Flood-affected plant seeds for new livelihood in Pakistan

28 Jan 2011

South Punjab farmer surveys seeds sprouting
from UNDP package.
(Photo: UNDP Pakistan)

“My half-acre of paddy field, two hens and goat were washed away in the flooding. This farming package comes as a blessing at this dismal time.”
- Imam Bibi, a 60-year-old of Hindu Wan village, Punjab, received a seed package and is to receive a livestock package including two goats.

Islamabad - UNDP has distributed 7,398 packages of seed and organic fertilizer to farmers in the province of Punjab, the site of more than half of the country’s cultivated land and where 270,000 acres of cropland was destroyed by the floods.

Some 10,000 farmers in Punjab’s Jhang and Sargodh districts are to receive 50 kilos of wheat and barley seed and urea-based fertilizer in an effort to minimize the affect of the floods on the province where three quarters of the population are dependent on farming for their livelihood.

UNDP’s rapid support to farming communities in these areas was possible due to its existing presence and high level of expertise in Punjab where it has operated a project with this provincial government since 2006 to turn infertile land into crop-ready plantation.

Under the project, 125,000 acres of highly saline land have been rehabilitated through digging of irrigation wells and fertilizing with minerals such as gypsum. Production levels for wheat and rice crops in the reclaimed area had risen from zero to one tonne per acre.

Pakistan: Six months after the floods