June 29, 2011

 

Pakistan: USAID intervention yields US$175 million of crops

 

 

With the USAID intervention of a US$62-million agriculture recovery project, Pakistan's flood-affected areas across the country have managed to produce wheat crops worth US$175 million.

 

A USAID expert said on Tuesday (Jun 29) that after the devastating floods of 2010, the USAID came to the rescue for farmers in 22 flood affected districts in KPK, Punjab, and Balochistan in rabbi season 2010-11.

 

He said the USAID's Agriculture Recovery Project started in September 2010 and it would be completed by end June 2011. The UN's Food and Agriculture Organization was the implementer of this project.

 

Under this project, the USAID distributed wheat seed package (seed plus fertiliser) to 410,000 farming families of KPK, Punjab, and Balochistan, who got production worth US$175 million.

 

The 12 districts of KPK, six from South Punjab, and four districts from Balochistan benefited from the USAID project.

 

He said by the time floodwater receded from Sindh, the wheat season was over, that was why Sindh province was not covered under this USAID project.

 

The USAID provided direct inputs for livestock including animal feed, fodder seed, and medicines worth US$8 million. The USAID provided cash for work to rehabilitate the silted watercourses with an amount of US$2 million.

 

In total 569,605 families benefited which at the rate of seven per farming family, comes to a total population of 4.5 million directly benefiting from the project.

 

The wheat seed is going to be highly productive for at least another four years. This silt, which resulted in rocky soil this year, will become very soft when it is ploughed next year and if water availability remains the same then next year, using the same seed, production will be higher than this year. Even if production remains the same, as it was this year, the total benefits over the next four years just from the wheat crop will be worth US$700 million. The on-farm watercourse rehabilitation will also be helpful to transport water from source to fields for another 5 -7 years.

 

Under this project, he said wheat inputs for each farming family included 50 kg certified wheat seed, 50 kg urea fertiliser and 50 kg DAP. The flood badly damaged watercourses in the affected districts and for its cleaning, the USAID provided cash for the work programme.

 

The farmers were paid for cleaning their watercourses, which ensured smooth supplies of water to wheat crops. For Livestock supplies, the farmers were given feed, fodder seed, medicines, and 405 grammes of seeds per household.

 

USAID expert said under this intervention, 409,585 households benefited from the Wheat Inputs package, 25,250 households from cash for work, and 134,770 households from Livestock supplies.

 

He said under the USAID intervention, 449,585 acres of land was cultivated using certified wheat seed and it produced 630,000 tonnes of wheat worth US$175 million.

 

The direct, total benefits of the project are worth US$185 million, which consists of wheat production at US$175 million, cash for work (watercourses) at US$2 million, and livestock supplies worth US$8 million.

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