The governments of United States, France, Canada, France, Sweden and Kuwait have contributed towards the agricultural renaissance of the troubled North East.
The governments of the six countries are assisting 8,100 persons in micro-gardening kits in the troubled region.
The project is being financed in conjunction with the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) and to be implemented in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states.
Speaking at the Micro-gardening Media Mixer at FAO Northeast Nigeria sub-office in Maiduguri on Wednesday, Mr. Patrick David, Acting FAO Representative in Nigeria said, “Micro-gardening involves the use of a small or micro plot of land to cultivate nutrient dense crops, usually vegetables.
“It often involves the use of locally available materials (often considered waste items – such as buckets, paint tins etc.) in order to cultivate a variety of crops within a limited space.”
“In Northeast Nigeria, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has supported thousands of households to begin micro-gardening production for a variety of reasons.
“These reasons include issues of protection – travelling to the field to plant often bears immense risks, especially to women and girls who are often prone to attack.
“In areas of limited land for farming, households often have to venture far beyond the encouraged limits to meet household food consumption requirements.”
He said: “Dietary diversity is necessary for good health. In the context of an emergency, food assistance can often be limited to high calorie staple crops, which lack micronutrients, particularly needed for children.
Through this programme, FAO is encouraging the production of nutrition-sensitive crops packed with a variety of essential vitamins and minerals required for a healthy physical and mental development.”
He said the inputs given are nutritious vegetable seeds including; “Kit 1: Okra, Sorrel, Amaranthus, Cabbage and Carrots; Kit 2: Roselle, Onion, Tomato, Lettuce and Pepper, Hand tools Kit 1: Shovel, Garden fork and Wheelbarrow (for Groups); Hand tools for Kit 2: Rakes, Hoes, Head pan, Watering cans and Garden Knife (for individual households).”
He disclosed that: “In total, an estimated 8 100 households will be supported with micro-gardening kits in the coming 2018/2019 Dry Season.
This is in addition to the 7500 households that FAO has provided with micro-gardening kits in the 2017/2018 Dry Season, when this initiative began.”
He said: “FAO’s support to backyard vegetable gardening is growing in the northeast thanks to our generous partners and the facilitation of local and regional governments.”
He disclosed that France is sponsoring 3,000 beneficiaries, Kuwait 1,000, Sweden 600, USA 1,100, Canada 1,500 and Norway 900.