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It was indeed an insightful discourse at the last special edition of PiLAF’s brown bag series tagged stakeholder’s engagement forum. The meeting which was held virtually on Wednesday, August 24th, 2022 had in attendance several important personalities from different sectors such as academics, politicians, business owners etc. The focus of the meeting was to generate worthy ideas that can foster the execution of the research idea of the fellowship that was won by PiLAF’s team.

PiLAF was established in 2020 as one of the three centres for policy leadership in Africa; others being in Uganda and Senegal. These centres are part of the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Food Security, Policy, Research, Capacity and Influence project funded by the USAID with Michigan State University Food Security Group as the Lab Lead. As a centre for policy leadership, PiLAF aims to engage stakeholders and influence agricultural policy processes to ensure food and nutrition security in Nigeria.

PiLAF’s research efforts attracted a one-year research fellowship from Cornell University and Michigan State University (both from USA) called STAAARS+. This fellowship was won by three researchers from PiLAF. The fellowship involves the conduct of a study titled “Resilience to COVID-19 and Insecurity Shocks: Evidence from Nigeria”. The stakeholder’s engagement forum was therefore targeted at getting contributions from stakeholders on how best the research can generate practicable policy recommendations in Nigerian context.

The meeting started at 2.00pm (WAT) with an opening remark by Dr. Martina Occelli, a Postdoctoral Associate at the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Cornell University. She commended PiLAF for her work and contributions in Nigeria and equally welcomed all participants to the session. She thereafter requested the Co-Director of MSU’s Food Security Group and Director, PRCI, Prof. Dave Tschirley to give his opening address. Prof Dave welcomed the participants and as well lauded PiLAF for her several efforts.

The moderator later proceeded to invite the STAAARS+ Fellow to make their presentation. The presentation was made in three distinctive segments. Mr Iredele Ogunbayo who took the first segment elucidated on the background to the study. He provided the audience cogent statistics and information that necessitated a study of such magnitude. He expounded on the fact that Nigerians have been responding to the duo forces of COVID 19 and the insecurity challenges and there is a pertinent need to understudy the Resilience to COVID-19 and Insecurity Shocks. This was the basis of the title of the study which was “Resilience to COVID-19 and Insecurity Shocks: Evidence from Nigeria”.

Dr. Nathaniel Olutegbe progressed with the presentation by highlighting the methods and methodology of the research and as well stressed the analysis mode. This segment was followed with the presentation of Dr. Benjamin Oyelami who showed to us in practical terms the policy relevance of the study and its contribution to the food security of the nation.

The presentation was well applauded and commended by the participants. It was believe that it is a worthy step in the right direction to conduct a study of such significance. Participants were allowed to make their comments and as well provide suggestions on how best the research can generate practicable policy recommendations in Nigerian context.

It was suggested that there is a need to conduct qualitative research and not just limit it to quantitative research. It was equally opined that the gender perspective should be taken into consideration. Several other comments and suggestions were made. 

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