Africa-Press – Ethiopia. The Food and Agricultural Organization has pledged to continue supporting people dependent on agriculture in Ethiopia and improving their livelihood.
In an exclusive interview, FAO Country Representative Farayi Zimudzi said the organization has been working in terms of ensuring the livelihood of people who depend on agriculture and restore agriculture destruction, whether it could be drought or conflict.
According to her, the organization has been working quite a lot in the past couple of years in ensuring the livelihood of farmers or their productive capacity in agriculture.
“FAO is providing input seeds to farmers to be able to plant; fertilizer and also some drugs to animals because we recognize that farmers they do not only plant crops but also have livestock. So, to ensure that their livestock are healthy and access food, especially in drought affected areas, we have been providing quite a lot of feed as well as the necessary veterinary support that is required for animals to be healthy.”
Zimudzi further stated that the organization is also looking on what additional complementary support can be provided to ensure that bottlenecks that inevitably arise in situation such as these are addressed.
FAO is closely working with Ministry of Agriculture to find chain on specific areas of support, especially on issues around seed for the wheat program and toward what quality and affordable seed can be made available, she added.
Elaborating on the activities of FAO, the country representative said the organization’s first approach is to provide immediate response, for example in drought affected parts of the country.
As there are many pastoralists, we have been providing feed to make sure that there is no total loss of animals; and providing cash to enable farmers to buy inputs and meet their needs.
The second approach, according to Zimudzi, is to take a long term point of view because drought is something that is not going to go away completely.
So, we need to look at intervention such as developing farmers’ ability to produce their own feed in areas where water is available, she elaborated.
Thus, issues around water management are very important; and it is a long term strategy to deal with changes in climate that are not going away unfortunately.
“It is important to respond immediately to prevent loss of livelihood, but we also need to look to take a longer view in terms of how farmers can adapt to the situation and continue to be able to be productive in spite of the challenges.”
The representatives acknowledged the strong prioritization of agriculture that Ethiopia has shown, and said “I think one of the key issues is also to facilitate learning across different countries.”
She pointed out that there are a lot of practices that Ethiopia can also share to other countries. “Equally, Ethiopia can also learn from other countries. So, one of the key things that FAO would like do is to facilitate those learning so that in a South-South arrangement countries are learning from each other and countries are adopting good practices.”
There are a lot of opportunities to be explored in the agriculture sector, and FAO is ready to provide support not only to Ethiopia but also to other countries around Ethiopia.
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