” Dry Season Farming ” The Food and Agricultural Organization ( FAO ) of the United Nation has said that the number of people estimated to be facing food insecurity in the north east has dropped from 5.2 million people during to 2.6 million.
The figure according to FAO represents a period of June to August 2017 to October – December 2017.
The Deputy Country Representative in Nigeria Mr. Nourou MackiTall who represented the Country Representative Mr. Suffyan Koroma at the FAO 2017-2018 dry season program where agricultural inputs, equipment and animals were distributed to returnees at Katarko community in Gujba Local Government Area of Yobe State explained that the drop in the figure is as a result of the improved security in the region among other factors.
“This improvement is due to (i) improved security conditions which allowed for farming activities in the locations that were previously not safe and an upturn in market and trade activities;(ii) the delivery of food aid and livelihood support to almost 3 million people; and (iii) favourable climatic conditions for farming; thanks to the continued efforts of the Government, National and International agencies in the Northeast,” MackiTall explained.
He also noted that FAO under the rainy season intervention early this year reached an estimated 970,000 people in the North east worse affected states of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe with seeds and fertilizer which has also impacted on the drop in food insecurity.
He added that about 215,000 people from Yobe State were reached under the scheme, stressing that the intervention significantly changed the household food security for the targeted population of returnees and people in the host communities.
Mr. MackiTall however warned that food security and humanitarian situation in region is still fragile with an estimated population of 3.7 million people at risk of critical food insecurity by June to August 2018 if the humanitarian food livelihood assistance is not expanded and sustained in the region.
As a way of mitigating the impending danger, FAO he said is targeting about 700,000 people representing close to 110,000 households in the states of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe, including IDPs in formal and informal camps, returnees and host communities in the LGAs in emergency and crisis places.
He said; “In Yobe State, about 152,000npeople (23,400 households) distributed across 11 LGAs will benefit. These 11 LGAs have been identified by the Yobe State authorities as having high potential for irrigated vegetables and rice production. The input to be provided will include kits of vegetable seeds, rice seeds, fertilizer, 930 kits of water pumps and 1,200 hand tools kits for micro gardening,” he said.
Under the livestock program, Mr. MackiTall informed that 27,000 goats, 1000 bulls along with animal feed and vertinary supplies will be distributed to beneficiaries from Adamawa, Borno and Yobe. Yobe State he said will benefit from 350 bulls, 6,560 goats for women household among others.
He noted that FAO as part of its efforts to tackle the energy needs of the people in the region is in the process of establishing fuel efficient stoves production centre in the North east to reduce health problems caused by population and to safeguard the environment.
The Commissioner of Agriculture for Yobe State Engr. Mustapha Gajerima, who represented Gov. Ibrahim Gaidam said the irrigation support programme was in line with his government’s policy on irrigation farming in the state, adding that his administration has already developed four irrigation sites to promote dry season farming. Nigerian Scientists Work Out Biotech Solutions To Ensure Food Sufficiency
“The significance of dry season farming was in tandem with our administration’s drive to harness the irrigation potential at Mugura, Boloram, Nguru and Jumbam.
“Our overall target is to develop about 1,000 hectares of land for irrigation farming before the end of 2018,’’ Gaidam said.
Maigoje Foundation, one of the implementing partners of FAO programs in Yobe, explained that a thorough assessment was conducted to ensure that only eligible persons benefited from the programme.
The Executive Director, Maigoje Foundation Dr Usman Abba, said the foundation had fashioned out effective monitoring strategies for the materials to be used for the intended purpose of providing sustainable means of livelihood to the beneficiaries.
He further said each beneficiary is a bonifide member of the community that has either been affected in the conflict in one way or the other.