Maputo — The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) is distributing agricultural inputs to over 12,000 households affected by Cyclone Kenneth in April, and by the recent torrential rains in the northern Mozambican province of Cabo Delgado.
The FAO support, provided in partnership with the Cabo Delgado Provincial Agriculture Directorate, is aimed at the districts of Macomia, Mocímboa da Praia, Mecufi, Metuge and Quissanga, where each beneficiary household receives a kit containing maiden, bean and vegetable seeds, and working instruments such as hoes and machetes, so that they can recover the production lost to the cyclone and the storms.
The five districts were selected on the basis of analyses made by the "Integrated Food Security Phase Classification" (IPC) on food security and nutrition in July 2019. The analysis found that these districts have a high prevalence or serious risk of cases of acute malnutrition in the current rainy season (October 2019 to March 2020).
The FAO began seed distribution in Metuge district, one of the areas worst affected by the recent storms, and where about 3,000 households have been affected.
The provincial director of agriculture, Mario Haggai, told reporters that immediately after Cyclone Kenneth the government had designed various livelihood programmes so that farmers could return to their fields and resume production.
"Our partners, such as FAO and the United Kingdom, responded positively in financing the re-establishment of means of livelihood for people who lost everything because of the storms", said Haggai, cited in an FAO press release.
This support is part of an FAO emergency response project financed by the British government's Department for International Development (DFID) with more than two million US dollars intended to restore the livelihoods of people living on the basis of agriculture, and reduce acute malnutrition among households in the province.
According to FAO Emergency Coordinator, Marco Falcone, the organisation is seeking more funding so that it can reach more households affected by the storms.
"So far we have obtained funding of two million dollars from DFID, but we want to reach more districts, so that the farmers can resume production and can guarantee their own food security and that of their families", he declared.
In addition to agricultural production, also under way are interventions in nutritional education and communication for changes in social behaviour in the same districts, aimed at groups vulnerable to malnutrition, such as pregnant and breastfeeding women, women with malnourished children, and mothers caring for children under five years of age.
"We are also including some packages to stimulate the production and consumption of chickens, so that people can diversify their diet and not be at risk of malnutrition", concluded Falcone.