11 September 10, 2012, Sweetcrude/African Press Organization (APO)KAMPALA, Uganda – With funding support of $278,000 (UGSH 700,000,000) from the United Nations Central Emergency Fund (CERF), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in collaboration with the Office of the Prime Minister, United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) and the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) – Uganda has launched the distribution of 64MT of quick maturing crop and vegetable seeds to 9,000 refugee and host community households in Rwamwanja settlement in Kamwenge District in Western Uganda.
Each of the 9,000 beneficiary households will receive 7.2 kg Kit of assorted seeds, including beans, maize, tomatoes, onions, cabbages and egg plants.
The Assistant FAO Representative in charge of Programme, Mr. Charles Owach, said FAO is responding to an urgent need of the refugee communities and their hosts to become self-reliant in food production.
“FAO’s strategy in the short run is to support the refugee families to take advantage of the second growing season to jump-start production of own food. This intervention will be supplemented by training in basic agronomic practices.” he said.
All refugees in this settlement site are new arrivals and have been entirely dependent on food aid from World Food Programme.
The influx of refugees from Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to South-Western Uganda has accelerated in recent weeks; building up to a total caseload of approximately 30,000 since the beginning of the year, posing a serious food security threat.
The refugees are being settled both in new and existing settlements but lack basic production inputs such as seeds and tools to adequately produce food.
For the medium term, FAO is exploring opportunities to introduce sustainable bio-intensive production practices tailored for areas with high population pressure to safeguard and conserve the environment in the refugee settlements.