Red Cross partners fleet-of-foot RIU to get Jos farming again
1 November 2010
Several months after the emergency response to the January 2010 massacres in villages near Jos, RIU Nigeria
was approached by the International Committee of the Red Cross
with a request to collaborate with them in supporting the rehabilitation of agricultural livelihoods. The plan was to support some 210 households who had been affected or displaced by violence in communities in Plateau
From 2008 to 2010, hundreds of people were reported killed and thousands more displaced from their communities by ethnic/religious violence in areas around Jos
Following the immediate humanitarian response, the longer term regeneration of the area requires provision of improved agricultural inputs: seeds, fertilizer, simple farming tools such as machetes, hoes, axes, and agro-chemicals. So RIU Nigeria is working with the International Committee of the Red Cowpea/Soybean Value Chain Innovation Platform
Cross-Nigeria, the Nigerian Red Cross Society
and the United States Embassy in Nigeria which provided US$30,000 from their Self-Help Fund.
RIU Nigeria is responsible for facilitating the procurement of about US$25,000 worth of improved seeds (maize, sorghum, cowpea) through the Institute of Agricultural Research
and Premier Seeds Ltd
, both of which are part of the RIU-assisted. The Nigerian Red Cross Society is responsible for procuring the simple farming tools and community mobilization in the target villages with the balance of the funds.
RIU Nigeria's Country Coordinator, Utiang P. Ugbe
"Both crop and animal farming was affected by the high death toll and massive displacement of villagers in the region. Therefore, whilst short-term humanitarian response is vital, the affected populations also need help to get their agriculture-based livelihoods going again.
The funds from the US Embassy only got to the RIU-Nigeria bank account in September 2010, by which time the planting season had already passed. So RIU Nigeria now plans to get the inputs delivered to the selected communities in April 2011 in preparation for the following planting season.
Although not massive scale in terms of the amount of funding or the number of beneficiaries, it is of great symbolic importance that RIU Nigeria was solicited and funded to collaborate in this rural livelihoods intervention. This demonstrates the good reputation and credibility of the RIU experiments in Nigeria and our ability - as noted in the 2008 RIU mid-term review - to be fleet of foot."