FAO distributes water pumps, fertilizers to Borno farmers
The Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO), said it has distributed irrigation water pumps and fertilisers to 4,000 farmers in Borno State, to restore livelihood in the agriculture and livestock sectors.
According to a 2018 post-harvest survey, FAO dry season support generated over N186.10million from farmers’ sale of crops, including rice, tomatoes, and onions.
FAO’s representative in Nigeria, Suffyan Koroma, disclosed this recently while distributing farm inputs for the 2019/20 dry season farming at Farm Centre, Maiduguri, the state capital.
He said harvests from dry season cultivation provided income for farmers to meet food and other household needs during the lean season.
Koroma, who was represented by Al Hassan Cisse, said: “Under FAO’s support this season, beneficiaries will receive a mix of vegetable seeds including okra, amaranth, onion, tomato, cabbage and carrot, and rice seeds.
“The collaboration between the Federal Government and Nigerian military on the transportation of fertilisers will facilitate distribution of 25kg bag of NPK fertiliser to each farmer.”
According to him, irrigation water pumps to enhance crop production, during the 2019/20 dry season farming, are also to be
distributed to 4,000 farmers in Jere, Maiduguri Metropolitan Council (MMC), Konduga, Bama, and Monguno council areas.
He said in the last three years, over three million people were reached in the Northeast with agricultural support.
He said the support and interventions are hinged on protecting farmers to enhance their productive capacities, to encourage self-production of food to promote self-sufficiency on the basic needs of life.
“Through livestock restocking campaign, beneficiaries are gradually rebuilding their asset base,” said Koroma, adding that beneficiaries sell their bulls and reinvest their incomes in livelihood opportunities.
Speaking on Agric investments, he said: “When their goats reproduce, women sell to earn income; poultry beneficiaries also boost their household nutrition and earn income from the sale of eggs.”
He said a recent survey also revealed that about 89% of beneficiaries’ livestock now have acceptable food consumption score, adding that generating rural employment for the region’s teeming population will be crucial to sustaining peace in insurgency affected states.
“We’re implementing initiatives aimed at boosting employment among youths and women in IDP camps and host communities,” he assured.
Koroma further said FAO is the only agency implementing an aquaculture support programme, targeting affected fish-actors in region.
He said the first batch of 50 beneficiaries of aquaculture inputs last April, had begun harvesting and generating income from the sale of fish, adding that 100 beneficiaries in four councils of Borno were also trained in aquaculture with the distribution of fishing kits.
“We are finalising plans to train 100 women on improved fish processing.
“We partner with WFP in providing cash-based transfers to our beneficiaries affected in decade long insurgency in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states,” adding that it protects the distributed farm inputs from being sold or consumed.
Meanwhile, Borno State Deputy Governor, Umar Gadafur, has warned farmers against selling the distributed farm inputs, which are meant to raise their productivity and incomes to restore livelihoods.