The Food and Agriculture Organisaiton (FAO) has said its seeking funding to the tune of $10 million to provide emergency agricultural support to internally displaced people and host families, reports NaijaAgroNet.
FAO told NaijaAgroNet that 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.
As said by FAO in a press statement made available to NaijaAgroNet, the resumption of agricultural activities in these areas is of utmost priority to ensure that people can produce enough food for themselves.
FAO Assistant Director-General and Regional Representative for Africa, Bukar Tijani, said “This includes those who have been internally displaced by the conflict as well as communities who have been hosting them.”
These populations, Tijani noted, need urgent assistance to recover their livelihoods, which are mostly based on crop farming, artisanal fisheries and aquaculture and livestock production, stressing that for the last three to four years this has not been possible due to the conflict.
As at press time, over 3 million people are affected by acute food insecurity in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa States.
The FAO's Emergency and Response Manager in Nigeria, Tim Vaessen, revealed that 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.
Meanwhile, he said, 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," Vaessen said.
He explained that 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, FAO said it reached just a fraction of those in need of support and now 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. ##
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Pix: FAO/Sonia Nguyen … A displaced farmer preparing land for planting in Kukarata, northeastern Nigeria.