7million people in 16 northern states face food insecurity ― Report

According to the Cadre Harmonise report in 16 northern states of Nigeria, it was gathered that about 7 million people will face severe food insecurity if adequate measures were not taken to addressing the security challenges and climatic situation in the states.

This came as a result of the lingering attacks of Boko Haram in the region which has crippled agriculture activities with scores of farmers killed and many displaced.

This was disclosed at the National Consolidation Workshop on the Cadre Harmonise of the Food and Nutrition Insecurity Analysis in 16 states in the Northern Nigeria.

The Cadre Harmonise started in Nigeria in 2015 with 8 states under study, but now with the support from the Nigerian government, the numbers of states under study have increased to 16 and it is a huge success.

According to the Officer in Charge of the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations Patrick David, efforts were being put in place by FAO and other United Nations agencies to assist the 16 states in the northern part of Nigeria in the area of agriculture in order to achieve food security in the region.

He said “FAO along with other United Nations agencies will try to provide support in agriculture, livestock, fisheries, forestry, natural resources management and also provide food stuffs”, he added

Speaking further, David said FAO this time have been focusing on the northeast states of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe where more than 1 million people were displaced and the people needs support.

He, therefore noted that the Cadre Harmonise will help make recommendations to the decision makers to know how much food or the level of support the people need

Also speaking with Tribune Online, the Deputy Country Director, World Food Programme (WFP), Douglas Mercado said they were trying to reach the vulnerable households in the northeast to assist them.

According to him “we are trying to reach the most vulnerable households in the North-East, particularly in Borno and Yobe state. So we work with our partners including the Federal Government and the state governments to identify the most vulnerable and provide them with assistance.

“We are trying to do much with cash based transfers so we give people resources to buy their own food. Some parts of Borno and Yobe state don’t have well functioning market, so in those cases we bring the food commodities and distribute them to the most vulnerable.”

Speaking further, Mercado said “We have been able to reach 1 million people in Borno and Yobe state, we are hoping to reach 1.8 million people between April and may in Borno and Yobe. We gave roughly N23,000 to each household.

“We are going to use the results of the Cadre Harmonise to figure out where the greatest needs are in Borno and Yobe state depending on what we hear.”

On the part of the Nigerian government, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Shehu Ahmed assured that the Ministry will support interventions geared towards reducing poverty and ensuring food security.

His words: “I want to assure you that the Ministry will always support all interventions geared towards increasing household food security and income as well as reducing poverty.

The Ministry is ready to take appropriate action in handling the Cadre Harmonise analysis with the support of international communities and cooperation of various state governments.

Government will therefore continue to collaborate with relevant stakeholders to achieve the objectives of the Cadre Harmonise projects and we will ensure food and nutrition security”.

On other activities of the government in the northern Nigeria to assist agriculture development, the Permanent Secretary who was represented by a Director in the Ministry, Muyiwa Azeez said “Government is currently embarking on various needs of conserving water in the Northern part of Nigeria, we are currently exploiting water harvesting, construction of small dams.

“Drought resistance varieties of crop items are also being made available to farmers to ensure productivity and production.”

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