The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has announced to provide $ 1.3 million to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) to support pest control operations and improve the food and nutritional security of small farmers affected by locust attack.
JICA Chief Representative in Pakistan Furuto Shigeki and Interim Representative of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) Rebecca Bell, signed a project agreement in a ceermony held in Islamabad.
The said project will start operations in the Kharan district of Balochistan and the Omerkot district of Sindh province with the aim to support the livelihoods of agricultural communities affected by the Desert Locust and improve the food security of smallholder families,
These areas were identified in consultation with provincial agriculture departments and based on the food security and livelihood assessments said a press release issued by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.
This 13-month project will aim to improve the food and nutritional security of vulnerable rural families with pregnant and breastfeeding women through an integrated approach that aims to increase the quantity, quality and variety of home food production and includes a pilot nutrition education program. The program aims to benefit 18,370 people directly.
The locust monitoring and control activities will focus on building the capacity of the Plant Protection Department to help it identify and control future locust outbreaks.
Speaking on the occasion, JICA chief spokesman Furuto Shigeki said Pakistan,
JICA also commit to restoring farmers’ livelihoods. He added that JICA is also working to strengthen cooperation with development partners, and this project will further strengthen the Memorandum of Cooperation between the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and the Japan International Cooperation Agency, which was concluded in 2017. JICA is currently implementing agricultural and livestock technical cooperation projects in the provinces of Baluchistan and Sindh.