes.”
In this video, NewsHour correspondent Fred De Sam Lazaro reports looks at Nigeria’s mounting agricultural problems.
“The reality of the situation is the easy money that we get from the oil industry has created more problems than solutions, that we became virtually a consumer nation rather than a productive nation.” – Muhammad Sabo Nanono, farm organizer
“There should be some control of price of commodities in the market. Farmers need support from government to find a market that will make it work. As it is, there is no control on prices. One season, the price is very low; another year, it’s very high.” – Kabi Abubaker Matazu, farmer
Warm Up Questions
1. Why might people living in a country rich with oil still face hunger and poverty?
2. Where is Nigeria?
1. What are your reactions to this video?
2. Thomas Odemwingie of Action Aid says that many of the able-bodied people are moving to the cities. In what ways might this affect rural areas?
3. What kinds of problems might American farmers face? How are they similar or different to the problems of Nigerian farmers?
4. Nigerians are importing much of their food from the neighboring country Niger. Which countries does America rely on for certain goods?
Tooltip of related stories
Tooltip of more video block
Submit Your Student Voice
Melissa Etheridge is taking her 35-year music career in a new direction this year with “This is M.E.,” an album she released under her self-owned label. Continue reading
Shubham Banerjee’s low-cost Braille printer began with a robotic LEGO kit. Continue reading
Two New York City police officers were shot and killed in Brooklyn in what New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio called an “assassination.” Continue reading
Sony Pictures decided to stop the release of “The Interview” after hackers decimated the company’s computer systems and issued threats in what has been called an “unprecedented” cyber-attack. Continue reading
President Obama announced that the U.S. and Cuba would “normalize” their relationship in a major change to U.S. diplomatic policy. Continue reading