Good wheat harvest expected despite floods


ROME – The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) said on Wednesday that Pakistan could expect a good wheat harvest despite severe flooding last year as seeds distributed to flood victims begin to ripen.
“FAO spent $54 million of international donor funding buying and distributing quality wheat seeds as part of its emergency intervention that began last August,” the Rome-based UN agency said in a statement. “Once the harvest is completed, this donation will have produced a crop worth almost $190 million in wheat flour, the main staple” and provide “enough food for half a million poor rural households”, it said.
“Farmers will be able to save the seeds from this year’s harvest to plant again later this year,” said Daniele Donati of FAO’s Emergency Operations Service. More than 18 million people in Pakistan were affected by last summer’s severe flooding, which caused extensive damage to housing, infrastructure and crops, the food agency said.
FAO received $92 million (65 million euros) from donors such as Australia, Belgium and Sweden which enabled it to shore up the smallholder agricultural system in the four Pakistan provinces affected by the flooding.