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Two-month-old rabbits distributed to households in eastern Ukraine

FAO continues to deliver humanitarian aid in conflict-affected eastern Ukraine, with a focus on rural people living along the line of engagement. This time, some 250 families within the 8-kilometer zone are receiving young rabbits for household meat production.

Distribution of the animals is taking place this week in Bakhmutskii rayon of Donetsk region and Popasnianskii rayon of Lugansk region. Each of the beneficiary households is receiving two New Zealand White rabbits in order to increase self-production of high-protein meat as an economical alternative to larger animals.

Beneficiary families will receive comprehensive guides to keeping young rabbits for both household consumption and commercial production. The rabbits will come with cages of high-quality metal with plastic inserts, to prevent common rabbit diseases such as pod dermatitis.

“The conflict in eastern Ukraine has a strong impact on agricultural livelihoods,” said Farrukh Toirov, coordinator of FAO’s emergency programme in Ukraine. “Access to animal-based nutritious food items has become very limited for the vulnerable households.

“Considering the technicalities of farming, and based on our experts’ assessments, we identified household-based small animal growing to have a good potential,” Toirov continued. “Small-animal husbandry can be a very profitable operation for small farmers, providing work for unemployed people, producing substantial income and helping to upgrade the family diet.”

In recent months FAO has supported nearly 17 000 households along the contact line, with various types of farming inputs: sunflower and corn seed, seed potato, drip irrigation kits, animal feed, and poultry.

All farming inputs distributed by FAO projects in Ukraine are procured locally in different regions of Ukraine following issuance of public tenders. In this way FAO supports local producers and the development of local markets for agricultural inputs.

By late autumn this year, FAO’s emergency team in Ukraine plans to distribute seed garlic, livestock fodder, and various other farming inputs to rural households in need.

The help comes as part of FAO’s emergency response programme in Ukraine, currently valued at US$ 2.3 million.

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

25 October 2017, Kyiv, Ukraine

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