FAO in Mozambique

FAO supports 12,000 families affected by Cyclone Kenneth and recent flooding in Cabo Delgado

Seeds distribution in Metuge district, Cabo Delgado

Cabo Delgado, 9 January 2020- The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), in partnership with the Provincial Directorate of Agriculture, has started seeds distribution to more than 12,000 families affected by Cyclone Kenneth and recent flooding in Cabo Delgado Province.

Support focuses on the districts of Macomia, Mocimboa da Praia, Mecufi, Metuge and Quissanga, where each family receives seeds kit with maize, bean and vegetable, including working tools such as machetes and hoes so they can recover production lost.

The five districts were selected based on the July 2019 IPC food safety and nutrition analysis which found that they had a high prevalence Level 3 (considered high), and / or risk of acute malnutrition over a period ranging from October 1999 to 2019 and February 2020.

With the ongoing rains in the region, especially in the north of the province, river levels have risen considerably, damaging nearly 4,000 hectares of diverse crops, according to data from the National Institute for Disaster Management (INGC).
FAO has started seed distribution in Metuge district, one of the most affected by the floods since last December, where about 3000 families have been affected.

Cabo Delgado Provincial Director of Agriculture, Mario Haggai, said that shortly after Cyclone Kenneth, the Government designed various livelihood programs for farmers to return to the fields and resume production programmes.

"Our partners like FAO and the UK have responded positively funding the process of restoring livelihoods for the population that has lost everything because of the impact of storms," said Mario Haggai.

This support is part of a FAO emergency response project, an initiative funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID) for over USD 2 million to restore the livelihoods of the population living based on agriculture, and reduce the acute malnutrition situation of vulnerable households in this province.

According to FAO Emergency Coordinator Marco Falcone, the organization is currently seeking more funding to reach more people affected by the rains.

"We have so far got USD 2 million in funding from DFID but we want to reach more districts for farmers to resume production and ensure their food security," he said.

In addition to the agricultural production component, interventions are also underway in nutrition education and communication for social behavior change in the same districts, targeting vulnerable nutrition groups, including pregnant and lactating women, care mothers of children under age of five and women with malnourished children.

"We are also including some packages to encourage the production and consumption of poultry (chickens) so that people can diversify their food and not be at risk of malnutrition," concluded the FAO coordinator.

Nutrition education activities will be integrated with the distribution of vegetable seeds, watering cans and the creation of group demonstration plots for the promotion of home gardens, which should benefit up to 6,000 mothers in the five districts.