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Climate Change and Boko Haram Driving Hunger in Cameroon

Harvesting a crop in Cameroon's Far North Region is becoming an increasingly uncertain proposition.

Armed conflict between Boko Haram militants and Cameroon's armed forces in the region has made it difficult for some farmers to access their fields, deepening food security, said Felix Gomez, the World Food Programme's country director.

At the same time, the region is hosting 75,000 Nigerians who have fled that country's Boko Haram insurgency and 82,000 internally displaced people affected by the spillover of the conflict to Cameroon since 2013, officials say.

That has helped feed a food deficit in Cameroon's Far North Region of 132,000 tons, according to a government assessment issued last June.

Just as problematic, climate change is gradually rendering the traditional agricultural calendar unreliable, making just getting in a crop hard work, farmers in the region say.

"We have been losing our crops and witnessing significant drops in agricultural output for the past 15 years. We no longer master the planting season. Rice cultivation is so delicate that when you miss the planting period slightly, you just have to mourn for your loss," said Ziga Adibe, a farmer in Maga and coordinator of rice grower's initiative in the region.

Dennis Keller

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