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05-06-2020 | Latest News , Africa

Nigeria: Farmers receive seeds, cash to stave off looming hunger as COVID-19 drives up food prices


Some 20,000 vulnerable households in Cross Rivers, Nassarawa, Adamawa and Bauchi States received seeds for the upcoming planting season, with distributions ongoing in Borno State to another 16,000 families. Together with seeds, farming communities receive cash to enable them to buy food during the lean season.

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) fears that without support, families could face a particularly difficult lean season, as COVID-19 disrupted supply chains, sending food prices up.   

“People have endured war and displacement and we are helping them to stand back on their feet,” says Kouadio Arsene Kouame, ICRC agronomist in Borno state. “The spread of COVID-19 made large distributions very difficult to organize. But if we miss the beginning of the planting season, it will take 12 months to catch up.”

In the North-East of the country, 2.9 million people are food insecure and the figure could rise to 3.7 million by the June – August lean season, according to the UN estimates. 

People affected by the armed conflict and violence are particularly vulnerable to the economic impact of the pandemic. Prolonged, sometimes multiple displacement, insecurity, difficult access to land and other resources have tested their resilience, stretching it to the limit.

ICRC had to revise its initial plan to adapt to the realities of the pandemic.  Movement restrictions put in place to curb the spread of the virus added another layer of challenges to the complex security environment. At the same time, taking all the necessary measures to avoid people gathering in crowds and ensure handwashing doubled the duration of distributions.  

Media contacts:

Alyona Synenko, spokesperson, ICRC Abuja. Contact: +234 903 1515543, 

Crystal Wells, regional spokesperson, ICRC Nairobi.

Contact: +254 716 897 265,  

Aliyu Dawobe, public relations officer, ICRC Abuja.

Contact: +2348028417085, 

Shot list

Shooting date  - May 27, 2020
Country/Location - Maiduguri, Borno State, Nigeria
Language(s) - English and Kanouri  
External production company? - No
ICRC producer - Alyona SYNENKO
Camera person - Alyona SYNENKO
Copyright - ICRC
Details of restriction if applicable - N/A
Format - 1920 x 1080 HD PAL, H264
Comments/brief overview of content - Nigerian farmers receive seeds, cash for the upcoming planting season


00:00 - 00:11  Women arriving at the ICRC seeds distribution site.

00:12 – 00:21 Men waiting to receive assistance at the ICRC seeds distribution site. 

Soundbite: Umar Al Haj Goni, displaced farmer

00:22 – 00:30 When I arrived to Jere, I did not have any means or any way to restart my livelihood and recover what I have lost. I am collapsed. I lost all hope.

00:31-00:43 When I manage to find work cutting trees for firewood or offloading trucks, I make 200 NGN (0,51 USD). Then I can use this money to buy harry[RP1]  and eat it with my family. 

00:44 – 00:53 We were in a very difficult situation during lockdown. We patiently spent day and night without a meal. Sometimes we would boil water and take it instead of tea.   

Soundbite: Ibrahim Mohammed, displaced farmer

00:54 – 01:09 We couldn’t go out anywhere because of COVID-19 and we couldn’t do any business. We stayed home and suffered from hardship.

01:10 – 01:20 With the support I am going to receive, I will go and farm and use the produce to eat with my family.

Soundbite:  Fatima Maina, displaced widow, mother of nine

01:21 – 01:34 There is no food, no water, me and my children are suffering. They were sent home from school. My children lost their father and they are nine. I am suffering.

Soundbite: Elisha John, Economic Security assistant, ICRC

01:34 -01:48 What we are doing here today is agro seeds distribution for 2020 rainy season. Basically, we are here to support the farmers with farm inputs. Basically, seeds and cash for seed protection.

01:49 -02:04 The majority of the households lost their livelihoods and now they have no access to farm inputs, because of the conflict and losing their livelihood assets.  We are here to support them with the inputs to enable them to farm this year. 

02:05 – 02:42 Maiduguri, I mean Borno state, is one of the states affected by the Coronavirus. Mostly the farming community, because with social distancing and then the lockdown, the households were not able to go out for their daily activities and source for income to procure seeds. Basically, this is one of the reasons why we are supporting them at this moment. And, as you can see, we are trying to observe the social distancing by putting them two meters apart. And then the team, we ensure that we are also wearing masks, you know, to ensure that we protect ourselves during this activity. 

02:43 – 03:14 I think, what is important, as EcoSec, at the moment is to see that we go to the community to see that, to ensure that they go back to the farm to plant the seeds. Because this is a very trying moment for all of us. Without food planted at the farm, I mean without the seeds planted, they are not going to have food for their household consumption and it is going to be a serious challenge. So for us, we ensure to go back to the community to ensure that people go back to their farms to plant the seeds.

Soundbite: Abbas Adam Ishag, Economic Security Delegate, ICRC

03:15 – 00:27 The idea of the cash as supplement to the seeds is to help the families focus on the farming instead of looking for a possibility to find food. So this is the main idea behind giving them also cash.

03:28 – 04:31 Vulnerable families receiving cash.

04:32 – 04:55 – Seeds being offloaded from the truck.

04:56 – 05:04 Farmers line up to receive seeds. 

05:05 Farmers receive seeds.

05:26 Farmers leaving the ICRC distribution site.

05:36                     End

Duration : 5m 36s
Size : 204.4 MB
On Screen Credit: ICRC or logo

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