FAO supports FG on food security, poverty alleviation in Northeast
By Njadvara Musa, Maiduguri
The Director, Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the UN’s Office of Emergency and Resilience (OER), Rein Paulsen, has said that strategies are employed to support the Federal Government on food security and poverty alleviation.
According to him, the support are in collaboration with development partners to strengthen the resilience of over 6.5 million Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) overcome the challenges of 14-year conflict in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe States,
Paulsen unveiled the FAO support on Saturday in Maiduguri, after assessing the resilience of IDP farmers in camps and communities in the agricultural and livestock sectors in the Northeast.
He said the support are in food security and poverty alleviation, including nutrition with supplements to fight Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) among children.
Besides the support, he added that strengthening the resilience of small scale farmers in the agricultural, livestock and fishing sectors are the solutions to their future.
Citing the livestock sector, he told the farmers that the cattle and goats fattening projects, have enabled parents earn incomes in paying school fees of their children and wards.
The Director, who was impressed with the resilience of IDP returnees in Bama, said: “The people are no longer relying on the State government for their basic needs of life,” noting that their resilience have been strengthened by distributing farm inputs with improved seeds to produce food crops and vegetables.
“While driving along the road yesterday (Friday) from Maiduguri to Bama, most of the roadsides are harvested of various crops,” he said, adding that during the conflict the farmlands were left fallow, because of insecurity to people’s lives.
Continuing, he said: “The FAO is impressed with the resilience of farmers in producing and processing various crop for domestic and industrial uses in Borno state.”
He listed the crops and livestock products to include rice, maize, sorghum, eggs and vegetables that could boost nutrition among the affected children in conflict.
He said the implementation of the resilience projects in the agriculture and livestock sectors will reduce poverty and unemployment among the IDP returnees.
The Norwegian Ambassador to Nigeria, Svien Baera added that the FAO farmers’ resilience projects are the critical means of restoring livelihoods destroyed in the conflict.
The Ambassador said: “We’ll continue to collaborate with development partners, until the livelihoods of farmers are fully restored and continue with their socio-economic activities in the Northeast and Lake Chad region,” adding that the IDP farmers are to acquire more farming techniques and other skills to boost their productivity and incomes.