Pakistan farmers need wheat seed fast

Pakistan farmers need wheat seed fast

01/09/2010

FAO today called for more international funds to save the upcoming wheat planting season in Pakistan where floods covering land half the size of Italy have wiped out much of the country's household wheat seed stocks. Wheat, the staple food of the rural poor in Pakistan, is due to be planted in September through to November.

More than half a million tonnes of wheat seed stocks have been destroyed by the floods. In addition, in the flood affected areas, people are utilizing wheat seed stocks that have not been affected by the flooding to feed their families and the displaced people they are sheltering.

"Unless people get seeds over the next few weeks they will not be able to plant wheat for a year," said Daniele Donati, Chief, FAO Emergency Operations, Asia, Near East, Europe and Special Emergencies. "Food aid alone will not be enough. If the next wheat crop is not salvaged, the food security of millions will be at risk."

Wheat based flat bread, such as chapattis, is the main food of poor rural people in Pakistan.