Good wheat crop ex­pected this yr

The Financial Daily - - FRONT PAGE -

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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