The UN Food an Agriculture Organization is asking for nearly $4 million to help farmers in Mozambique and Madagascar. The countries suffered heavy crop losses due to floods and cyclones. A separate appeal of about $4 million is expected to be made soon on behalf of Zambia.
Greg Garbinski is the FAO’s senior operations officer for the Emergency Operations Rehabilitation Division. From Rome, he spoke to VOA English to Africa Service reporter Joe De Capua about why the aid is needed.
“This area is prone to, especially this time of year…usually heavy rainfall but also the start of the cyclone season…this has a severe impact on the agriculture and livestock production in those areas,” he says.
Some of the hardest hit areas were along the coastal plains.
Garbinski says, “In Mozambique, we targeting about 87,000 agricultural households that have been most heavily affected by the loss of assets, food stocks and also curtailing much of their agricultural production. So the assistance will be in the rehabilitation of these assets, replanting of crops for the secondary season, which will begin in April to July. And we’re utilizing interventions such as input trade fairs.”
The FAO says families who’ve suffered losses will be given vouchers that can be redeemed at the fairs for seeds, tools and other implements, as well as livestock.
The FAO will also help to rehabilitate damage fisheries and administer livestock vaccinations to prevent the spread of disease following the floods.