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Monday, August 22, 2016

FAO warns of likely outbreak of crop, livestock diseases in Ethiopia

The Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) Representative to Ethiopia, Amadou Allahoury, has warned that if the current floods in the country continues, it could lead to crop and livestock diseases, reports NaijaAgroNet.

"If floods worsen later this year, there could be outbreaks of crop and livestock diseases, further reducing agricultural productivity and complicating recovery,” Allahoury declared.

The situation, Allahoury said, is critical now and urged the world make sure that farmers will be able to plant between now and September and grow enough food to feed themselves and their families thus avoiding millions of people having to rely on food assistance for another year.

“Ethiopia needs urgent global support to respond to its humanitarian needs, we have no time to procrastinate," Allahoury said.

The FAO official described the meher season as Ethiopia's main agricultural season and produces up to 85 per cent of the nation's food supplies.

Also, Allahoury warned that if the farmers do not plant enough now, Ethiopia may face significant food shortages, which may further exacerbate food and nutrition insecurity in the country.

“To ensure the last remaining planting window of the year is met, an estimated $8.8 million is needed to provide root crop planting materials, legumes, vegetable and cereal seed to 530 000 households,” the representative said.

NaijaAgroNet reports that FAO estimated that households who lost small ruminants such as sheep may need at least two years to return to pre-drought levels, while cattle-owning households may need up to four years to recover. While animals that survived the recent drought are still weak and susceptible to diseases during the rainy periods; $36.2 million is required to undertake the necessary interventions to support 2.4 million livestock-dependent households or 12 million people.

Isaac Oyimah/GEE
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