Logo Hub Rural
Home > News

Nigeria: Owning up to food insecurity in the north

It is the start of the rains in northern Nigeria, and farmers are out sowing their fields. They know that the next three months will be the belt-tightening lean season, when households need to be prudent to get by, but hardship will give way to the harvest in September.

For the women gathered at a small healthcare centre in Daura, in the northwestern state of Katsina, hunger has come early, and is visible in the ginger-coloured hair and the slack skin of their children.

Hajiya Ladidi’s two-year-old daughter, Kadija, is severely malnourished and enrolled in an outpatients therapeutic programme (OTP) at Gurjiya, one of six run by Save the Children in the Daura Local Government Area. Business has been bad for her husband, an onion middle-man who buys from local farmers and sells to traders heading south. He has another wife, a total of nine children to feed, and the stored grain from last year’s harvest ran out in May.

Katsina, on the border with drought-affected Niger, has a global acute malnutrition rate of 8.1 percent among children aged under five, according to a preliminary survey at the beginning of this year by the UN’s Children Fund (UNICEF). That figure is almost certain to worsen as the lean season sets in, and prices of the staples millet, maize and sorghum rise.


Mots clés

Crédits: AK-Project