By Ayo Akinfe
(1) Leon Trotsky once said that even in ruins there is architecture. Meaning that from the rubble, you can always see the design of the past and the future. This Covid-19 crisis is offering the whole world and opportunity to examine the options open to its producers of numerous products
(2) One advantage Europe has over the rest of the world is that they have been here before during World War Two. Back then, there were lockdowns and scarcity but Europe found a way to get through the tough times. Today, I have noticed that many European nations are adopting the same tactics they used between 1939 and 1945
(3) In the UK for instance, National Loaf, a nutrient-dense whole wheat bread first produced in 1942 has been re-emerging in recent weeks. Over the coming months, I expect it to not only flood the shelves of British supermarkets but to also be aggressively pushed as an export product
(4) After panic-buyers cleared supermarket shelves of flour, smaller-scale producers like Mungoswells Malt and Milling in East Lothian, Scotland, have seen a surge in the sales of National Loaf. I expect these canny bakeries to wheel out old folks who survived on National Loaf during the war to market their product as nutritious and healthy
(5) If you need any more evidence that the UK is practically on a war footing, look no further than the fact that the country has also seen a surging public interest in the growth of fruits and vegetables. This was a trend immortalized by the government’s Dig for Victory wartime campaign during World War Two
(6) Make no mistake about it, as this Covid-19 lockdown continues, food will get scarce in many countries. Among the most vulnerable nations are those in arid regions like the Middle East and around the Himalayas and other mountainous regions, where it is hard to grow food
(7) This is an area where Nigeria should be making a killing. We are the world’s sixth largest agricultural economy and the number one producer of crops like cassava, yam, kolanuts, cocoyam, egusi, shea nuts, cashews, etc. We should be flooding the international market with our food
(8) Why are we not mass-producing cassava bread and selling it to the likes of Asda, Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Lidl, Walmart, Intermarche, Vival, etc?
(9) Where is our yam cereal that we should be selling for half the price of Kellogg’s corn flakes, Quaker Oats and Weetabix?
(10) This is a chance in a lifetime which we may never get again. Nigeria will never get such an opportunity to use food products to replace petroleum as the government’s main source of revenue