Insecurity and Food Production


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Data from the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics revealed
that Nigeria spent N258.3bn on wheat importation in the first three months of
2021. According to a Business Day report, efforts at boosting local wheat
production in recent years have been undermined by the Boko Haram insurgency in
the North-Eastern region of the country, as wheat farmers in Borno, the
country’s major producing state have abandoned their farmlands and fled to
other regions for safety. The president of the Wheat Growers Association of Nigeria
noted that the insurgency in the North-Eastern region has been a major setback
to efforts at increasing wheat production, noting that Borno alone contributed
30% to the country’s total output before the insurgency but now contributes
nothing.

We acknowledge that farming activities were
significantly affected in 2020 due to covid-19 movement restrictions during the
planting season as well as abnormal rainfall patterns which led to flooding of
farmlands. That said, we note that the farmers/herder’s clashes and in recent
times, banditry and kidnapping are a significant threat to agricultural
productivity. Banditry and kidnapping activities are at an alarming rate in
Northwest Nigeria, which is the primary wheat cultivation region. Borno,
Bauchi, Yobe, Kano, Jigawa, and Zamfara States are the major wheat producers
and these states are currently undergoing military operations in the fight
against terrorists and bandits. These restrictions make it highly difficult for
farmers to access their farms. These unfortunate events have led to a spike in
food prices reflected in the food inflation rate of 22.7% in April according to
the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).



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