Insecurity: Food insecurity looms in Northern Nigeria — United Nations

The United Nations Development Programme, (UNDP), Global Environment Facility, (GEF) says the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) had warned that people in northern Nigeria are at risk of acute food insecurity.

The UN-FAO projected that an estimated 13 million people in the area face the risk of acute food insecurity in the next few months.

The Project Manager, UNDP – GEF, in-charge of Resilient Food Security Project, Rhoda Dia, gave out this information yesterday, while speaking with newsmen in Abuja.

Ms. Dia said the warning had become imperative because the country was facing growing levels of acute food insecurity due to decades of insecurity across the country, adding that the insecurity had resulted in increasing poverty and economic crises.

According to Ms. Dia, the situation has been worsened by the Covid-19 pandemic and recently, the series of clashes between farmers and herders.

She stated that women, girls and the elderly were the most vulnerable groups to climate change, adding that it was because they were highly exposed to climate risks.

Ms. Dia further said that the adaptive capacity of these groups was low, which according to her was constrained by the poor quality of access to, and control of resources. She added that they were more likely to live in poverty, as they were traditionally excluded from the decision-making process at local, national, and international levels.

The project manager said that Nigeria’s palm oil production industry alone generated over 90 million tonnes of effluent annually.

“The country is also generating 4.34 million tonnes of rice straw and 0.9 million of rice husk, and has an estimated 19.5 million cows that also generate waste.

“With the increasing Nigeria population, it is projected that the quantity of agriculture waste generated in the country will triple in coming decades”, she said.

Ms. Dia said that with respect to agricultural waste, there existed the potential of resourcefully reusing the materials to reduce environmental harm and boost soil fertility and farm productivity.

She said that the time was ripe for northern regions to tap into the potential present in converting agricultural wastes to energy as well as other economically viable re-purposed products.

The UNDP-GEF is currently training extension workers in Kano on how to turn waste to energy (briquettes making) and waste to animals feed (livestock and poultry). 

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