Northeast: FAO wants at-risk families to produce own food

To check growing food insecurity in the Northeast and its likely consequences, the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), has said it would require helping at-risk families to produce their own food.

FAO further said with more than 80 percent of northeastern Nigeria’s rural population depending on crop or livestock farming, investing in agriculture now is critical to tackle food insecurity in the region.

“Rainy season begins in May-June. Farmers need to have seeds, fertilizers and tools to plant. If they miss this season, humanitarian costs are just going to keep rising and rising into 2018. Nutrition outcomes will worsen and this will affect today’s children for the rest of their lives.

“Failure to intervene now with agricultural livelihoods support will have a broad negative impact-lack of economic and employment opportunities, and possible harmful consequences, including increased rural to urban migration and youth radicalization and enrolment in armed groups, resulting in continued civil unrest.

“Pastoralists have almost been forgotten in the response to the crisis and urgently require support to protect and rebuild their herds. Fisheries and vegetable production will be critical to enable displaced and returning populations to increase their food consumption and improve their nutrition.”

The FAO, which said its biggest challenge is funding, noted that the agriculture sector has often been overlooked.

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