FAO in Myanmar

FAO and other UN partners bring seeds of hope to flood affected farmers in Myanmar

Thein Gei and her family, Shwe Hlay village, Magway Region

Six months after floods destroyed planted rice paddy, villagers from  Shwe Hlay are now able to harvest winter crops thanks to the emergency quality seeds distribution that took place in November 2016.

The Magway Region in Myanmar’s Dry Zone, where the village is located, was among hardest hit areas in July-August 2016, when floods caused widespread devastation, displacement and particularly heavily impacted the agriculture sector, as many farmlands had been inundated by water just prior to harvesting time. This disaster was particularly serious as these same areas had also been previously affected by the intense and widespread flooding in 2015.

 “The flood affected our three acres of paddy land and destroyed the major part of planted crops” reported a 28 years-old Thein Gei, a beneficiary of the FAO emergency response project.

Like other households in her village, Thein Gei family relies entirely on agriculture for their livelihood. Thus, the harvest losses and damages caused by the floods further aggravated the household’s food insecurity and increased the incidence of negative coping strategies, including going into debt after taking loans to buy new seeds for replanting.

To avoid further degradation of the situation, FAO through emergency livelihood interventions funded by the UN’s Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF), provided farm production inputs to affected rural populations. These included high quality chickpea and black gram seeds, along with fertilizers and vegetable kits (onion, tomato, yard long bean and bitter gourd seeds). This emergency lifesaving livelihood intervention was delivered to 2 825 households in Minbu and Pwint Phyu Townships.

Furthermore, to increase farmers’ access to food rich in animal proteins, an additional 3 000 households that do not own land have been provided with two piglets and pig feed per household.

Delivered through CERF-funded project support allowed for the immediate resumption of livelihood activities and food production.

Thein Gei expressed her thanks for FAO's assistance, saying “I am very grateful for this support as previously because of the floods, I couldn’t afford to buy seeds and fertilizer and now I plant winter crop. I am also very happy from received vegetable seeds because I am able to grow them next to my home and sell surpluses on the local market to get some income.”

To further continue lifesaving livelihood interventions in Myanmar, FAO is seeking US$ 5.1 million to assist an additional 87 000 food insecure people this year.