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Saturday, September 26, 2015

FAO protects sagric-based livelihoods for peace-building, poverty alleviation

The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) is protecting agriculture-based livelihoods during conflict as a crucial strategy for peace-building, poverty alleviation and development in countries facing protracted crisis situation, NaijaAgroNet reports.

At a practical level FAO said,its prioritizing help for the most vulnerable families to improve their access to food, nutrition and income while creating the conditions for rehabilitation and long-term resilience of agriculture as a crucial strategy.

According to a press statement, the Director-General of the organization, José Graziano da Silva said that the millions of people who are being forced to flee from war, poverty and other hardships are a tragic reminder of the urgent need for peaceful solutions based on social justice and improved economic opportunities for all. Key to achieving this is the protection of and investment in rural livelihoods.

"Rural development and food security are central to the global response to the refugee crisis. War causes hunger and hunger too, kills and forces people from their homes.
"Supporting agricultural based livelihoods can contribute to both helping people stay on their land when they feel safe to do so and to create the conditions for the return of refugees, migrants and displaced people," Graziano da Silva said.

In Syria, NaijaAgroNet gathered, the conflict is having a devastating impact on agriculture, with food markets and supply chains dysfunctional, much of the irrigation and other infrastructure destroyed and farmers and livestock keepers left with no other option than to abandon their fields and animals. The ones who remain cannot access markets or afford seeds, fertilizers and other inputs. Meanwhile the influx of Syrian refugees is also impacting agriculture in neighbouring host countries

This involves seed assistance to enable Syrian farmers to harvest sufficient cereals to feed their families; cash-for-work programmes to create income opportunities while repairing critical on-farm infrastructure; veterinary support and vaccination campaigns in Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria to preserve livestock health and vital sources of nutrition; and distribution of backyard production kits that give displaced and host families the means to produce nutrient-rich foods, such as eggs, milk and vegetables, NaijaAgroNet learnt.

Cyriacus Nnaji/GEE

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