FAO in Nigeria

Tackling food insecurity in northeast Nigeria: FAO sustains the momentum

A FAO Beneficiatry of the Dry Season intervention recieves her kits in Maiduguri Photo@FAO/Opeyemi Olagunju

 In light of recent food security analyses that indicate a growing number of people at risk of food insecurity in northeast Nigeria, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) is sustaining its support to vulnerable smallholders in the region to produce their own food. According to the latest Cadre Harmonisé analysis conducted in October 2019, almost 2.7 million people in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe (BAY) states are currently facing critical food insecurity and crisis. Moreover, without sustained humanitarian support, this figure is projected to rise to over 3.5 million by the onset of the next lean season (June – August 2020). As part of its continued efforts to improve food security in the northeast region, FAO has launched its 2019/2020 dry season support programme targeting over 35 000 households across the BAY states.

FAO’s dry season intervention closely follows the harvesting of rainy season cultivation during which FAO supported around 100 000 smallholders. The intervention is a key component of a comprehensive response programme being implemented by FAO in the region to support conflict-affected populations in the northeast to meet their immediate food needs, gradually rebuild their livelihoods and resilience to shocks, and mitigate protection risks.

Maiduguri, Nigeria - In northeast Nigeria, only a limited number of crops are cultivated during the dry season.  Therefore, the dry season harvest boosts food availability within rural communities during the lean season when food stocks have been depleted. Without support towards food production, households face significant food shortages which often result in the adoption of negative coping mechanisms. FAO’s dry season intervention strengthens the productive capacities of beneficiary households in a bid to avert such negative consequences.

During the current dry season, beneficiaries will receive a mix of high value crop seeds in two separate kits. The first kit consists primarily of vegetables seeds, including okra, amaranth, onion, tomato, cabbage and carrot. The second kit is for cereals which includes rice seeds. Beneficiaries will also each receive a 25 kg bag of fertilizer with which to boost crop performance.

Additionally, under the ongoing European Union Trust Fund (EUTF) intervention in Borno State, FAO has commenced the distribution of water pumps and accessories for farm irrigation to more than 4 000 households in the state. The irrigation inputs will further improve crop performance and enable farmers to optimize the area of land cultivated.

Both activities were officially launched by the Borno State Deputy Governor –Honourable Umar Usman Kadafur – alongside other high-profile state government officials at a ceremony in Maiduguri on 19 December. In his remarks, the Deputy Governor acknowledged the critical role FAO plays in addressing food insecurity in Borno State.

‘FAO’s programmes are hinged on protecting livelihoods and enhancing the productive capacities of smallholders; we believe this will encourage self-production of food and promote self-sufficiency’ stated Al Hassan Cisse, the Head of FAO’s Northeast Sub-Office, in his speech.

FAO’s dry season intervention in the region is being implemented with the support of the European Union (EU), and the people and governments of the United States, Norway, and Germany.



Contact Person

Opeyemi Olagunju                                                                                

FAO northeast Sub-Office