Farmers in 13 states of Nigeria will receive improved seeds of sorghum, pearl millet, cowpea and rice as part of an initiative to cushion the pandemic’s impact on food systems. A host of agricultural research institutes and programmes, led by ICRISAT, and the Nigerian government recently launched the seed support initiative.
Flagging-off the initiative on 29 May in Kano, Alhaji Sabo Nanono, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Nigeria, said, “The pandemic may very likely precipitate a food crises by disrupting our food production systems, thereby posing a great threat to farmers’ livelihoods as well as national food and nutritional security.”
The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) estimates that COVID-19 pandemic risks food insecurity and nutrition of 50 million people between June and August 2020. The pandemic adds to other threats including climate change and recurrent drought, Fall armyworm (FAW) and locust infestations in West Africa.