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FAO Seeks Funds for Myanmar Fisheries

MYANMAR The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has announce that it seeks US$33.5 million to help revive Myanmar agriculture after it was devastated by a cyclone. The FAO says that special attention will be paid to the aquaculture industry.

More than 100 000 fishers have also been affected, with significant losses of boats and fishing gear and more than 21 000 hectares of aquaculture ponds destroyed. Fish and rice constitute the key components of the Myanmar diet.

Overall needs for relief and recovery activities in farming, fisheries, aquaculture and forestry over the next 12 months total US$51 million under the revised appeal for Cyclone Nargis response for Myanmar launched last week, which called for a total of US$303 million for all sectors including agriculture. As the lead agency for the agriculture sector, FAO is playing a key role in coordinating the efforts of humanitarian partners active in the sector.

“With a reduced rice harvest unlikely to meet the needs of the affected population, food security will depend on providing support to farming households in alternative crop strategies and rapidly restoring livestock-, fisheries-, aquaculture- and forestry-based livelihoods,” said Anne M. Bauer, Director, FAO Emergency Operations and Rehabilitation Division.

FAO established an Emergency and Rehabilitation Coordination Unit in Myanmar soon after the cyclone and is currently implementing a livelihood recovery programme covering the crop, fisheries, aquaculture and livestock sectors. Key inputs for the monsoon season, such as high-yielding paddy rice seed, fertilizers, power tillers, draught animals, animal feed and livestock vaccines, have already been delivered by FAO or are currently en route to around 41 000 households in the 11 worst-affected townships of Yangon and Ayeyarwady.

FAO assessments identified emergency and rehabilitation needs for farming, livestock, fisheries and aquaculture, forestry and coordination. Vulnerable groups requiring immediate assistance include over 50 000 small-scale farming households and 99 000 landless rural households.