ROME: The UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation said it had begun large-scale distribution of wheat seed in Pakistan to 500,000 farming families affected by catastrophic floods earlier this year. The aid means the current planting season that ends in December will still take place, the FAO said in a statement, adding that it would also provide vegetable seeds and fertilizer and assist livestock farmers.
“Wheat is the main staple of the Pakistani diet so it is of vital importance that farmers receive seeds in time,” said Luigi Damiani, a senior FAO official who is heading up the Rome-based organisation’s efforts in Pakistan.
FAO said the aid would benefit a total of five million people, adding: “The food security of tens of millions of Pakistanis is at stake with the current planting season. The next harvest for wheat will not be until spring 2011.”
FAO has so far received 67.44 million dollars (48.88 million euros) for its Pakistan aid plan out of a total funding requirement of 107 million dollars.
Some 2.4 million hectares (six million acres) of farmland were damaged by the floods, FAO said. – AFP