Minister Lenihan announces funding for drought-resistant crops for Tanzania food crisis
Conor Lenihan T.D., Minister of State for Irish Aid, today announced a contribution of €500,000 to the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) to address the on-going food crisis in Tanzania. The funding will provide drought resistant seeds to those most affected by the recent droughts. In recent years, Tanzania has been suffering from erratic rainfall patterns, resulting in poor harvests and serious crop failure in many parts of the country.
Making the announcement, Minister Lenihan said:
“Early intervention, such as this, assists in the prevention of more serious food shortages and helps to break the cycle of reliance on food aid. By promoting a crop that is drought-resistant we are helping to avert future crop failures.
Some 80,000 households in northern and central Tanzania will benefit from this contribution. The contribution consolidates the work that we have been doing with the Government of Tanzania in relation to poverty reduction and improved livelihood security.”
Note for Editors:
The Food Security Information Team, a multi-sectoral forum comprised of staff from the UN Agencies, government representatives, NGOs and donors conducted a Vulnerability Assessment in Tanzania in February 2006. The team reported a serious crop failure in many parts of the country due to below average rainfall during the long rainy season.
As part of a coordinated response to the seed security programme, the Ministry of Agriculture and FAO requested urgent support to provide 1,400 metric tonnes (MT) of sorghum seeds, a drought resistance crop. Irish Aid support of €500,000 will provide 400 MT of sorghum seed to 80,000 households (5kg per household). This assistance will enable planting of about 64,000 hectares (for 6.25 kg/ha) of land with an average estimated production of 76,800 metric tonnes of food (for 1.2 MT/ha).