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Relief Estimates for Cyclone Hit Livestock

MYANMAR - In parallel to ongoing priority humanitarian aid assistance, Relief Web says that we need to start looking at the longer term, in particular as time is running out to secure planting in June of rice seeds for the main 2008 rice harvest.

If were are not able to do that in a timely fashion, then the food and nutrition problems in the medium term will not go away.

Each US$1 spent on agriculture between now and the end of the year, represents a saving of US$10 for food aid in 2009.

Progress achieved

Yesterday a first meeting was held in Yangon of the agricultural cluster chaired by FAO with the participation of senior government officers working in agriculture, livestock and fisheries, and forestry. Fifty participants attended. Also present was UNDP and local representative from donors (ECHO, DFID and JICA), international and local NGOs such as CARE, CESVI, WCM, German Agro Action, GRET, TRIANGLE, IDE, ICVA, AMURT.

The short and medium term needs in each of these sectors were provisionally estimated by the government as follows:

Agriculture estimated at $243 million – for rice seeds, fertilizers, rehabilitation of embankments and irrigation schemes, etc. The cyclone hit 5 states which are predominantly agricultural societies. The 5 states produce 65 percent of the countries rice, and have about 50 percent of all irrigated areas.

Livestock estimated at $20 million – restocking of dead animals, vaccines, feed, rehabilitation of animal shelters, etc. The 5 affected states are famous for livestock production - having roughly 50 percent of national poultry production and 40 percent of pig production.

Fisheries – no estimates yet, but in view of huge damages, the costs will be significant. Marine fishery in Myanmar employs approximately 26 000 small boats operating in coastal areas and some 1 900 offshore fishing vessels (2001 data). The marine fisheries sector produces 1.4 million mT, which represent over 55 percent of the country’s fish supply.

Forestry – no data on damages yet.

FAO in action

FAO has already sourced rice seeds for procurement from inside Myanmar, while for fertilizers procurement needs to be done outside Myanmar.

A team of three FAO international experts and one local staff member will visit Bogale - one of the worst hit coastal states - tomorrow on the invitation of the ministry of forestry.

One additional FAO international emergency expert will join FAO in Myanmar on Saturday 17 May.

Ellen Hardy

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