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FAO and the Russian Federation launch their two-year project to support vulnerable farmers in Aleppo Governorate

©FAO/ The three million USD to increase farmers’ production of seasonal vegetables, support them with better access of water and enhance the livestock productivity through providing better veterinary services.

Aleppo – 2 May 2019 --  The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the Russian Federation, in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture and Agrarian Reform and the Ministry of Water Resources, have announced the launch of a two years project entitled "Support to protect agricultural livelihoods and strengthen resilience of conflict affected households in Aleppo Governorate". The project will improve the production capacity of 60,000 crisis-affected farmers and herders in Aleppo governorate through the implementation of three main outputs, which will contribute to boost the local economy, reduce local poverty and improve the nutritional status of the targeted groups.

During an inception workshop that was held at Al Shahba Hotel in Aleppo city, the two partners announced a generous contribution of three million USD from the Russian Federation, to increase farmers' production of seasonal vegetables, support them with better access of water and enhance the livestock productivity through providing better veterinary services.

His Excellency Alexander Efimov, the Russian Ambassador in the Syrian Arab Republic, stated in his opening speech: "the implementation of this initiative reflects Russia's commitment to assist a rapid post-conflict reconstruction of the Syrian Arab Republic as well as our readiness to provide a necessary humanitarian assistance to all Syrians,"

"The Russian Federation deems it is essential to provide humanitarian assistance to ease the suffering of millions of Syrians affected by the crisis. At the same time, we believe that such assistance should be accompanied by some structural measures that would allow Syrian people to resume their full-scale agricultural activity," H.E added.

The project's interventions will focus on reconstructing\establishing agricultural premises to restore production activities on strategic scales. Farmers will be able to increase their vegetables, fruits and forestry through the establishment of three nurseries managed by well-trained farmers from the local community. This intervention will supply 20,000 smallholder farmers with seedlings of vegetables and saplings for fruit and forest trees, to plant 3,000 hectares of lands.
On the support of small-herders for improved livestock production, the partners will rehabilitate the specialized animal health diagnosis laboratory in Aleppo, which has been damaged by the conflict. The laboratory will be equipped with modern equipment and tools to restore its scientific activities to enable restoring its full capacity operation, therefore, the laboratory will provide its public veterinary services to more than 20,000 small-herders in Aleppo governorate.

Meeting the farmers' calls for restored and sustainable access to water for irrigation is essential, FAO with the support of the Russian Federation, and in collaboration with the Ministry of Water Resources, will rehabilitate Tal Al Hasel pumping station to reinstate its capacity, besides equipping the small linked pumps with the required machinery.

This activity will enable the irrigation of 10,000 hectares of land, and will restore cultivation activities of farmers in 20 villages in southwest Aleppo along the Al Qweiq River Valley; it will also preserve the livelihoods of around 20,000 farmers.

Mike Robson, FAO representative in the Syrian Arab Republic, has stated that Aleppo is one of the governorates most severely affected by the conflict in Syria. Moreover, around 1,227,698 hectares of arable available for productive use are located within the governorate. It is FAO's priority to mitigate farmers' abandonment of these lands by providing the necessary support to re-establish the cultivation activities wherever possible.

"The improved security situation in Aleppo governorate will allow us to implement the proposed recovery and resilience-building interventions so that returnees can resume their production activities and restore their livelihoods," added Robson.


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