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FAO Donates Fertilizers, Seeds To 790,000 Displaced Farmers

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The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has distributed fertilizers and seeds to 790,000 farmers to accelerate crop production.

The benefiting farmers are those displaced by Boko Haram insurgency in the northeast.

FAO, in its October Situation Report, said that the fertilizers and inputs were provided to the benefiting farmers during the 2019 cropping season.

The fact sheet indicated that 112,000 households, with a projected population of 790,000 farmers benefited from the exercise in Adamawa, Borno, and Yobe.

It said: “in the northeast, farmers have begun harvesting cereal, vegetable and cash crops such as cowpea, groundnut, and sesame; following provision of seed and fertilizers to 112,000 households under the 2019 rainy season programme.

“The season appears to have been effective for numerous farming households, lessening the need for food assistance in some areas.”

FAO noted with satisfaction that the number of people facing acute food insecurity in the region dropped to 2.9 million (June-August, 2019); as against 5.2 million (June-August 2017).

However, the fact sheet showed that the northeast region faced severe climate variability negatively affecting the production system, which resulted in low yields and livestock production as well as attendant consequences on agricultural livelihoods.

The UN agency noted that due to an increased influx of displaced persons and tense security situation, host communities were facing reduced access to lands and other resources needed for production.

It explained that the trend resulted in high-level poverty and malnutrition in the war-ravaged region.

The document further gave a highlight of priority response by the organization between October and December.

These included the distribution of fertilizers and seeds to 61,300 households, provision of goats, poultry kits and veterinary services to 10,589 households.

Other key interventions include distribution of micro-gardening kits to 7,500 deserving families and fuel-efficient stoves to 6,000 households, while 2,500 families would receive emergency safe kits.

According to the document, the organization faces a funding gap of 13.9 million US dollars to facilitate implementation of its agriculture production for the 2019/2019 dry season activities, as well as all year-round livelihood support programme.

“Under the 2019 Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP), FAO is seeking for 31.5 million dollars to assist 1.7 million people. So far, FAO has mobilized 17.6 million dollars, which included a carry-over from 2017.

“Resource partners include the European Union Directorate for Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection (ECHO); the governments of Belgium, Canada, France, Ireland, Kuwait, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, and the USA.”

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