The United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) has partnered with the American University of Nigeria (AUN), Yobe, to distribute fertilisers and farm implements to about 450 farmers in the state. The effort by both institutions was targeted at cushioning the effect of insurgency on some rural farmers now internally displaced.
Similarly, the Yobe state government has also mapped out plans to kick-start the distribution of fertilisers and farming implements to about 33,000 rural and urban farmers.
AUN Representative, Usman Chiromari during the flag-off of the distribution to 100 of the farmers noted that the effort was aimed at securing the rights and privileges of the beneficiaries.
According to Chiromari, with such areas hit by insurgency, the scheme would fast-track complete empowerment for the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs). He said, “The major objective of UNCHR is to ensure social and economic rights are secured and opportunities for self-reliance maximised.
“This project is promoting livelihoods and self-reliance through skill acquisitions and empowerment with start-ups to prevent households and individuals from slipping into poverty and enable them support their communities.
“The target of the project are the vulnerable IDPs, returnee IDPs and members of the host communities affected by the insurgency”
Also at the flag-off, the Yobe state Commissioner of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Dr. Mairo Amshi, who spoke on the government’s proposed roll-out, said the delay for the project’s kickoff was the need to eliminate middlemen and prepare an accurate database of the beneficiaries.
“One of the reasons for the delay in the distribution of our fertiliser is because we have to get out trusted farmers. We have already gotten 33,000 registered farmers so far. “They are registered and we know their locations, their phone numbers. We have screened them to be sure they are real farmers. “We are trying to eliminate middlemen in the distribution of our fertiliser. That is why we are working with traditional rulers to achieve that goal.
“The state government will begin the distribution of fertilisers to farmers by next week Insha Allah. I cannot give you the number of tonnes now because it’s too much or too little to say”, she said.
The commissioner added that civil servants who are farmers in the state will benefit from the scheme. She also urged all beneficiaries who received inputs to use them judiciously.