Mali faces food crises – FAO
Mali may face food crises this year that could lead to hunger unless the displaced farmers are resettled and returned back to their farms before May this year to be able to plant for the year’s wet season farming, Mali Minister for Agriculture, Baba Berthe told the Director General of the Food and Agricultural organization (FAO) of the United Nations (UN), Jose Graziano da Silva.
In an online news release mailed to Daily Trust by FAO, Berthe was quoted as saying that there is need to help the displaced farmers return to their farms and resume food production in areas where the evolving security situation permits as Mali’s next agricultural season that lasts for three months is expected to start in May.
“Minister Berthe stressed the importance of targeting assistance to returning farmers in areas which have seen an improvement in their security situation, as well as the need to build the resilience of smallholder farmers across all of Mali,” the statement read in part.
Jose Graziano da Silva who assured that his organization will assist, said, “Mali’s primary planting season is set to begin in May. As the security situation continues to evolve, FAO, our partner agencies and the international community must do everything we can to help the government support farmers returning to their land, where it is safe to do so, and get back to growing food. Mali simply cannot afford to write off the next growing season.”
The report said an estimated two million people in Mali are food insecure as a result of food and nutrition security crisis brought by drought, high grain prices and environmental degradation coupled by the displacement of over 400,000 people who fled their homes since conflicts erupted in northern Mali last year.
The report says some people have started to return home and are willing to resume farming but are having difficulty having access to farming implements such as hoes, seeds, fertilizer and animals as most of them have either been destroyed or looted in the ongoing war in the country.
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