FAO distributes seeds among farmers in tribal districts

PESHAWAR: The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations has started distributing Kharif packages to 8,500 households in the newly merged districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP).

A statement issued by FAO said that seeds receiving families also includes 265 women headed families. The seed distribution is part of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and Department for International Development (DFID) funded projects, where FAO is providing certified 20-kilogram certified maize seed, 10-kilogram French beans seed and Rhode grass fodder seed to each household.

The statement further added that the improved climate-resilient crops seed packages are provided to support the farming families in increasing crop production from their agriculture lands.

An orientation session for the beneficiaries of the seed packages was also arranged by the farmer field school facilitators on improved crop management practices, including post-harvest handling. The statement said that it is expected that the farmers households, including women-headed households, will be able to improve their food and nutrition security through increased production and self-sufficiency in quality seed for cultivation in the coming season.

“The project will improve value addition in agriculture through the establishment of the value chain and functional markets,” said the FAO press statement. FAO Representative for Pakistan Mina Dowlatchahi said that initiative worked to improve agricultural productivity in the newly merged tribal districts through innovative farming practices, which would benefit both the male and female farmers of the region with increased output.

FAO is implementing JICA and DFID funded projects in five tribal districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, namely, Khyber, Kurram, Orakzai, North Waziristan and South Waziristan District. The selected districts are designated as high priority areas for food security, health, and protection. The projects focus on providing holistic support to families by introducing sustainable development activities. A total of 74,561 households are being assisted under the projects.