Farmers in Nigeria's crisis-hit northeast urgently need help to start growing crops again, the U.N. food agency said on Tuesday, warning that a failure to get people back on their feet could open the door to radicalisation.
An insurgency by Boko Haram militants in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states disrupted fishing, farming, cattle breeding and trade routes after violence worsened in 2012.
Government forces retook territory from the insurgents last year, although attacks continue.
The improved situation has allowed aid agencies to reach more of the 7 million people who need aid, including 3 million experiencing severe food shortages.
But failure to rebuild the rural economy and boost job opportunities could result in youth frustration and continued violence in the region, the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said.
"If you miss the opportunity, you perpetuate the need for food assistance. You create dependency," Dominique Burgeon, director of FAO's emergency and rehabilitation division, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
"If you create frustration, you leave the door open to all sorts of discontent including radicalisation and enrolment into armed groups."