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FAO Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia

Timely seed distribution in eastern Ukraine boosts community resilience

FAO is about to complete one of the largest seed distribution campaigns in the history of ongoing conflict in eastern Ukraine, aimed at helping farmers get ready for the next planting season.

The FAO team continues to deliver humanitarian aid in conflict-affected eastern Ukraine, with a focus on rural people living along the line of engagement. This time, more than 113 tonnes of corn and sunflower seeds have been distributed to around 9 000 food- and nutrition-insecure households and 1 000 small farmers. The distribution has taken place across 25 villages in Donetsk region and 18 villages in Lugansk region.

The help comes as part of FAO’s response programme in the conflict zone, currently valued at US$ 2.3 million. FAO arranged the distribution in close collaboration with the Embassy of France and three French companies operating in Ukraine: Euralis semens Ukraine, KVS Ukraine, and Maisadur Ukraine.

With an estimated 8 kilograms of corn seed per household and 50 kilograms of sunflower seeds per small-scale farm, beneficiaries should be able to meet their minimum food requirements for the next 8-10 months. They will receive complete, step-by-step guides to planting the seed.

”A recent FAO assessment concluded that the emergency seed distribution operation will have a significant positive impact on the 2017-18 harvest,” said Farrukh Toirov, coordinator of FAO response programme in Ukraine. “We want to create good conditions for economic development of the agriculture sector and help ensure food security.”

“Crop farming creates employment opportunities for the people,” Toirov continued. “Though it is seasonal, it can produce income for the entire year. Unemployed people and small farmers can easily generate a good profit by harvesting commercially.”

In recent months FAO has supported nearly 10 000 households along the contact line with various types of farming inputs: seed potato, drip irrigation kits, animal feed, and poultry. The next round of humanitarian support will target an additional 10 000 households that have suffered significant losses due to the conflict.

By late autumn, the FAO team in Ukraine plans to distribute rabbits, seed garlic, livestock fodder, and various other farming inputs to rural households in need.

FAO’s response programme in eastern Ukraine is financed mainly by the Governments of Canada and France, complemented by FAO’s own resources, with the overall objective of enhancing food security for more than 45 000 people residing along the contact line.

“These joint efforts have enhanced preparations for the critical planting season and served a good example of efficient public-private dialogue,” Toirov said.

28 September 2017, Kyiv, Ukraine

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