Urgent farming support needed amid rampant food insecurity in parts of north-east Nigeria – UN agency

9 August 2016 – As more areas previously controlled by Boko Haram become accessible to humanitarian assistance, a critical opportunity has arisen to tackle “alarming levels” of food insecurity in north-east Nigeria, the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) said today.

“These populations need urgent assistance to recover their livelihoods, which are mostly based on crop farming, artisanal fisheries and aquaculture and livestock production,” Bukar Tijani, FAO Assistant Director-General and Regional Representative for Africa, said today in a news release from the agency. “For the last three to four years this has not been possible due to the conflict,” he added.

The release added that 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.

It further noted that in parts of the country’s restive north-east, where food insecurity is rampant, some 385,000 people are in urgent need of farming and livelihood support.

The situation has been exasperated as three consecutive planting seasons were lost due to the fighting in the region.