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FAO seeks funding for Darfur's drought-affected farmers

September 29 - 2015 KHARTOUM
Madjoub community members inspect dry dam in North Darfur (Unamid)
Madjoub community members inspect dry dam in North Darfur (Unamid)

Poor crop growth and pasture conditions caused by rainfall shortage in Darfur have caused an increased risk of food and nutrition insecurity, according the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). The organisation seeks $6 million to enhance the resilience of 125,000 extremely vulnerable farming and pastoralist families (750,000 people) who are affected by the country's drought-like conditions.

FAO recently completed an assessment of crop performance and growth and livestock health in Sudan’s key rain-fed agricultural areas. The below-average rainfall has resulted in delayed planting, poor crop growth and pasture conditions in many regions, with increased risk of crop failures and low production surpluses anticipated for the 2015/2016 harvest period. Darfur and West and South Kordofan are among the areas most at risk.

“Support for the winter farming season is important.”

Food insecurity will occur in particular among small-scale farmers and pastoralists who make up the bulk of Sudan’s rural poor, FAO writes in a press statement on Tuesday. The $6 million it hopes to raise will provide families with vegetable and legume seeds, tools, planting support, livestock fodder, and vaccination services to enable families to grow more food during the winter farming season, that runs from November to March.

Seeds and healthy animals

“Ensuring the availability of local nutritious food and income-generating opportunities is the best way to save the lives of rural families,” says Rosanne Marchesich, FAO Representative a.i. in Sudan. “Support for the winter farming season is an important way to mitigate the impacts of the rainfall shortage on vulnerable families in Sudan.

“Without support now, farmers will not be able to meet their food needs and food insecurity in Sudan will get worse.”

Vegetable and legume seeds can produce three to five months of locally available nutrient-rich food. In addition, healthy animals produce 60 percent more meat and milk for the herders. The sale of surplus vegetables, legumes, meat, and milk is also an important source of income.

The assessment by the FAO was completed for 80 localities, with data collection led by state ministries in cooperation with the organisation's field offices, and it covered the rainfall up to 10 September this year.


This article was edited on 30/09/2015 09:36

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