FAO starts distributing seeds, farm implements to Kenyan farmers

Source: Xinhua| 2018-09-14 20:52:49|Editor: xuxin
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NAIROBI, Sept. 14 (Xinhua) -- The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has begun distribution of seeds, farm implements and veterinary drugs to victims of March-May rains that resulted in severe floods.

Gabriel Rugalema, FAO Representative in Kenya, said that the agricultural inputs valued about 500,000 U.S. dollars will be distributed in Tana River and Kilifi counties in Kenya.

"The money will also be used to repair agricultural infrastructure damage to irrigation schemes, canals, pipes, pumps and irrigation station chambers in Turkana County in East Western Kenya," he said during the official launch of the distributions in Kilifi County.

The official noted that FAO is responding following a rapid stakeholder consultations that was conducted in June in order to technically identify the extent of the problem and determine immediate course of action.

Rugalema said that the damage by the floods along the rivers caused a negative impact on food and nutrition security to majority of farmers.

"The donation is aimed at enabling farmers go back to their farms and start improving their lost sources of income," he said, adding that the UN food agency has secured resources to support capacity development in disaster needs assessment.

"We plan to train government officials in a detailed methodology in assessing and quantifying the damages and losses incurred as a result of disasters," Rugalema said.

The official observed that for Kenya to attain food security there is need to invest in mechanization of agriculture to be able to produce food for consumption and sale.

The UN official also noted that FAO is keen on the promotion of blue economy, adding that a team of experts has been identified to come on board and help Kenya reap from the sub sector.

According to the National Disaster Operations Centre (NDOC), the June floods affected 13 counties where around 800,000 people were directly affected while 186 lost their lives countrywide.

The heavy rains also affected road infrastructure while several areas suffered from massive environmental degradation caused by the soil erosion.