3 Factors Undermining Food Security in Far North Province of Cameroon
The Far North region of Cameroon is currently experiencing significant food insecurity, a phenomenon that regularly occurs every five to 10 years. Areas hardest hit by food insecurity are the mountain and rural villages in Mayo Tsanaga and Mayo Sava. Contributing factors to food insecurity include climate, rising population numbers, and Boko Haram-related insecurity.
Climate is significant for determining food productivity during a harvest season. The Far North region is experiencing a drought, which follows the previous season’s irregular rains. The recent irregular rainfalls in the Far North led to poor soil and negatively affected farm productivity. Between June and September 2015, the effects of the poor harvest were seen in high food prices at markets across the Far North Region.
Refugees fleeing into Cameroon from northeastern Nigeria also complicate the food security situation, with Cameroonian humanitarian teams struggling to cope with the increasing demand. Reports indicate that at least 60,000 Nigerians have fled into northern Cameroon since 2013 for refuge from ongoing violence in Nigeria’s northeastern states.
Where farmers are able to work despite the climate restrictions, Boko Haram-related violence is driving the farmers from their fields, and whole populations away from their towns and villages in search of safer areas. Traders have left markets, and entire markets have shut down due to insecurity.