Food crisis to worsen as terrorists kill, kidnap 352 farmers in 12 months

The lingering food crisis in some parts of Nigeria may worsen and spread to more States in 2022 as the country loses more farmers to the gruesome activities of bandits and insurgents, reports have indicated.

According to a recent tally, no fewer than 352 farmers have been killed and kidnapped in 12 months amid the rising insecurity in Nigeria. The 352 comprised 216 killed farmers and 136 kidnapped farmers. The figures were obtained from the Nigeria Security Tracker, a project of the Council on Foreign Relations’ Africa, as well as media reports.

The Council on Foreign Relations is a United States non-profit think-tank specialising in US foreign policy and international affairs.

The figure exceeds 352, as there were cases of killings and kidnappings of farmers with unknown numbers. Farmers have been under serial attacks across the country, fuelling fear of acute food shortage if the government does not intervene pro-actively.

Across the six geo-political zones, findings revealed that farmers were abandoning their farmsteads, plantations, orchards, and processing factories amid the spate of armed invasion, kidnapping, and attacks.

The findings revealed that the most affected States are Plateau, Nasarawa, Oyo, Niger, Zamfara, Borno, and Ondo.

Food security is one of the 14 Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations. The United Nations Development Programme, (UNDP), has stated that to achieve food security by 2030, each country must “double the agricultural productivity and incomes of small-scale food producers, in particular women, indigenous peoples, family farmers, pastoralists and fishers, including through secure and equal access to land”.

However, due to the rising cases of insecurity across the country, there seems to be a looming food crisis, which may begin to manifest in 2022, according to analysts.

The Federal Government, in its National Development Plan 2021 – 2025 admitted that food insecurity is a major concern, noting that food security, which is essential for development, declined in the country.

The Government, however, said it plans to address food insecurity issues in the country and achieve nutrition security in vulnerable communities, adding that it aims that the country’s Food Security Index will be 60.1 by 2025, from 40.1 as of 2020. It also plans to reduce the prevalence of severe food insecurity, from 19.6% in 2020 to 10% by 2025.

It is expected that the rising cases of killing and kidnapping of farmers may affect these goals if the Government fails to address the problems.

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