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A fresh supply of eggs is boosting incomes and nutrition in northeastern Nigeria

FAO’s poultry intervention builds on other support services and agri-inputs the agency provides to households affected by the crisis in the North East.

©FAO/Patrina Pink
16/04/2019

Six weeks ago, a rust-coloured red truck backed into the entrance of Bakassi Camp for IDPs, mere metres from the half-finished house where Falmata Mohammed and her family had been living for more than three years. For weeks, she knew she was on a list to receive chickens and had even met with officials from an agency, something she remembered had to do with agriculture and, she recalls now, the United Nations. With little land to farm in the sprawling camp in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital in northeastern Nigeria, Falmata could not resume her livelihood as a cowpea farmer and trader.

However, with support from FAO’s micro-gardening initiative, she still maintained a small vegetable patch at the side of her home. Never did she imagine that in addition to her micro-garden, where she planted crops like roselle and amaranth, she would now be raising poultry. “I love farming but I was most excited to start rearing chickens than anything else”, she said. Taking care of livestock, Falmata shared, is less labour intensive, leaving her more time to spend on other activities like caring for her six children, one of whom is only eight months old.

A few days before, Falmata received a spacious chicken coop, animal feed, medicine and saw dust to make the chickens cool and comfortable. She and nine other women and men in Bakassi, the first batch of a total 200 people planned for the camp, also received guidance on good poultry production practices, including on feeding and keeping the animals healthy. The group received business development training under FAO’s village savings and loan approach, and started selling eggs as their group business. “My children have more food to eat and we can now afford things like detergents to wash our clothes and clean the house”, said Falmata. “When I’ll have saved more money, I will buy more chickens or a goat”, she added.

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