9.8 Nigerians are currently food insecure, says FOA
The Cadre Hamonise report by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation ((FAO) has revealed that 9.8 million people in 16 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory were food insecure.
The report, which was the outcome of a research conducted to ascertain the nation’s food security status, projected that the number of food insecure people in the country would increase to 13.8 million between June and August 2021 if urgent steps were not taken by the government to improve the current situation.
The states where the research was carried out include Borno, Adamawa, Yobe, Benue Gombe, Taraba, Kastina, Jigawa, Kano, Bauchi, Plateau, Kaduna, Kebbi, Sokoto, Niger and FCT, among others.
The report revealed that Benue, Gombe, some parts of Kastina, Jigawa, Kano, Bauchi and Plateau states were on minimal stage of food security.
The Cadre Harmonise report funded and supported by the FAO since 2015 is aimed at determining the next actions and effective response in ensuring food security and nutrition in the country.
Speaking during the presentation of the report, the FAO Country Representative to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Fred Kafeero, noted that the report took into consideration the unprecedented impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on people’s sources of livelihood and the inference of the various contributing factors.
Kafeero pointed out that despite the relaxation of the COVlD-19 lockdown measures, several households were still experiencing difficulties in accessing their basic food and non-food needs due to disrupted livelihoods.
According to him, this has resulted to reduced access to opportunities for income and food and nutrition security.
He attributed the key drivers of the food insecurity level to insurgency, kidnapping, banditry, conflict between herders and farmers, flood disaster and COVID-19.
To mitigate the current situation, the FAO representative stressed the need for government at all levels to redouble efforts in providing quality input supply to farmers.