Pakistan quake-affected farming families receive agro-packs to restore livelihoods

Bags of cement for the construction of animal barns in three Union Councils of the Siran Valley have also been distributed.

Communities in the Jabouri area and across the Siran Valley of Pakistan\'s North West Frontier Province were devastated in the October 2005 earthquake, which not only destroyed houses and schools, but also transformed the agricultural landscape, wiping out crops and livestock - the source of peoples\' livelihood.

The seeds and fertilizers were delivered at the right time and we will be able to cultivate them in time for a better yield Restoring livelihoods and improving nutrition and food security, especially among the most vulnerable households, including those headed by females and widows, is a priority for World Vision.

“I have two sons and one daughter. I lost everything in the earthquake,” said Mohammad Riaz of Chella Baagh village.

“Now I have received maize, bean, tomato, and cucumber seeds, as well as fertilizer and tools for myself and my mother Rehmat Jan, who is a widow. The seeds and fertilizers were delivered at the right time and we will be able to cultivate them in time for a better yield. We have also received 30 bags of cement to construct animal barns", he added.

“The vegetable seeds are for household purposes, not for large scale production. The varieties of seeds being distributed by World Vision have been selected in view of the environmental conditions of the area, their shelf life, and the traditional tastes of the people”, explained Aqeel Nawaz Khan, World Vision Livelihood Project (crops) Extension Coordinator.

“We have also conducted two technical training sessions for beneficiaries to assist them in reaping higher crop yields. Participants have also been specifically directed to wash their hands after sowing and not to use the seeds for cooking and eating purposes to protect them from the harmful affects of pesticides,” he continued.

Before distribution, World Vision also organised a seed fair to exhibit seeds to the beneficiaries.

To date, 235 of 650 households in seven villages of the Jabouri Union Council have each received 15 bags of cement for the construction of barns.

Recipients of the cement first contribute sand and gravel, which is inspected by World Vision staff and is followed by the distribution of cement bags.

The varieties of seeds being distributed by World Vision have been selected in view of the environmental conditions of the area, their shelf life, and the traditional tastes of the people After participating households complete the construction of the barn walls, World Vision staff will provide Corrugated Galvanised Iron (CGI) sheets, then on completion of the barns, will deliver livestock including buffaloes and goats.

In addition, World Vision will also provide veterinary services, supplementary feeding and drugs for livestock.

In the longer term the livelihoods team is also exploring crop diversification, the possibility of using cooperatives among farmers, and various initiatives to improve food accessibility and usage.

World Vision’s Livelihood Project is currently funded by USAID’s Office for Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA), World Vision UK, World Vision Canada, Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) and the Disaster Emergency Committee (DEC) UK.