La resiliencia
Rice seeds for winter planting season (November to February).  ©FAO

Safeguarding agricultural livelihoods as food insecurity worsens in Myanmar

12/11/2021

In Myanmar, hard-earned development gains have been lost because of political instability, which began on 1 February with regime change that was followed by intensified civil conflict. This came on top of significant economic losses caused by the effects of COVID- 19, which continue through today. In response, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), with the support of Germany, is working to mitigate the impact of the combined crises and reverse the emerging food crisis in Rakhine State and Ayeyarwady Region.  

Across the country, there have been disruptions to livelihoods, transportation, value chains, critical services, banking systems, as well as to the functioning of the government and administrations as result of the effects of COVID-19. Moreover, the ongoing socio-political crisis has worsened the situation. A recent needs assessments conducted by FAO indicates that returnees from Yangon to Rakhine State and Ayeyarwady Region are placing a great deal of pressure on local communities, and many do not intend to return to their previous location.

FAO is currently focused on protecting the livelihoods of vulnerable farming households and landless farmers by ensuring access to basic inputs to preserve or increase agriculture production in affected communities. In Rakhine State and Ayeyarwady Region, FAO and its partners have provided support to 2 500 farming families to protect their livelihoods and preserve their food security. In five townships, FAO provided vegetable seeds, rice seeds, fertilizers, farming tools and chicken feed to selected returnees and other crisis-affected farming households. These inputs will allow families to plant and harvest fresh food, which will improve the basic food basket at the household level and prevent their food security from worsening. In addition, many families will be able to sell surplus produce to improve their income while supplying local community markets and value chains. 

FAO continues to integrate COVID-19 basic protective measures by providing soap and face masks to beneficiaries at the start of all field activities. FAO staff further provide critical public health information about the importance of physical distancing and individual actions to protect oneself and others from contracting COVID-19.

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