Grant Assistance for Underprivileged Farmers in Sudan, Palestine, and Mozambique through the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)

March 19, 2007

1.  The Government of Japan has decided to extend Grant Assistance for Underprivileged farmers amounting to 414 million yen through the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), for the following three projects.  Notes to this effect were exchanged on March 19 (Mon) (Japan and local time) in Rome between Mr. Yuji Nakamura, Japanese Ambassador to Italy, and Mr. David Harcharik, Deputy Director-General, FAO.

(1) The Support to Seed Production Systems in Southern Sudan and South Darfur and Promotion of Horticultural Production in North Darfur (190 million yen)

(2) The Horticulture Rehabilitation in the West Bank (100 million yen)

(3) The Coordination and Management of Services for the Prevention and Disposal of Obsolete Pesticides in Mozambique (Phase III) (124 million yen)

2.  The Republic of Sudan underwent civil war for the past 20 years, and its public order has improved since a comprehensive peace agreement was concluded in January 2005. As a result, more refugees are returning to Sudan and the food shortage is becoming worse.  Even though the increase of agricultural productivity will lead to improving the situation, Sudan is now in short of seeds of vegetables and cereals due to the civil war for many years.  Furthermore, agricultural productivity has been greatly affected by drought and flood because the farmers still continue traditional agricultural methods that rely on natural rain.  Therefore, in order to increase food self-sufficiency, the FAO will launch projects to grow seeds in the southern part of Sudan and South Durfur, and to modernize irrigation systems including making shallow wells in North Durfur.

3.  In Palestinian Territories, many farmers have lost assets and income because conflicts damaged their agricultural lands and irrigation systems.  The farmers cannot carry on agricultural activities.  The FAO will launch projects to provide irrigation systems, pumps, seeds, agricultural equipments, and training for about 1,100 of poor farmers in the West Bank of the Jordan River.

4.  In the Republic of Mozambique, about 450 tons of obsolete pesticides were found left and retrograded because of the confusion from civil war.  There are no institutions and proper methods to process these obsolete pesticide.  Therefore, with a view to promoting sustainable agricultural development, the FAO has been undertaking a project of prevention and dispel of obsolete pesticides.  After the stocktaking in the first phase of the project, which started in 2002, the second phase from 2004 covered collection and packing.  The Government of Japan has been assisting the project in Mozambique from the first phase.  At the third stage that starts from 2007, agricultural chemicals will be packed, transported, and processed in appropriate facilities.

5.  It is expected that Japan’s assistance will help these countries and the region restore independence of agricultural production.