United Nations food agencies are making frantic efforts to equip distressed Nigerian farmers ahead of the planting season to avoid a recurrence of hunger.
The Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) and World Food Programme (WFP) have partnered to ensure farmers have the necessary inputs, particularly in northeast Nigeria, which is suffering the most from the conflict sparked by the Boko Haram terror group.
The organisations are combining WFP in-kind food assistance and cash-based transfers, with FAO’s provision of seeds, tools and fertilisers, as well as small-scale livelihood starter kits.
“Missing the upcoming season starting in May is likely to result in a serious protracted livelihoods crisis with consequences stretching into 2018,” the organisations jointly stated.
Besides assistance to small-scale subsistence farmers, WFP and FAO are partnering further to ensure joint emergency food assistance, agriculture and livelihoods support to internally displaced persons (IDPs), returnees and host communities in northeast Nigeria’s Borno and Yobe states.
The joint response intends to reduce food consumption gaps and needs, treat and prevent acute malnutrition and rebuild livelihoods of vulnerable affected populations.
Some 8.2 million people in Nigeria and neighbouring countries are in need of humanitarian support.