UN agency distributes seed and fertilizers to 60,000 Afghan families

18 December 2003

In an effort to boost food production in Afghanistan, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said today it had distributed high quality seeds and fertilizers to some 60,000 Afghan farm families ahead of the new planting season.

In an effort to boost food production in Afghanistan, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said today it had distributed high quality seeds and fertilizers to some 60,000 Afghan farm families ahead of the new planting season.

The 3,000 tons of quality wheat seed and 4,500 tons of fertilizer are expected to benefit over 500,000 people with the improved harvests and income, FAO said in a news release in Kabul, the Afghan capital.

The beneficiaries include thousands of families returning to their land after being forced to flee their farms during the country's civil war.

"Since 2002, FAO has carried out several large-scale distribution programmes in Afghanistan, reaching some 300,000 poor families, around 2.7 million people, with quality wheat and vegetable seeds, fertilizers and hand tools in nearly every province and district of the country," the FAO Representative in Afghanistan, Serge Verniau, said.

For its part the UN World Food Programme (WFP) said lack of security was the main constraint to its large-scale recovery and reconstruction activities. But most relief activities, such as assistance to refugees and hospitals, as well as assistance to school children and teachers continue to be implemented, albeit at a reduced level, WFP Information Officer Maarten Roest told a news briefing in Kabul.

The most insecure areas are generally also the most poverty stricken and food insecure, Mr. Roest said. Where security prevents WFP staff from operating, activities can continue in limited cases thanks to the presence of governmental or non-governmental partners, he added.

 

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