Experts Advocate Measures to Ensure Food Security in North East Nigeria Amidst Removal of Fuel Subsidy.


Our Correspondent in an interview session with agric experts. From right Professor Babagana Abba Gambo Adviser Nigeria Governors Forum, Permanent Secretary State Ministry of Agriculture Bulama Gana and Executive Director Lake Chad Research Institute Professor Babagana Jugudum.

By Dauda Iliya

The security situation in the North East has greatly improved with increased farming and other socio-economic activities especially in Borno state, the epicentre of Boko Haram insurgency. 

Although access to farmlands in some areas have been expanded, issues of climate change, farm inputs and fertilizer among other services have been a source of worry for farmers.

Correspondent Dauda Iliya sampled opinion of some experts on how to incentivise agriculture to boost food security in Borno state amidst removal of fuel subsidy. 

Agriculture is the primary source of livelihood in Borno state with vast fertile land suitable for cultivating various crops.

Truckload of fertilizer for onward distribution to farmers across the 27 LGAs in Borno state.

The security situation however in the last fourteen years have tremendously affected farming activities thereby worsening food and nutrition crises in the state and the entire region. 

The United Nations in its latest report estimated that more than half a million people in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states will face emergency level of food insecurity between June and August this year. 

This prompted Borno state government to scale up intervention to small-holder farmers through provision of fertilizers and tractors at a subsidise rate.

Permanent Secretary ministry for Agriculture Alhaji Bulama Gana said the state government is investing heavily in agriculture to enable it manage internally displaced persons and over one hundred thousand repentant insurgents. 

“Borno state government has taken a bold step to ensure food security. The Government has provided 312 tractors to cultivate smallholders farm and also provided 100 trucks of fertilizer for farmers to buy at a subsidise rate ” Alhaji Gana said.

Aside from insecurity, another factor that can potentially affect food sufficiency in the state is climate change. 

According to Nigerian Meteorological Agency NiMet, Borno is among states to experience delayed onset as well as early cessation of rainfall this cropping season. 

Executive Director Lake Chad Research Institute Professor Babagana Jugudum stressed the need for states government and farmers to adopt climate-smart agriculture. 

He assured that the Institute will complement the effort of Borno state and other states in the region by providing quality seeds, offer consultancy services and needed technology to boost the sector. 

“Government need to invest in agricultural infrastructure, this comes in varied forms in terms of rural roads, construction of dams and reservoirs, water harvesting structures, marketing and processing facilities to ensure food security ” Professor Jugudum stressed.

Adviser on Agriculture Nigeria Governors Forum Professor Babagana Abba Gambo advocated for palliatives to farmers in Borno state and other conflict affected areas occasioned by removal of fuel subsidy. 

Professor Abba Gambo observed that implementing alternative support mechanisms such as investing in rural infrastructure, transportation for movement of farm produce and other goods and services can help mitigate some of the adverse effects of the removal of fuel subsidy. 

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