FAO supports 42,400 farmers in N/East

The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) says it has provided fertilisers and inputs to 42,400 farmers to enable them cultivate their farmlands in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa.

The UN Agency said it distributed quality seeds and fertilisers to the benefiting farming communities in 2022.

FAO’s Head, North-East sub office, Mr Al-Hassan Cisse said this while speaking at an event to mark the 2022 World Food Day, in Maiduguri on Monday.

He said the inputs were provided to 70 per cent male and 30 per cent female headed households to enable them to produce food that would sustain them for five to seven months.

The UN Agency, he said, also distributed food vouchers to 19,800 households representing 95 per cent women while 3,052 households received training on Group Saving and Loans scheme, and registered into cooperative societies.

“Some 345 households (100 per cent women) have been equipped with agro processing equipment for reduction of food loss and enhance income generation.

“FAO trained and equipped 1,500 households with fish farming kits and established three fish processing facilities benefiting 150 households,” he said.

He announced that 54,700 female headed households would be provided with safe access to fuel (fuel efficient stoves and briquettes), adding about 40,000 of the stoves would be distributed in Borno.

According to Cisse, 4.1 million individuals are still food insecure in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa, noting that interventions by the Agency had improved food production and income generation as well as building resilience among conflict-affected returnee households across the states.

In his remarks, the Borno Commissioner for Agriculture, Alhaji Ali Bunu lauded the gesture, adding that sequel to the improvement in security situation, the state government had set up mega farms and supported farmers with inputs across the state.

He reiterated government commitment towards encouraging resettled communities to engage in agricultural activities to enhance food security in the state.

Also speaking, a former Minister of State for Agriculture, Alhaji Bukar Tijjani urged farmers and other stakeholders to engage in dry season farming to mitigate impact of flood which ravaged farmlands across the country.

Earlier in her welcome address, Dr Yakaka Maina, Energy Specialist with FAO, said the World Food Day celebration is an annual event and this year’s theme is “Leave No One Behind: Better Production, Better Nutrition, Better Environment and Better Life” aim to draw attention to the need to put the most vulnerable in the society at the centre of the global fight against hunger.

Others who spoke at the occassion included the Commissioner of Fisheries and Livestock Development, Commissioner of Environment, and representatives of Commissioner Reconstruction, Rehabilitation and Resettlement, Director General of SEMA and Borno State Agriculture Development Programme.

The event also features agric show by farmer groups supported by the organisation.

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