The United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organizat ion has started distributing more than 20,000 tonnes of wheat seeds in Pakistan where floods have threatened a key wheat-planting season, an FAO official said.
The food security of tens of millions of Pakistanis is at stake with the current planting season after floods earlier this year destroyed 500,000-600,000 tonnes of wheat seeds and more than 2.4 million hectares of cultivable land there, FAO said.
“We have over 20,000 tonnes of wheat seeds moving through the country,” Truls Brekke, FAO’s communications officer in Pakistan, told Reuters.
The seeds were earmarked for farmers who own small plots of land or no land at all. Some fields still remained flooded, Brekke said, adding vegetable seeds and fertilizers were also distributed.
The seed distribution means farmers would be able to sow wheat, the main staple crop in Pakistan, during the Rabi planting season that ends in December, whereas other crops would be sown later on in areas currently under water, Brekke said.
The FAO aims to help more than half a million farming families in Pakistan.
The Rome-based agency said in a statement its intervention in Pakistan has received $67.44 million from donors under the Revised Pakistan Floods Emergency Response Plan, out of a total funding requirement of $107 million.