Published On: Fri, Apr 7th, 2017

Farming season failures catastrophic for Nigeria

Farming failuresMAIDUGURI, (CAJ News) – AHEAD of the plating season in May, aid agencies are making frantic efforts to ensure Nigerians in terror prone communities receive inputs assistance, lest the crisis deteriorates in 2018.
Northeast Nigeria is the region in the Lake Chad Basin worst affected by the Boko Haram terror, which has left over 6 million critically food insecure.
In Nigeria’s north-east alone, 4,7 million people are struggling with extreme food shortages, and in the worst-affected and least accessible areas of Borno and Yobe States, severe forms of hunger have been registered with more than 40 000 people estimated to be experiencing famine-like conditions.
According to the United Nations Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) timely funding will be critical in shoring up agriculture and easing the burden of hunger through the June – August lean season.
“Missing the upcoming season starting in May is likely to result in a serious protracted livelihoods crisis with consequences stretching into 2018,” UNOCHA stated on Friday.
Agriculture is the main source of livelihood of up to 90 percent of rural households in the Lake Chad Basin where communities continue suffering Boko Haram attacks.
The raids and destruction have decimated livelihoods, and those who have fled the violence are struck by adversity in displacement sites and other areas of refuge.
The Food and Agricultural Organisation said with farming, trade and movement disrupted, prices of staple foods in most markets have risen in comparison with the past five-year average: by 50 – 150 percent for maize and by about 76 – 204 per cent for sorghum.
Ahead of this year’s planting season, the agency is underscoring the importance of providing tools, seeds and livestock in time to prevent a possible worsening of the crisis.
In Nigeria, FAO has budgeted US$20 million as distribution of inputs.
For the 2017 main season, FAO is targeting 1,35 million people in Nigeria to be assisted through the distribution of fast-maturing nutrient-rich cereal and pulse seeds, fertilizers, seed production assistance, post-harvest storage, vegetable and fruit production, food processing and agricultural infrastructure rehabilitation.
CAJ News

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