“About 1.5 million people have been returned to their original communities in northeast Nigeria,” FAO said, quoting a report by Displacement Tracking Matrix”
Timothy Olanrewaju, Maiduguri
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) said it has trained 51 local agricultural officers who will set up and run farm field schools for local farmers in the northeastern states affected by Boko Haram insurgency.
FAO in a statement issued yesterday by its Communication and Reporting Officer, Maiduguri Sub-Office, Patrina Pink said the 51 agric experts were drawn from government agricultural agencies, non-governmental organisations and community groups following the establishment of Farmer Field Schools (FFSs).
“FFSs are an interactive and participatory ‘learning by doing’ approach involving groups of 20-25 farmers, pastoralists or Fisher folk and trained facilitator,” Pink disclosed saying each of the FFS group was expected to experiment with best practices and discuss problems and solutions.”
He said the programme was designed to support resource-poor farmers with limited access to education, information, extension services, market access and financial capital particularly for conflict-affected farmers.
“Stakeholder farmers face huge hurdles in managing increasingly complex agro-ecosytem. Through FFSs, farmers will learn how to create sustainable solutions to farming and pastoral issues,” the statement quoted FAO representative in Nigeria, Suffyan Koroma as saying.
It said that FAO works closely with farmers in the area to ensure that whatever training or input received by them were properly utilised. “We also ensure that they are employing the most effective techniques in the management of their crops and animals. And that generally, farming households have the best conditions to boost resilience, “ it added.
“About 1.5 million people have been returned to their original communities in northeast Nigeria,” FAO said, quoting a report by Displacement Tracking Matrix, June 2018.
It said these returnees, Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) still in the camps and host communities as well require urgent support to help them resume their livelihoods. It said 80 percent of this population was estimated to be engaged in subsistence farming.