FOOD SECURITY: FAO expresses fears over food insecurity as hunger looms in Yobe
The Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) has expressed fears over food insecurity in Yobe following exhaustion of food stock with the massive relocation of displaced persons to the state.
Alhaji Modu Gana, the FAO focal person in the state, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Damaturu that the state lost three years of agricultural production which created a huge vacuum of food needs of the state.
Gana, who was also Secretary of Food Security in the state, said the massive relocation of displaced persons to the state had affected agricultural production.
“For three years, people in the host communities as well as the displaced persons have not been engaged in agricultural production because of security challenges,” he said.
Alhaji Musa Jidawa, Executive Secretary, State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), said there were no farming activities in Gujba, Gulani and Fika Local Government Areas for the past three years.
“The three Local Government Areas in which agriculture was abandoned due to security challenges are the food basket of the state,” he said.
Mr Usman Rambo, Co-ordinator, of an NGO, Green Environmental Support and Development Initiative, expressed fears that the food scarcity may create insecurity in the North East region.
“Even as people return to their communities, there is food scarcity and they are scared of going to the farms for fear of land mines and remnants of insurgents which will translate into food shortage,” he said.
Meanwhile, a cross section of the people told NAN that the existing food scarcity may deteriorate further with the current low agricultural production in the state.
Saleh Usman, a resident of Damaturu, said several households lived on goodwill and could not feed their families adequately.
Bukar Mohammed, an IDP returnee to Buni Yadi, said many households in Gujba, Gulani, Bara, Goniri have resorted to eating “Tafasa” wild plant to survive.
NAN reports that although they are interventions from local and international bodies, the communities said, the interventions were inadequate and late for the season.
Similarly, the epileptic pattern of rainfall has been a source of concern for good harvest in the state