FAO appeal for drought-affected farmers in western Georgia
Georgia have experienced an exceptionally poor maize yield: 61 percent of normal in 2000 followed by a yield of only 17 percent in 2001. The result is an emergency situation in which a large proportion of the 160 000 households in the region will not have enough good seed and other necessary agricultural inputs to plant their main subsistence crop, maize, in time for the spring 2002 season.
The impact of two years of drought translates into a declining nutritional status of the affected population, and too often the sale of household assets just to meet basic needs. Despite WFP food aid in the region, the median caloric intake has fallen by 20 percent in the past 18 months. The proportion of individuals consuming less than 2 100 calories per day has doubled, from 24 percent to 47 percent.
Without external assistance this year, fields will go unplanted or will be planted late, with poor quality seed and no fertilizer. The prospect is for a downward spiral into extended food aid dependence from which recovery will be slow, uncertain and costly in terms of human welfare. For many households, the only remaining asset with market value is half a hectare of land, the sale of which will result in migration to urban areas, where there are no jobs and few social services.
Thanks to generous contributions from the Governments of Italy, Turkey and the United States, as well as with funding from its own resources, FAO is initiating an emergency maize seed and fertilizer distribution programme in the region of Imereti, targeting some 43 500 vulnerable farm families. Maize is the principal food grain produced in western Georgia, representing some 85 percent of the annual cropland.
In addition to the above assistance, FAO is appealing for US$1 537 066 towards assistance to drought-affected farming households in the regions of Samegrelo, Guria and Racha-Lechkhumi, as well as for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in western Georgia. FAO's intervention strategy consists of the distribution of good quality maize seed and fertilizer in quantities sufficient to plant half an hectare of land for the 2002 spring planting season.
The Appeal includes the following project proposals:
"Emergency assistance to drought-affected peasant households in western Georgia - Samegrelo, Guria and Racha-Lechkhumi"
Funds requested: US$1 146 663
The objective of this project is to improve the food security situation of 62 200 drought-affected farming households in the regions of Samegrelo, Guria and Racha-Lechkhumi by ensuring the planting of maize, the main subsistence crop, for the spring 2002 season through the timely distribution of good quality seed and fertilizer.
"Emergency assistance to drought-affected IDP households in western Georgia"
Funds requested: US$390 403
IDP households are more vulnerable than traditional Georgian farming households as they typically have less assets and access to poorer land. The objective of this project is to improve the food security situation of 15 520 drought-affected IDP households in Imereti, lower Racha-Lechkhumi, Samegrelo and Guria, by ensuring the planting of maize through the timely distribution of good quality seed and fertilizer.
For further information on this FAO Appeal for drought affected farmers in Western Georgia, please send your request by e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org