The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) is to support 65,800 households in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states with agricultural inputs for 2021 rainy season intervention.
The FAO Country Representative in Nigeria and to ECOWAS, Mr Fred Kafeero, made this known in Maiduguri in his speech at the launching of 2021 Rainy Season Intervention in North East.
Kafeero who was represented by Head of FAO North East sub-office, Alhassan Cisse, said 40,000 households to benefit from the support are from Borno State.
“This year, with the support of our generous donors, we are reaching 65,800 households in the three states, 40,000 of whom are in Borno state.
“These farmers will receive wet blended fertilizer and a variety of seeds of crops including vegetables, cereals, and pulses to enable them to engage in agricultural production.
“In a context where the food insecurity is a still big concern, we are convinced that this rainy season intervention will contribute to food availability for the beneficiary households and by extension, their communities,” Kafeero said.
He added that, through the FAO farmer field school approach, the beneficiaries of the intervention would have access to community-based and hands-on extension services which would teach them good agronomic practices to maximize the inputs for optimal yields.
Kafeero said FAO has established over 250 farmer field schools across the three state known as BAY states which has been effective in bridging the gaps created by the disruption of agriculture extension services.
“Your Excellency, ladies and gentlemen, there is no doubt that the food security and livelihood conditions in the BAY states still require sustained humanitarian assistance, especially with the devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic which reversed recent gains that were achieved.
“The latest CH analysis results projected that over 4 million persons will be in dire need of food assistance in the BAY states between June and August 2021, an increase of about 19 percent from the same period last year.
“In the context of conflict, food production is central to entrenching peace, building resilience, and promoting sustainable development.
“This underscores FAO’s work in the region as we design agriculture-based interventions that seek to build the humanitarian development and peace nexus.
“Therefore, the government, and the development partners must continue to work together to create an atmosphere where smallholder farmers can cultivate their farms for increased food production.
“Such collaboration must prioritize addressing issues including access to farmland, availability of farming inputs, and tailored interventions for women farmers, who are the mainstay of agricultural production in rural areas,” Kafeero said.
He noted that apart from rainy season crop production intervention, FAO agriculture-based livehood programme in north east included dry season agriculture input support, Irrigation support through the construction of boreholes and, distribution of water pumps and drip kits among others.
He commended the support of People and Government of Canada, the European Union Trust Fund for Africa, the European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations, the Federal Republic of Germany, the Kingdom of Norway and the Kingdom of Sweden for funding FAO 2021 rainy season intervention.
In his speech read by his Chief of Staff, Prof. Isa Hussaini, Gov. Babagana Zulum of Borno lauded FAO for its interventions in some local government areas of the state and urged for expansion of the support to more local government areas.
“I would like to express our profound gratitude for the support the state has received from FAO and hereby launch the distribution of rainy season farming inputs for 2021 as provided by FAO,” Zulum said.