Take measures to protect agricultural production and livelihoods in Rakhine State – Myanmar

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, with support from the Myanmar Humanitarian Fund, provided cash assistance to 1,200 farming families in at-risk villages in Buthidaung and Maungdaw communes in Rakhine State. Each of these farming households received US $ 57.8 (MMK 105,000) to meet their immediate food needs and other household expenses. Seasonal landless workers and female-headed households also benefited from the intervention. In addition to the cash grant, FAO provided 500 families with fertilizer, rice, vegetable seeds, a basic nutritional guide and training in good agricultural practices. In addition, to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 transmission, FAO provided information materials, hygiene items and personal protective equipment to all households that benefited from the project.

The protracted armed conflict in Rakhine State, particularly after 2017, resulted in insufficient access to land, credit, agricultural inputs, machinery and post-harvest storage facilities. Consequently, agricultural production was constrained by the state. This has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic and socio-economic instability following the military coup of February 2021, which continues to worsen the food security situation across the country. In addition, extreme weather events, such as heavy rains and floods, continue to endanger agricultural production and productivity, resulting in reduced employment opportunities in the agricultural sector.

Daw Khin May, 32, lives in Done Chaung village, Buthidaung commune, with her two children and her husband, who is a casual laborer who has benefited from FAO support. Life has been difficult for this family of four since the start of the pandemic, as they do not have a reliable source of income. She enthusiastically expressed her gratitude for the support her family received, which was essential during the pandemic when there were severe job shortages.

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