Chaiyaphum/Thailand, 14 Feb 2011 -- Today hundreds of farming families in Chaiyaphum province received rice seeds and fertilizers in the aftermath of last year’s flooding in the province.
Under an FAO emergency project for direct assistance to people who were severely affected by last October’s long lasting floods, rice seeds and fertilizers are delivered to 800 farmers in Chaiyaphum, one of the most severely affected areas, from today onwards.
Each of the selected households received 50kg of rice seeds of Kao Dawk Mali 105 or RD 6, and 100kg of NPK fertilizer. FAO ensured that the variety provided is adapted to the local agro-ecological conditions and preferred by the farmers.
“Months of dedicated efforts conducted by farmers in rice fields under hot sunshine and heavy rain were washed out by the floods. I can imagine how painful you must have been observing your damaged rice fields, especially for small scale farmers who have faced extreme hardship and financial losses for the household,” FAO’s regional chief Hiroyuki Konuma said while addressing the crowd of beneficiaries at the Laad Yai district metropolitan office.
In attendance during the distribution ceremony were the Thai deputy agriculture minister Supachai Phosu and Charin Chakkrapak, governor of Chaiyaphum.
Beneficiaries of the project are marginal and small farmers growing less than two hectares of rice, poor and vulnerable households who have lost most or all of their crops and livelihood assets. Priority was given to select female-headed households.
The seeds and fertilizers were distributed by the ministry of agriculture and cooperatives in close cooperation with the Chaipattana Foundation. Technical support was given by FAO.
Beneficiaries are also attending briefing sessions on technical – such as rice diseases and insect pest management – and economic/cost aspects of rice growing, provided by staff of the Chumpae Rice Research Centre and the provincial agricultural extension office.
Funded from FAO’s own resources to the tune of US$ 338 000 – approximately Baht 10 million – the project targets in total 2 598 rice farmers in 4 provinces, Nakorn Ratchasima, Phichit, Uthai Thani, and Chaiyaphum.
The inputs provided aim to make a significant contribution to immediate recovery by helping families resume their normal productive lives and reduce their vulnerability to food insecurity.
In Korat – also called Nakorn Ratchasima – distribution of agricultural inputs to 1 412 beneficiaries took place from 27 to 31 January, and distribution in Phichit and Uthai Thani provinces will be conducted later this month.