The Country Representative of Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) of the UN, Suffyan Koroma has said that crop seeds and fertilizer are being distributed to 80, 600 farmers affected by conflicts in the Northeast.
The distribution of farm inputs was to improve food security, livelihoods and nutrition of people affected by 10-year Boko Haram insurgency in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states.
Koroma disclosed this on Saturday in Maiduguri, while flagging off distribution of bags of seeds and fertilizers to households at the Farm Centre, Maiduguri.
“In the three northeast states of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe, the number of people in need of food assistance has dropped from 2.6 to 1.7 million people over the past year,” said Koroma, who was represented by his Deputy, Nourou Macki Tall.He said this reflects robust efforts made by insurgency affected states, Federal Government and humanitarian actors, including UN food agencies to reach the vulnerable people.
He said other factors that led to improvements in food security; include favorable farming conditions, improved security, and better access to markets.Tall however noted that conflict and displacement are preventing large numbers of people from farming or engaging in other livelihood activities.
“Without sustained humanitarian support, this number is predicted to rise to 2.7 million people within the next six months,” he warned.
He said security, access to farmland and irrigation facilities remain pre-requisites for a sustained improvement and return to self-reliance.
He therefore called on the government leadership and support of affected Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in camps and host communities.He said the UN food agency is supporting 1.5 million people, IDPs, returnees and host communities in the insurgency-affected region.
“Our support is under emergency in the areas of crops, livestock, aquaculture, agri-business and climate change adaptation,” he said, adding that access to savings and loans, safe access to fuel and energy, and extension services are part of humanitarian interventions to raise living conditions of IDPs.
He said 50 per cent of beneficiaries (40, 100 households) to crop seeds and fertilizers are in Borno state.He said that 28 Local Government Areas will be reached, including 15, eight and five from Borno, Yobe and Adamawa respectively.Governor Kashim Shettima said that the partnership with FAO has impacted positively in reducing the shocks of food insecurity.He explained that it has also promoted a more secured livelihoods to reduce the burden of many host communities.
According to him, the partnership with UN agency will rebuild and regain the livelihoods of IDPs in food production and resettlement processes. Shettima; who was represented by the Commissioner of Agriculture,Hajiya Inna Galadima said about 40,160 household farmers are expected to benefit from the distribution of rice, maize, vegetable seeds and fertilizers.
She said the distribution of farm inputs was designed to strengthen the resilience of insurgency-affected communities by boosting food production and ensure support for IDPs and returnees.