26.5m Nigerians At Risk Of Food Insecurity Next Year- FAO

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), a potential food crisis may affect over 26.5 million Nigerians in Borno, Sokoto, and Zamfara States, including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), between June and August 2024.

This revelation was made by Dominique Kouacou, the FAO country representative, during the presentation of the Cadre Harmonise food security and early warning analysis for the October to November period in Abuja. Dr. Abubakar Suleiman, Assistant FAO representative, Programme, represented Kouacou at the event.

The analysis, known as CH analysis, covered 26 states and the FCT, aiming to assess the food security situation and project future conditions. Kouacou pointed out that the current cycle follows an unusual lean season characterized by various challenges, including persistent insecurity issues such as insurgency and banditry, conflicts related to natural resources, high food and agricultural input costs due to inflation, and severe dry spells in some states shortly after the rainy season began.

Dr. Ernest Umakhihe, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, mentioned that the CH analysis was carried out and verified by a team of highly skilled professionals over the past two weeks. He emphasized that this analysis arrives at a critical time when all levels of government are working diligently to strengthen the nation’s economy, even though the challenges are formidable, they can be overcome, and there appear to be factors hindering the ministry’s efforts.

“ Notable among them are the lingering negative impact of COVID-19 on the global economy and the Russia-Ukraine war which is currently disrupting the food systems and spiking up input prices and food prices.

“The removal of petroleum subsidy has further heightened this pressure, resulting in food inflation and increases in consumer price index,’’ he said.

He mentioned that recurring issues like environmental and human factors, including climate change, insecurity-related displacements, and seasonal flooding patterns, continued to be significant worries. These disruptions had consequences on how people consumed food and led to the increased reliance on unsustainable coping strategies by a significant portion of Nigeria’s population.

Umakhihe affirmed the ministry’s commitment to spearheading and assisting the CH process in Nigeria. Furthermore, he stated that by the conclusion of 2024, the ministry aimed to integrate all 36 states of the country into the CH analysis.


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