FAO in Nigeria

Cadre Harmonise report shows that over 9m Nigerians in northern States face acute food shortage

The number could grow to about 14 million if measures are not taken in time to avert the hunger crisis


"Immediate measures need to be taken to mitigate the situation and avert potential deterioration"

Abuja - Nigeria- The Cadre Hamonise (CH) report on food security and nutrition analysis was released on 5 November 2020 for 16 States across the country including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). It shows that more Nigerians in northern States are pushed to acute food shortage crisis mainly due to floods, climate change effects and the ongoing decade-long armed insurgency.  

The report reveals that about 9.8 million people in Nigeria are expected to be in a hunger crisis or worse between October and December 2020; and if immediate measures are not taken to mitigate the situation, about 13. 8 million people will be facing acute food shortage crisis between June and August 2021.

North East region more affected

The report also shows that the most affected part of the country is the North East region covering the Borno, Adamawa and Yobe (BAY) States that are affected by the decade-long armed insurgency leaving millions of people without food and other livelihood means. The three States are classified to be in crisis and emergency phases of acute food and nutrition analysis.

For the October – December 2020 period, it is only the Adamawa State, which has completely scored better results of being under pressure but without renewed concerted efforts, much of it will slide into food security crisis.

Speaking during the report presentation event, the Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD), Dr. Mua'zu Abdulkadir, said that the analysis is not just an early warning alert but an inevitable decision making tool to guide points of action for ensuring food security and nutrition situation across all the States involved.

In a speech, read on his behalf by the Ministry’s Director of Policy and Planning, Zubairu Abdullahi, the PS said that the October 2020 CH analysis came at a time when households in the country were faced with economic stress due to lockdown and restrictive measures put in place to curb the spread of Covid-19 in Nigeria.

“The results therefore, are expected to reveal the number of those affected by the food and nutrition challenges for the period covered that is October to December 2020 and the projected June to August 2021,” he said, adding: “Consequently, as a food security and nutrition early warning alert presented to the Government and all the key stakeholders, the report lays a foundation for planning effective interventions to prevent further deterioration of the food and nutrition situation in those vulnerable areas.”

When opening the World Food Day celebration week recently, FMARD Minister Hon. Alhaji Mohammed Sabo Nanono said that despite some general positive indicators in terms of food production in the country, effects of Covid-19, climate change coupled with the recent floods in some States contributed to low productivity in the agriculture sector.

“The effects COVID-19 pandemic and impact of climate change are contributing to low productivity in the sector. The disruptions occasioned by the pandemic and flood disasters in the country came at a significant cost to Nigeria’s agricultural production,” he said. 

To mitigate the effects, Hon. Nanono added, the Federal Government has taken several measures including the formation of task and joint technical forces to ensure the impact of this pandemic on our 2020 farming season is minimized. Hon. Nanono said that the CH results and recommendations were going to add into the already ongoing efforts by the Government for coming up with a comprehensive mitigation and resilience plan for the affected farming communities nationwide in order to protect agricultural production and ensure sustainable food security for the nation.

Low production, access to markets and farm inputs

Earlier on, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) Representative in Nigeria and to ECOWAS, Fred Kafeero, said this round of CH analysis was different, as the COVID-19 pandemic induced lockdown and other preventive restrictions led to low food production, access to markets as well as farm inputs for enhanced productivity.

“This is compounded by the insecurity in some parts of the country, crop pest and diseases infestation among others. Several households are still currently experiencing difficulties in assessing their basic food and non–food needs due to disrupted livelihoods resulting into reduced household income sources. It is good to see the Government and other stakeholders are joining hands to take actions to mitigate these effects.”

About Cadre Harmonise

The CH analysis results in Nigeria have become the major yardstick for estimating the areas and population of vulnerable people in needs of humanitarian assistance as presented in the annual Humanitarian Needs Overviews (HNOs) and the Humanitarian Response Plans (HRPs).

The CH analysis led by the Government of Nigeria, is facilitated through the National Programme for Food Security (NPFS) with financial and technical support from FAO, the Permanent Interstate Committee for Drought Control in the Sahel (CILSS), the World Food Programme (WFP), the United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef), European Union, the French Development Agency and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). Others members of the technical committee of the Cadre Harmonise Technical Committee Permanent Interstate Committee for Drought Control in the Sahel (CILSS),  Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWSNET), Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC),  International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), Oxfam,  Administration for Children & Families (ACF) and Save the Children.

The 16 states involved were Adamawa, Bauchi, Benue, Borno, Gombe, Jigawa, Kano, Kaduna, Katsina, Kebbi, Niger, Plateau, Sokoto, Taraba and Yobe States as well as the FCT. These findings did not include those from Zamfara State because they were still being finalized.

The outcome from the CH analysis provides early warning alert to national and state governments as well as development partners including the humanitarian community on looming food insecurity and nutrition gaps faced in the states and is used to galvanise support towards targeted actions.

Conducted in Nigeria for several years now, the tool has provided opportunities for the governments and actors in food security and nutrition to continually monitor and track the progress made in improving food security and nutrition situations, particularly in the northeast that has been burdened by insecurity caused by a prolonged armed insurgency.



Emmanuel Kihaule                                      David Tsokar                               Opeyemi Olagunju

Communications Specialist                          Communications Specialist            Communications/Reporting Officer 

FAO Nigeria                                                FAO Nigeria                                 FAO Nigeria – North East Sub Office

[email protected]                     [email protected]                 [email protected]