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FAO: 4m Nigerians at risk of food shortage in August’

The United Nations’ Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) has said that over 4 million people will face food shortages starting between June and August, 2021 because incidences of flooding causing crop loss and farmer/herder clashes.

 

It added that there had been a significant drop in agricultural production, the loss of lives, rise in agricultural product prices and a high poverty rate in the country. According to Consumer Price Index report, Nigeria’s food inflation stood at 22.28 per cent in the month of May.

 

The Country Representative of FAO in Nigeria, Fred Kafeero, said that over four million people would be in need of food assistance between June and August, 2021.

 

Kafeero said that in the last five months, UN has so far supported 65,800 household farmers with agricultural inputs and livestock restocking for fattening, while 40,000 farmers were targeted for the distribution of inputs.

 

He also warned that there would be an increase of 19 per cent in food requirements.

 

At the inauguration of the 2021 rainy season farming interventions at the Farm Centre, Maiduguri, Kafeero stated that inaccessibility to improved seeds and fertilisers, resulted in food insecurity and poverty among the populace.

 

He explained that supporting rainy season farming was key to the entire insurgency affected region, adding that farmers’ harvests contributed significantly to food security and income generation throughout the year. According to him: “Access to agricultural inputs for high yields also saves lives and livelihoods of farmers.

 

The latest CH analysis results projected that over four million people will be in need of food assistance between June and August, 2021.” He noted that the distribution of seeds and fertilisers had contributed to the building of people’s resilience to conflict.

 

Kafeero explained that farmers had abandoned their farms for fear of being attacked by herders, noting that experts and farmers have warned that the country could face a major food crisis in 2021, if herdsmen continued to encroach on private farmlands in the majority parts of the country.

 

However, the Governor of Kaduna State, Nasiru El- Rufai, said that the establishment of ranches in states would end Nigeria’s persistent herder-farmer conflicts.

 

He stressed that open grazing of livestock was no longer realistic, adding that governors should protect residents in their states and prosecute criminals irrespective of their ethnicity or religion.

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