The Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) under the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), in collaboration with the American University of Nigeria (AUN) as an implementing partner, has distributed farm inputs to over 3,000 displaced farmers to mitigate effects of the insurgency in Mubi Local Government Area of Adamawa State.
Tagged ‘Food and Agricultural Organisation 2018 rainy season distribution’, the programme was done in order to reduce hunger, encourage the displaced persons, returnees and host communities affected by insurgency into finding some succour to their problems.
A Project Officer and resource person from AUN, Abubakar Mustapha, said the farm inputs included fertilizer, certified and treated maize seeds and cowpeas seedlings from Rome aimed at curtailing hunger amongst the internally displaced persons.
He explained that the beneficiaries from Mubi-North local government were mostly from four villages of Vimtim, Muchala, Beso and Mayo Bani, while those who benefited from Mubi-South are from the four villages of Dirbishi, Gude, Mugulvu and Nassarawo. Each beneficiary is entitled to a 25kg bag of fertilizer, 10kg maize seedlings and 10kg Cowpeas.
Abubakar reiterated that the difference between the seeds and ordinary ones is that they germinate in 70 days with more pop of maize on the stalk and were disease resistant as against the ordinary seeds.
He noted that the selection of beneficiaries was done according to the FAO criteria which include; being vulnerable, access to land (ownership or hire), internally displaced, a returnee and a host community.
The beneficiaries included 400 beneficiaries in Mayo Bani; 400 in Bestso; 300 in Vimtim; 300 in Muchalla; 400 in Mubi-South; 400 in Dirbishi; 300 in Gude; 400 in Mugulvu; and 500 beneficiaries in Nassarawo.
Abubakar said a major challenge they encountered was the drop in beneficiaries despite being trained, because FAO merged 13 communities to four leaving them with no alternative than to console the selected but dropped vulnerable farmers.
The project officer said their priorities were the internally displaced persons, followed by the returnees and the host community members.
He disclosed that FAO will use same beneficiaries for three years so as to see the impact, adding that Mubi was selected because most of the inhabitants were farmers and had a greener area and a fertile soil.
The Director of Finance, AUN, Ibrahim Damare, said the turnout was very impressive and urged the beneficiaries to use the inputs for the purpose intended.
The village head of Mayo Bani, Alhaji Ibrahim Buba Jam, who was represented by Ahijo Buba said they were empowered with pumping machines last year and this year were given fertilizers, maize seeds and cowpeas which have benefitted more than 2000 pupils from the village.
Ahijo said Mayo Bani have accepted 250 IDPs who they gave farmlands and shelter free adding however that most of them now have gone back to their villages.
He expressed gratitude on the assistance given to them by the organisation, and warned beneficiaries not to consume the seedlings but make use of them for the purpose intended.
A beneficiary, Adamu Buba Abdu, expressed gratitude to FAO and AUN for the support given to them, adding that they have undergone lots of hardship due to their inability to obtain farm inputs. He said a 25kg fertilizer is worth N5,000 which most of them cannot afford.
Ladi Hamman, an IDP, said she did not reap good harvest because of the cost of fertilizers and seedlings which she could not afford.
Holger Zakariya, a Chibok IDP said the assistance given to them by FAO was like a new dawn of hope for them because the dream of every farmer is to get the necessary inputs for their farming activities.
A beneficiary, Aishatu Ishiaku, expressed bitterness over the insurgency which, she said, led her husband to divorce and whose whereabouts was not known presently.
She said he left her with five children whom she found very challenging to cater for adding that the assistance given to her was highly appreciated.
Ardo Musa Kawu, the village head of Mugulvu in Mubi-South, said they had about 5,000 beneficiaries in Mugulvu and that most of the IDPs were traumatized due to the lives and properties they lost to the insurgency.
According to him, all the ward heads used meet at his palace where they sought a way out for the IDPs located in the various wards and villages and were therefore happy that an organization had recognized them and empowered thousands of the IDPs.
He said most of the IDPs at Mugulvu were from Gwoza, Damboa and Bama which were the worst affected places by the Boko Haram destructions. He said they were given shelter and land to make their lives worth living.
He thanked FAO and AUN for putting smiles on the faces of the displaced farmers.