The UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) says food security has improved in northeastern states with the number of food insecure people dropping from 5.2 million to 2.9 million.
The FAO Representative in Nigeria Mr Suffyan Koroma, represented by Mr Patrick David, the FAO’s Programme and Liaison Officer, said that the number dropped between August 2017 and August 2018 in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states.
Koroma disclosed this at the presentation of October 2018 Cadre Harmonise (CH) Analysis Outcome for 16 states and FCT in Abuja on Friday, November 2, 2018.
Cadre Harmonise is an early warning and food insecurity nutrition analysis tool to serve Food Crisis prevention and Management Framework which considers various food security and nutrition outcomes in 16 states.
He noted that the number reduced because of massive support from the government and the international community.
“Despite this improvement, there is still a huge need to respond to and FAO in partnership with WFP supported and will continue to support the Government of Nigeria in providing emergency and resilient livelihood assistance.
“We will also provide nutritious food crops, cash crops and livestock support to more than one million vulnerable individuals identified through the cadre harmonise,’’ he said.
Ms Myrta Kaulard, the World Food Programme (WFP) Country Director, emphasised the need for data collection to shape the right way of intervention and assist government policies.
Kaulard said that there were increased number of people who do not have access to land and could not return to farming activities.
She said that tackling insecurity and access to land in the northeast were priorities to reduce the number of people who required assistance in the area.
“WFP looks at the policies and actions by state and federal authorities and where there are gaps, we provide food assistance or cash requirements for the affected people to buy food.
“The result of these joint efforts is very encouraging because in 2016, there were concerns of famine in the Northeast and year after year, we have seen a gradual improvement in conditions,’’ she said.
Dr Abdulkadir Mu’azu, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, emphasised the need for data collection which was the major aim of the cadre harmonise analysis.
Mu’azu, represented by Mr Matthew Owolabi, a director in the ministry, said that the government would continue to support all stakeholders and take appropriate actions required based on the analysis.
Dr Issoufou Baoua, the Food Security Analyst Expert of Cadre Harmonise, said the analysis was done in October 2018.
Baoua said that the analysis was done with evidence and data from climate change and livelihood support in the 16 states.
He said that although there were still challenges to be addressed, the food security situation had improved in the 16 states when compared with two to three years back.
The experts listed the states where the analysis as Adamawa, Bauchi, Benue, Borno, Gombe, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Niger, Plateau, Sokoto, Taraba, Yobe, Zamfara and the FCT.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the CH analysis started in Nigeria in 2015 to help support and assist government interventions on food and nutrition security.
It is being supported by the FAO, WFP, and Committee for Drought Control in the Sahel (CILSS), among others.
By Ginika Okoye