Thursday, February 14, 2019 8:45 am
The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has distributed 150 cattle to re-settled farmers in Jere and Konduga Local Government Areas of Borno.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the bulls were distributed to farmers selected from Auno and Gongolon communities of Jere and Konduga Local Government Areas, respectively.
NAN reports that each of the benefitting farmers received one bull, to enable them engage in animal fattening under the livestock re-stock programme supported by the European Union (EU).
Nourou Macki-Tall, the Deputy FAO Representative in Nigeria, disclosed that some 2, 000 youths in resettled farming communities would be provided with bulls under the first phase of the programme.
Macki-Tall said that the programme was also designed to encourage livestock re-stock and provide means of livelihoods for the farmers.
He said it would also fast track re-settlement of communities ravaged by Boko Haram insurgency in the state.
He explained that the UN agency would monitor and support the beneficiaries through the provision of free animal health services, livestock feeds and training on animal care.
He added that the World Food Programme (WFP) would provide monetary support to enable them meet their financial needs and take care of the animals, while UN-WOMEN would deliver gender equality and cooperative management skills.
‘The productivity of the youth in the northeast could be unlocked with strategic and complementary support including animal re-stocking for depleted herds, access to startup capital, markets and training in livestock production.
“With bulls and other livestock provisions, youths will have an alternative source of much-needed income.
‘‘If young people have a productive livelihood in agriculture and can meet their daily needs, they are far less likely to become hypnotised by insurgent groups,’’ he said.
According to him, the project will also engage community leaders in restoring livelihoods and promoting greater youth access to land and business opportunities.
Elaborating further on the programme, he disclosed that the organisation was targeting 100, 000 households under the project to be implemented between 2018 and 2020.
The FAO official explained that support services would be provided to farmers, pastorals, and fishermen, adding that 10, 000 households were targeted for goats and poultry distributions.
He noted that the animals to be distributed were being quarantined and vaccinated to ensure safe introduction to the communities.
Also, Mr Bitrus Mshelia, Technical Adviser, Ministry of Reconstruction, Rehabilitation and Resettlement (RRR), in the state revealed that the state government had so far distributed over 3, 000 animals and 16, 350 chicks to re-settled farmers in Kaga and Konduga Local Government Areas.
Mshelia said that the gesture was to provide livelihoods and accelerate re-settlement of displaced communities.
While commending FAO over the gesture, Mshelia called on the beneficiaries to ensure effective utilisation of the animals and engage in productive activities.
One of the beneficiaries, Salisu Nara, 25, also commended the gesture, adding that it would go a long way in assisting him to engage in animal fattening.