Borno, Adamawa, others risk severe food crisis – World Bank warns


The World Bank has said seven states across the North-west and North-east regions of the country may suffer food crises due to high levels of insecurity and armed conflicts that has reduced the standards of living across the region.

The bank in its latest Food Security report also stated that most areas in West and Central Africa would remain Minimally food insecure until May 2024.

This is coming amidst plans by the government to cultivate 323,000 hectares of farmland producing wheat, rice, maize and cassava for the 2024 dry season farming.

The states highlighted by the bank are Borno, Adamawa, Kaduna, Katsina, Yobe, Sokoto, and Zamfara States.

It stated, “It is projected that most areas in West and Central Africa will remain minimally food insecure until May 2024, with some being categorised as Stressed IPC 2. Nigeria (far north of Adamawa, Borno, Kaduna, Katsina, Sokoto, Yobe, Zamfara states) will be at crisis food security levels, mostly because of persistent insecurity and armed conflict and deteriorating livelihoods.”

Food inflation has been a reoccurring issue faced by several governments across the globe and inflamed by the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine.

In Nigeria, the price of food products has increased in geometric progression.

The report further highlights the precarious situation many states in Nigeria find themselves in as food prices scale the roofs. The latest CPI report from the National Bureau of Statistics puts food inflation at over 33 per cent.

In October, the Food and Agricultural Organisation warned that around 5 million Nigerians are at risk of hunger in 2024.

The report further added that other countries in the West African region such as Burkina Faso, Chad, and Niger will experience varying degrees of food insecurity.

It stated that areas in Northeastern states such Abadam, Bama, Guzamala, Marte would experience emergency food security levels as a result of limited household food stock and access to market and humanitarian aid.

The report also noted that over 63.2 per cent of low-income countries experienced inflation levels surpassing 5 per cent, marking a 1.3 per cent point increase compared to the previous food update on January 17, 2023.

In lower-middle-income countries, 73.9 per cent saw inflation levels exceeding 5 per cent, while 48 per cent of upper-middle-income countries maintained similar percentages as the last update, with no changes recorded.

The World Bank noted that in high-income countries, over 44.4 per cent reported food inflation levels surpassing 5 per cent, marking a 1.9 per cent decrease compared to the previous food update.

Additionally, the report revealed that in real terms, food price inflation outpaced overall inflation in 71 per cent of the 165 countries where data was available.

The United Nations reported in its Africa Regional Overview of Food Security and Nutrition that since the onset of the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, approximately 78 per cent of Africans have been unable to afford a nutritious diet.

In July, President Bola Tinubu declared an emergency on food insecurity in the country and moved the item to the National Security Council.

However, the move has resulted in little or no impact as food prices continue to surge.

On Monday, a protest broke out in Niger state over rising food prices and hunger across the state.