Support raises farmers’ productivity, income of 99,400 households, says FAO
The Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) Country Representative in Nigeria, Suffyan Koroma, has disclosed that farmers who received seeds, fertiliser and training had greater harvests than their peers in 2019.
This was disclosed in FAO’s 2019 rainy season yield assessment report released yesterday in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital.
Koroma, in a statement on Wednesday, said the increased yields were expected to have a remarkable impact on access to income from vegetable sales.
“We believe this has led to increased nutrition for women and their families,” he said.
He added that the supported farmers over-performed their counterparts with no support in the rainy season, with more food and nutritional benefits added to their health.
“An estimated 99,400 supported households have entered 2020 less vulnerable, having cultivated and harvested staple crops,” he said, stating that maize, sorghum as well as vegetables, including amaranthus, were harvested last year.
“With improved seeds and NPK fertilizer distributed in the north-east states of Borno, Adamawa, and Yobe (BAY), the majority of supported households have generated an estimated six months’ worth of food,” he added.
According to Koroma “After accounting for an average household size of seven, the FAO-supported beneficiaries were approximately 682,000; with women-headed households constituting 35 per cent of them.”
He explained that the support programme had a significant impact on IDP and non-IDP households alike.
He said the impact had increased by 28, 49 and 23 per cent of households, classified as returnees, host community and Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), respectively.
Koroma attributed the impact to adaptable, drought and disease-resistant seeds were provided for cereals and vegetables. He said to enrich the soil and yields, the organisation also equipped each household with a 25kg bag of NPK fertiliser.
This led supported farmers to harvest an average of 22.66 tonnes, while non-FAO supported farmers produced an estimated 12.91 tonnes of the same crops and under similar production conditions, he said.