UNDP donates Agro inputs to agriculture

14 Jul 2010

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) donated $109,589.30 worth of Agro inputs to the Department of Agriculture today.

Agro inputs donated by UNDP included 360,000 kumala cuttings worth $18,000; 1320 liters of weedicides worth $20,116.80 and $71,242.50 worth of vegetables seeds. Permanent Secretary for Agriculture, Mason Smith, said that the items will be distributed to farmers in the Central and Western Divisions who were affected by Tropical Cyclone Mick in December 2009.

“A total of 15,494 in the Central Division and 15,896 farmers in the Western Division will directly benefit from this donation which will be used for rehabilitation purposes,” added Smith.

Smith said that some of the kumala cuttings will be propagated in the Research Stations in the Central and Western Divisions to bulk up seed stock for future use especially in times of disaster.

“The Divisional Agriculture Officer’s, Senior Agriculture Officers and their staff will ensure the proper distribution of the rehab items to the affected farmers in the Central and Western Divisions,” said Smith.

“Crop rehabilitation works under Cyclone Mick totaled $874,839.80 and the provision of planting materials like vegetable seeds and kumala cutting should offer immediate relief for the affected farmers to address food security and income generation,” said Smith.

“Closer monitoring will be done to ensure the required planting and rehabilitation works are carried out to address sustenance and food security. Field staffs are expected to record and submit progressive reports accordingly,” advised Smith.

UNDP Resident Representative and UN coordinator, Mr Knut Ostby, said this effort is an example of how UNDP has responded to the real needs on the ground; "We are proud to be able to contribute with seeds and planting material that will benefit farmers and communities affected by the cyclones and flooding."

“UNDP acknowledges the work done by the government, rural communities and the farming community for this project, and we highly appreciate their cooperation,” Mr Ostby added.

Mr Ostby said that they are very pleased to be part of the rehabilitation work for more than 30,000 farmers that will benefit in the Central and Western Divisions.