By Abolaji Adebayo
Borno State Government has procured 2,000 tractors, 50 combined harvesters, drift sprinklers, drift irrigation and a host of modern farming tools for farmers to encourage agricultural activities in the state.
The government has also appealed to the concerned bodies to support the state in taking proactive measures towards mitigating the effects of food insecurity caused by Boko Haram insurgency in the North-East.
Speaking at the inauguration of Farm Inputs Distribution organised by Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) in Maiduguri recently, the governor of the state, Kashim Shettima, disclosed that the state has been ravaged by food insecurity since the menace of Boko Haram started causing malnutrition among the residrents.
Shettima, who appreciated the Federal Government’s intervention in curbing food insecurity, maintained that the challenge still persisted, saying such measures were imperative to control the situation during the anticipated lean season between June and July.
He noted, “When we recorded food insecurity challenge in the past, we complained to President Muhammad Buhari. And to be sincere, the president responded positively toward addressing the food and humanitarian crisis in the region.
“The president ordered the release of food from the strategic reserve, and with support of the United Nations and donor agencies, we are able to control the situation.
“But the problem still persists, as farmers could not go to the farm and they want to go back home, to enable them to cultivate their farmlands.
“Practical measures are necessary to support farmers before the commencement of the next cropping season.”
The governor commended FAO over its food and agriculture intervention programme in the state.
He noted that the programme had mitigated nutrition and food shortage, as well as encouraged agricultural activities.
He stated that the programme also provided livelihood to displaced farmers, which enabled them to grow crops and generate income to take care of their needs.
FAO had started distributing fertilizers, seeds, water pumps and chemicals to about 270,000 farmers in 16 local government areas of Borno, to enable them to engage in rice and vegetable production.
The organisation planned to distribute farm inputs to 700,000 farmers in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe for the 2017/2018 dry season.
FAO had also distributed inputs to over one million displaced farmers during the past cropping season in the affected states.
The governor also commended the recent donation of noiler birds and eggs by natnudO Foods, saying the gesture was timely to mitigate malnutrition and create poultry entrepreneurs among the women in the state.