FAO on the Importance of Agriculture in the Pakistan
Flood Response Plan
Why is agriculture so important to the Pakistan response
plan following the recent floods?
The majority of the affected areas are home to small-holder
subsistence farmers who are dependent on crop farming and
livestock rearing for their livelihoods. Approximately 75%
of farm households are involved in sheep, goat and cattle
rearing. Women are traditionally responsible for the care of
Floodwaters have contaminated water sources and irrigation
systems and ruined crops. In some areas 100% loss of crops
has been estimated. Over half a million hectares of crops is
estimated to have been destroyed in KPK and Punjab alone.
Stored grains and stocks of planting seeds and straw have
been washed away. Maize, sorghum, millet crops grown for
fodder has also been washed away or destroyed.
Tens of thousands of animals have perished and surviving
livestock face acute feed shortages. More animals may die if
immediate feed and veterinary support is not provided..
What information is available on crop
damage and losses?
The Government of Pakistan estimates however that 7 000 sq
km of crops have been washed away in Punjab and KPK alone
(the over half million hectares referred to in the Pakistan
Initial Field Response Plan). An estimated 80% of crop
losses can be predicted in some of the most affected areas,
especially where planted with cotton, rice, vegetables,
sugar cane, tobacco and maize. This has an enormous impact
The next planting season (Rabi) starting in mid September is
when the major staple food crop wheat is grown. If the
season is missed, the threat to food security increases
dramatically, as planting cannot take place again until
March-April. The September planting season therefore is not
only critical for livelihoods of the affected families, but
also for the food security of the region. The necessity of
the timeliness of providing agricultural inputs therefore
cannot be underestimated.
An Agriculture Cluster and FAO led needs assessment is
ongoing in 5 flood affected districts in KPK and detailed
information will be available by 13-14 August. Good
estimates will also be available for Punjab and Sindh by
What information is available on livestock damage and
Tens of thousands of livestock animals have also died and
for the surviving animal, feed is not available. Animal
fodder, mainly wheat straw, was already harvested before the
floods and stored. The maize stover, used a dried winter
fodder, was also lost. The loss of fodder due to the floods
is therefore close to 100%.
Remaining animals will die in the coming days if
vaccinations and feed are not made available, further
undermining the livelihoods of families..
Courtesy: FOOD AND AGRICULTURE ORGANIZATION OF THE UNITED