Friday, September 22, 2017

Italy donates $5.3m to food security projects

A US$5.3 million contribution from the Italian government to the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) will be used to fund three food security projects, the organisation announced earlier this month.

Dr Shin Imai, the FAO country representative for Myanmar, said on September 10 the projects are already being implemented in Ayeyarwady Division, Mandalay Division and southern Shan State, and will be completed by 2011.

He made the comments at an inception workshop for the organisation’s Environmentally Sustainable Food Security Program, which aims to increase food security in areas vulnerable to climate change.

In the delta region, $1.25 million will go towards livelihood rehabilitation in Nargis-affected areas, while an additional $1.25 million will be spent on the rehabilitation of coastal fisheries based in mangrove ecosystems.

In Ayeyarwady Division, upper Myanmar and Shan State, $2.79 million will be spent on improving rice production by encouraging farmers to use high-quality seeds.

The funding was first announced in May and some of the projects are already being implemented.

An estimated 32,500 landless households, small-scale farmers, fish farmers, and forestry workers in the targeted areas will benefit from the three projects, Dr Shin Imai said.

The targeted areas include Bogale, Hinthada, Labutta and Pyapon townships in Ayeyarwady Division, Thazi and Yamethin townships in Mandalay Division and Kalaw township in southern Shan State, he added.

U Tin Htut Oo, director-general of the Department of Agricultural Planning, said the projects will be implemented in cooperation with Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation, Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries and Ministry of Forestry.

As well as UN agencies and the three government ministries, the participants include non-government organisations, community-based organisations and academic and research institutions, he said.

“We hope to make full use of the diverse expertise of the participants in these projects and, most importantly, select the most appropriate mechanism in terms of cost efficiency for targeting beneficiary groups,” U Tin Htut Oo said.