Food crisisi in Northeast, says FAO
• Recruits 700,000 IDPs For Dry Season Farming
The United Nations (UN) Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has predicted that food insecurity is expected to deteriorate from July to August next year in Nigeria’s northeast due to the typical lean season cyclical characteristics.
Speaking at the launching of FAO 2017- 2018 dry season farming and distribution of agricultural inputs to Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), returnees and host communities in Yola, the Adamawa State capital, yesterday, FAO’s representative in Nigeria Mr. Suffyan Koroma, said to avert acute food crisis in the zone, more focused and well-targeted humanitarian intervention is urgently needed to maintain, protect and enhance livelihoods of the people.
“The 2017-2018 dry season farming is targeting 700, 000 people and about 110, 000 households in the states of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe, including IDPs in formal and informal camps, returnees and host communities in the local government areas in emergency and crisis phases,” he said.
Koroma stated that the dry season, launched yesterday, would benefit 44, 575 households in 15 councils in Adamawa that have high potential for irrigated vegetables and rice production, adding that the organisation, in its efforts to build resilient futures in the region, was supporting a livestock restocking programme in the state.
He noted: “Under this programme, 250 Bulls will be distributed to youths for fattening and income generating activities, while 6, 350 goats will be distributed mainly to women to rebuild their assets and foster nutrition,” just as FAO is in the process of establishing fuel efficient stoves production centres in the region to address energy needs in emergencies.
Koroma said the scheme is vital for ensuring nutrition, food security, environment safeguard, reduce health problems caused by smoke inhalation and protection of conflict affected people, with the overall objective of contributing to the improvement of food security and nutrition of people affected by the conflict in the region by restoring agricultural livelihoods.
President of American University of Nigeria (AUN) Dr. Dawn Dekle, said Nigeria’s dream to achieve food security was still far, unless the people embraced modern farming system.
Dekle, represented by Prof Yusuf Attahiru, said despite the fertile land, Nigeria cannot feed its citizens well due to lack of modern farm inputs and improve seedlings for farmers.
He disclosed that the university would soon introduce agriculture business management courses to help to train youths on modern farming and management to boost food production and revenue generation in the country.
The Adamawa state governor, who was represented by the Commissioner for Agriculture, Mr. Waziri Haruna Ahmadu, commended FAO, AUN and other organisations that stood behind the state government to assist the victims of insurgents.
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