Reaping rewards: rebuilding lives and livelihoods in Northeast Nigeria

Nov 2016

In Northeast Nigeria, crisis-hit farmers are considering a return to fields they left up to three years ago. When people fled the remote rural areas in the northeastern states – often the strong holds of Boko Haram – they would often head towards larger urban areas. The majority of the resident communities offered them a safe place to stay, and most shared their land with displaced people. Still, there was a critical lack of agricultural resources for the displaced and their hosts, ahead of the rainy season.

Critical food shortages could be tackled, in part, by supporting them grow their own food. FAO provided short-cycle and drought-adapted seeds of millet, sorghum and cowpea and essential fertilizer to 12 400 internally displaced persons and their host families.

Almost 100 000 people in Borno and Yobe states benefited from a distribution that could cover their families’ food needs for up to six months. This intervention – funded by the UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) – aims to prevent the families from depending on food assistance during that time. By creating an enabling environment, this assistance helps save families from a domino effect of continued losses and create a stronger base to increase the resilience of agricultural livelihoods in northeast Nigeria.

Author: FAO Sub-regional Resilience Team for West Africa and the Sahel