Thousands of farming families whose livelihoods were devastated by the recent earthquakes in Nepal will soon have access to time-critical agricultural inputs thanks to rapid funding from Italy. The EUR 400 000 grant will enable the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) to provide farmers with grain storage to prevent further food losses, seeds for summer planting and livestock support to keep surviving animals healthy and productive. The project, which began on 13 May, will directly assist around 6500 severely affected families in Rasuwa and Nuwakot districts.
According to a press release issued by Vidhu Prakash Kayastha National Media and Communication Consultant, office of the FAO Representative in NepalThe earthquakes of 25 April and 12 May struck at a critical point in the agricultural calendar. Farmers were harvesting wheat, planting maize and approaching the rice sowing season, beginning in late May. Many affected rural families lost their crops, food and seed stocks, storage facilities and other valuable agricultural assets. These include vital livestock that families rely on continually for nutrition, income and draught power.
Through the FAO-Italy project, farmers will receive rice, millet and vegetable seeds to plant in time for the summer planting season (late-May to August) as well as grain storage bags to protect their 2015 wheat crop, which is still being harvested. This will empower farmers to rapidly restore food production and income generation, increasing the supply of staple and nutrient-rich fresh foods in their homes and local communities. Through the project, FAO will also provide animal feed and supplements to avoid the further loss of farm animals – and their vital contribution to family nutrition and earnings.
These activities are a critical starting point to help earthquake-affected families recover and enhance resilience to future disasters.
Expressing gratitude to the people and the Government of Italy for their generosity, Dr. Somsak Pipippinyo, FAO Representative in Nepal said, “More funding is urgently needed from all donors to extend support to more farming families in need.”