News / Asia

UN Predicts Grim Agricultural Outlook for Pakistan Flood Victims

The U.N. Food Agency says the agricultural outlook for millions of Pakistan's flood victims is grim. It says the monsoon rains have destroyed huge areas of croplands, killed millions of animals and put in jeopardy future harvests.

The U.N.'s Food and Agriculture Organization is leading a damage assessment mission in Pakistan's five flood-affected areas.  So far, it has finished viewing the situation in about half of the 79 districts hard hit by the monsoon rains.  

A senior FAO official, Sandra Avilas, says the initial findings show an unprecedented scale of damage.  She says about 80 percent of people in the flood-affected areas depend on agriculture for their livelihoods and this has been all but destroyed.

"The floods and flash rains in the country have not only damaged agricultural crops, livestock, fisheries and forestry, but have destroyed primary infrastructure such as tube wells, water channels, household storages, houses, animal sheds, personal seed stocks and fertilizers; as well as other agriculture, machinery and equipment," she said.    

In the areas that have been assessed, Avilas says 1.3 million square hectares of standing crops have been damaged, much of the wheat stock has been lost, and two million large and small animals are dead, as well as six million poultry.

She says these terrible findings are bound to be much worse once the damage assessment of all the flooded areas is completed.

She says the floods have struck at a devastating time for the farmers.  They occurred just prior to the harvest of key standing crops such as rice, maize, vegetables and sugar cane.  As though that was not bad enough, she says the floods also come at the onset of the wheat planting season beginning in mid-September and October.

"One of the things that we are very worried about is this wheat planting season right now.  If we are not able to address the issue right now, many farmers will miss the wheat-planting season and will not be able to harvest wheat until spring 2012," she said.

Avilas notes wheat is Pakistan's main staple crop.  It accounts for two-thirds of the national cereal production.  She says wheat provides 60 percent of the carbohydrates and protein requirements for the average Pakistani.

She warns missing this particular planting season will have devastating repercussions for the economy and for the population of Pakistan.

You May Like

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. More

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

Dropout rate at an all-time high in South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during 3-year civil war More

Tennessee Songbirds Fly Coop Long Before Tornadoes Arrive

Researchers say birds apparently alerted to danger by sounds at frequencies below range of human hearing More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US: Response to Sony Hack Will Be Proportionali
X
Aru Pande
December 19, 2014 1:45 AM
The White House says President Barack Obama considers the cyberattack on Sony Corp. a serious national security matter and that the U.S. will counter with an "appropriate response." VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video US: Response to Sony Hack Will Be Proportional

The White House says President Barack Obama considers the cyberattack on Sony Corp. a serious national security matter and that the U.S. will counter with an "appropriate response." VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid