Enabling one million people facing severe hunger in northeastern Nigeria to grow their own food

Enabling one million people facing severe hunger in northeastern Nigeria to grow their own food

08/02/2018

After receiving crop and vegetable seeds and fertilizer, 1 million people in northeastern Nigeria’s Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states produced enough food to last well into 2018. With FAO’s support, returnees, host communities and internally displaced people produced enough cereals and pulses for six months’ consumption, and each family earned on average USD 80 from selling vegetables. A quarter of the families were headed by women.

Early in 2017, when assessments showed displaced and host communities had access to land, FAO rapidly scaled up agricultural assistance. This enabled people to plant in time for the rainy season and produce food to sustain their families. Had farmers missed this critical period, nutritional outcomes would have worsened, particularly for children.

FAO and the World Food Programme worked together to meet immediate food needs while ensuring a future harvest. The World Food Programme provided food rations to families who received FAO’s agricultural support, so that people would plant the seeds rather than sell, barter or eat them.

One of those who received seeds and fertilizers from FAO was Malam Mohammed, a farmer from Ngalda village in Yobe, who was enthusiastic about the harvest. “Each family in my village helps about five or six displaced people. They depend on our assistance. Good harvest brings joy to all of us. It reduces the pressure and makes us stronger,” he said.