Good wheat crop expected this yr
ISLAMABAD: Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) expected good wheat harvest to yield enough food for half a million poor rural households.
"With an average family size of eight, this translates into a harvest large enough to feed four million people for the next six months", said Daniele Donati, Chief, FAO Emergency Operations Service.
FAO spent $54 million of international donor funding buying and distributing quality wheat seeds as part of its emergency intervention that began last August, he informed, said a news release received here.
Once the harvest is completed, this donation will have produced a crop worth almost $190 million in wheat flour, the main staple, at current local retail prices, he noted adding the investment made by donors has been quadrupled.
As part of its immediate response to the floods, FAO led the UN's Agriculture Cluster, comprised of over 200 organizations, reaching 1.4 million farming families across the country.
FAO received $92 million of its $107 million appeal, which has enabled it to shore up the smallholder agricultural system in the four Pakistan provinces affected by the flooding.
The donors were Australia, Belgium, Canada, the UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF), the European Commission, IFAD, Italy, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States of America.
As well as supporting the "Rabi" wheat planting season, it is estimated that FAO saved the lives of almost a million livestock by supplying temporary shelter and enough deworming tablets and dry animal feed for almost 290,000 families.
Green fodder is now becoming available as the harsh Pakistan winter turns to spring.
"The livestock interventions really paid off," Donati said adding, it costs ten times more to buy a new animal, which often represent a family's lifetime savings.
The UN agency will shortly distribute quality rice seeds to
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