FAO helps restore sowing of crops
ISLAMABAD, Oct 9: The start of Rabi crop season has been delayed in Sindh due to the log of water in fields, while distribution of wheat and vegetable seeds and fertiliser was progressing in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Punjab and Balochistan, says a United Nations report on Saturday.
The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) in its report said that 532,770 households in the three provinces were getting wheat and vegetable seeds and fertilizer for the Rabi season, which will end in November.
While supporting the government-led efforts to rapidly restore agricultural production and livelihoods affected by the floods, FAO has regretted that out of the pledged contribution of $170.7 million, only $45.8 million has been contributed leaving a gap of $124.9 million.
Separately, FAO funding requirements of $107 million for crops, livestock, fisheries, forestry and coordination received only $45.5 million leaving a gap of $61.5 million.
FAO`s crops, livestock project involves provision of agricultural inputs and technical support for the Rabi wheat season and Kharif season (maize, rice, vegetable, pulses seeds) and desilting of irrigation channels.
In the areas of fisheries and forestry, the FAO project involves repairing, cleaning and restocking fish ponds, fish farms and hatcheries; rehabilitation of freshwater fisheries and critical fish habitats; provision of fishing gear.
The forestry project includes distribution of fast-growing trees seedlings, fruit tree saplings; establishing and rehabilitating small-scale family-run tree nurseries.
The water, sanitation and hygiene cluster is now providing clean water for daily use to 3.7 million people, and almost 1.5 million people have benefited from distribution of hygiene kits.
A USAID report, meanwhile, stated that it has in collaboration with OFDA has recently contributed $5 million towards a $25 million FAO programme to restore agriculture and livestock-based livelihoods for more than 260,000 farming families in six heavily-affected districts in southern Punjab.
To supplement Rabi wheat with winter vegetable production, an additional 84 tons of assorted vegetable seeds will be distributed to beneficiary families.