Photo credit: FAO
A displaced farmer preparing land before planting in Kukarata, northeastern Nigeria.
Nigeria: FAO seeks urgent funding to target 385,000 people with farming support in northeast
Urgent action is needed to provide farming and livelihood support to 385,000 people in parts of Nigeria’s northeast where food insecurity is rampant, FAO said today.
The resumption of agricultural activities in these areas is of utmost priority to ensure that people can produce enough food for themselves. This includes those who have been internally displaced by the conflict as well as communities who have been hosting them.
These populations need urgent assistance to recover their livelihoods, which are mostly based on crop farming, artisanal fisheries and aquaculture and livestock production. For the last three to four years this has not been possible due to the conflict,” said Bukar Tijani, FAO Assistant Director-General and Regional Representative for Africa.
More than 3 million people are affected by acute food insecurity in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa States.
FAO has launched a full-scale corporate response to the ongoing crisis and urgently requires $10 million to supply seeds, fertilizers and irrigation equipment for the upcoming irrigated dry season. In the meantime, FAO is preparing its response for the main agricultural season for which even more resources are required.
“This year, significant territory previously controlled by Boko Haram has been rendered accessible to humanitarian assistance so we have a critical opportunity to tackle the alarming levels of food insecurity in northeast Nigeria,” said Tim Vaessen, FAO’s Emergency and Response Manager in Nigeria.
“With funds received to-date, FAO has reached over 123,000 people to improve their food security by enabling them to grow their own food during the ongoing rain-fed season. While this assistance is crucial, it reaches just a fraction of those in need of support and now FAO is seeking funds to support irrigated crop production, livestock restocking and animal health treatment, including disease control and supplementary feed, in the newly liberated areas,” he added.
Pressure on rural communities hosting displaced people
Three consecutive planting seasons have been lost due to the fighting in northeastern Nigeria. Moreover, large influxes of people escaping repeated Boko Haram attacks have put extreme pressure on already poor and vulnerable host communities and their fragile agricultural and pastoral livelihoods, exacerbating the already precarious food and nutrition security situation.
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