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UN Food Agency Issues Appeal for Burma's Farmers and Fishermen


A United Nations food agency is appealing for more money to help fishermen and farmers in Burma who were hard hit by Cyclone Nargis.

The Rome-based Food and Agriculture Organization issued an appeal Thursday for $33.5 million to help. Nargis hit the Irrawaddy Delta in early May, affecting more than 50,000 small-scale farming households and twice as many fishermen.

The U.N. agency says the cyclone flooded close to 800,000 hectares of rice fields and destroyed up to 85 percent of seed stocks in the country's agricultural belt.

It says three-quarters of farmers in Burma lack sufficient seed to plant next years' crops.

The FAO says another 99,000 landless rural households in the Asian country need immediate assistance.

Rice and fish constitute key components of the Burmese diet.

Some information for this report was provided by AP.

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