SPOTLIGHTS

  • The FAO is targeting 26,750 households with farm inputs
  • The programme aims to boost food production in the north-east
  • International partners are funding the emergency intervention
  • Over 31 million Nigerians are projected to experience food insecurity in 2024

Food Security: 30,000 North-East Households Get Farming Inputs

From Timothy Olanrewaju, Maiduguri

No fewer than 26,750 households (representing 187,250 individuals) across the north-eastern states of Borno, Adamawa, Taraba, and Yobe are targeted to receive farm inputs as part of an emergency strategy by the United Nations to tackle food insecurity in the area.

The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) Representative ad interim in Nigeria and to ECOWAS, Mr Koffy Dominique Kouacou, revealed this in Maiduguri, Borno State’s capital, at the launch of the 2024 rainy season input distribution in the north-east.

“FAO’s emergency strategy aims to strengthen the food production capacity of farming and agro-pastoral communities in conflict-affected areas,” he disclosed.

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The FAO chief said this year’s theme, “Good Prospects for Improving Food Security Protocols,” is apt at a time when about 31.8 million people in 26 states in the country are predicted to face food insecurity.

He said the prediction was based on the March 2024 Cadre Harmonisé food security analysis for 26 states, presented recently in Abuja by the Minister of Agriculture.

He said 4.84 million of the projected population are in Borno, Adamawa, and Yobe states. He noted that the figure is higher than the 4.4 million predicted in the October 2023 analysis.

The inputs distributed to the farming households at the launch, held at Dusuman, a farming community on the outskirts of Maiduguri, include cereal seeds (millet, sorghum, maize); legume seeds (cowpea, groundnuts, sesame); and vegetable seeds (such as okra). Wet blended fertilisers were also given to the farmers.

According to the UN body, the intervention was supported by funding from the governments of Norway, the United States, Switzerland, and the European Commission.

Borno State Governor, Babagana Zulum, commended the strategic role of FAO in supporting food production in the state and the north-east. He assured the organisation of the state’s collaboration and solicited more interventions.


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