According to the UN’s Food and Agricultural Organization, over 4 million people will face food shortages starting this month and lasting until August.
Agriculture in Nigeria has clearly been tested in recent years, with incidences of flooding causing crop loss, as well as farmer/herder clashes.
This resulted in a significant drop in agricultural production, the loss of lives, a rise in agricultural product prices, and a high poverty rate, among other things.
Farmers, due to the clash has abandoned their farms for fear of being attacked by herders.
Experts and farmers have warned that the country could face a major food crisis in 2021 if herdsmen continue to encroach on private farmlands in the majority of the country.
Similarly, Nasiru El- Rufai, the governor of Kaduna State, has stated that the establishment of ranches in states will end Nigeria’s persistent herder-farmer conflicts.
The governor said open grazing of livestock is no longer realistic, adding that governors should protect residents in their states and prosecute criminals irrespective of their ethnicity or religion.
According to the National Bureau of Statistics Consumer Price Index report, Nigeria’s food inflation stood at 22.28 percent in the month of May.
The Country Representative of FAO in Nigeria, Fred Kafeero, lamenting food insecurity in Nigeria, projected that over four million people will be in need of food assistance between June and August, 2021.
Speaking at the inauguration of the 2021 rainy season farming interventions at the Farm Centre, Maiduguri, Kafeero lamented that inaccessibility to improved seeds and fertilizers, 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.
“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 said.
According to him, the distribution of seeds and fertilizers has contributed to the building of people’s resilience to conflict.
Speaking further, Kafeero said that in the last 5 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 percent in food requirements.
“The launch was the sixth rainy season farming intervention being conducted by FAO in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states since 2016,” he added.