The escalating wave of violent attacks on farmers perpetrated by armed groups is significantly exacerbating Nigeria’s food crisis, with dire consequences for the country’s vulnerable population.
According to Save the Children, an estimated 700,000 children are on the brink of death due to hunger as a result of these ongoing attacks.
Armed groups have been responsible for the deaths of more than 128 farmers and the abduction of 37 others throughout Nigeria during the first six months of 2023.
The violence has led to disruptions and the displacement of livelihoods, impacting critical food supplies.
In the month of June alone, non-state armed groups in Borno State killed 19 farmers, according to data from the Nigerian Security Tracker.
This surge in violence has contributed to hindering essential food production and distribution, potentially plunging Nigeria into a severe food crisis this year.
Farmers in affected regions, like Bulama, who has over 35 years of experience farming in the Northeast, have shared their harrowing experiences.
He recounted armed group attacks that have not only led to kidnappings and deaths but have also resulted in the theft of farm produce. This leaves farmers without resources, contributing to hunger and starvation within their communities.
The United Nations projected in January that more than 25 million Nigerians could face food insecurity in 2023, reflecting a 47 percent increase from the 17 million already at risk due to insecurity and conflict.
In three North-East states—Borno, Adamawa, and Yobe—over two million children under the age of five are at risk of acute malnutrition, and approximately 700,000 children face the imminent threat of death due to hunger this year alone.
The persistent violence against farmers not only threatens food security but also highlights the urgent need for comprehensive efforts to address security concerns, support affected communities, and ensure the well-being of Nigeria’s vulnerable populations.
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