As internally displaced persons return to their homelands in Borno State, concerted efforts have been put in place to boost agricultural production and clear farmlands of landmines.
The Borno State Fadama Project in collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organisation has commenced the distribution of assorted fertilizer and to improved seed varieties to internally displaced persons who recently returned back to their homelands in the troubled state.
The Communications Officer of Borno State Fadama Project, Bulama Yerima, in a statement, disclosed that the distributions were made in Damboa, Jere and Konduga local government areas with 8,400 households benefiting.
He said: “This agricultural input support to the peasant farmers was aimed at restoring their livelihood activities as part of post insurgency support to returnees of liberated communities in the twenty four insurgency affected local government areas.
He added: “This followed a Three Day Special Training for the beneficiaries on suitable irrigation land identification and preparation, manure and fertilizer application, environmental safety, use and maintenance of water pumps, sourcing and application of improved seed varieties and disease surveillance by experts in both Kanuri and Hausa.”
According to him, during the launching of the distribution in Dalori town of Konduga Local Government, the Borno State Fadama Project Coordinator, Bukar Talba said the items were meant to help peasant farmers across the state to restore their livelihood activities and start life afresh as worst hit victims of insurgency.
He revealed that 10,000 farmers in group of fives will be given two and half bags of fertilizers and five packets of assorted seed varieties comprising of Okro, Rossel, sorell Watermelon, Armaranthus, Cabbage, Carrot, Tomatoes, Pepper and Onion.
He also said the project will provide them with boreholes for irrigation, food support and repairs of community infrastructure like market stalls, community well and farm roads to enable them recover socially and economically.
Also, the Borno State Fadama Project has organized a three day training Programme for traditional and religious leaders, political heads, heads of Agric, Fadama beneficiary group leaders and other major stakeholders and opinion leaders in one thousand six hundred and five village units spread across the twenty four area councils affected the by insurgency in Borno State.
Speaking at the event, the State Coordinator of the Fadama project Engineer Bukar Talba said it is necessary to create awareness on how to suspect, identify and alert the security whenever they come in contact with objects or persons suspected to be carrying IEDs, landmines and unexplored ordinance now that the people have started going back to their respective communities.
As people return to this liberated towns and villages, he said they may not find things normal especially in areas where the insurgents stayed for long or had fierce battle with the army.
Training them on early warning and safety measures he added, is part of the project objectives to fast track their return home to commence their livelihood activities without compromising their lives and property.