AFGHANISTAN / FAO AGRICULTURAL ASSISTANCE

19-Nov-2021 00:03:56
As the Afghan people confront widespread drought, rural dislocation and economic upheaval, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) is providing critical life-saving assistance to farmers and herders, but also urging far greater support for agricultural production to feed the Afghan people. FAO
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STORY: AFGHANISTAN / FAO AGRICULTURAL ASSISTANCE
TRT: 3:56
SOURCE: FAO
RESTRICTIONS: PLEASE CREDIT FAO ON SCREEN
LANGUAGE: PASHTO /ENGLISH /NATS

DATELINE: 3-15 NOVEMBER 2021, KANDAHAR / HERAT, AFGHANISTAN
SHOTLIST
3-4 NOVEMBER 2021, KANDAHAR AREA

1. Tracking shot, dry bed of Zahir Shahi Canal on the outskirts of Kandahar
2. Wide shot, man looking at the dry bed
3. Wide shot, farmers working their land with shovels
4. SOUNDBITE (Pashto) Abdul Nafi, a pomegranate Orchard owner:
“We face many difficulties due to the drought, you can see how dry these orchards are. Moreover, we have less drinking water, so we are facing many difficulties. We are suffering from the drought; we need to be assisted for example deep wells should be dug for us and there should be assistance to rescue our assets (orchards) from being dried by the drought.”
5. Tilt down, wide shot of water well drilling
6. Close up, mud being excavated from ground

3-4 NOVEMBER 2021, NOMADIC CAMP, KANDAHAR, AFGHANISTAN

7. Pan left, nomadic encampment with hills in back
8. Tracking shot, Haji Khair Mohammad walking in his nomadic encampment
9. SOUNDBITE (Pashto) Haji Khair Mohammad, nomad Panjwai, Kandahar: “Due to current drought and lack of food for animals, our animals are very thin and skinny, they are not producing milk and also some of our animals died.”

NOVEMBER 2021, AALIYAH VILLAGE, PANJWAI DISTRICTS, KANDAHAR, AFGHANISTAN

10. Close up, sheep looking for food on the barren ground

3-4 NOVEMBER 2021, NOMADIC CAMP, KANDAHAR, AFGHANISTAN

11. Close up, sheep with respiratory disease
12. Wide shot, a donkey near the nomadic camp
13. Tilt up, nomad milking a goat and showing empty pot
14. Tracking shot, FAO’s Feroz Aryan walking with Haji Khair Mohammad

3-4 NOVEMBER 2021, BABA SAHAB VILLAGE, KANDAHAR, AFGHANISTAN

15. Med shot, man speaking at during training on irrigation techniques

15 NOVEMBER 2021, SHAKIWAN TAJIKI VILLAGE, ZENDAJAN DISTRICT, HERAT PROVINCE, AFGHANISTAN

16. SOUNDBITE (Pashto) Bibi Shah, a farmer from Shakiwan Tajiki village, Zendajan District:
“Our problem is that we don’t have wheat seed, fertilizers and also food items like rice, oil and wheat flour”

15 NOVEMBER 2021, ZENDAJAN’S DISTRICT CENTRE, HERAT PROVINCE, AFGHANISTAN

17. Wide shot, Richard Trenchard, FAO Representative in Afghanistan ( camera right), and Jawid Sultany, FAO officer ( camera left), talking with a female farmer who has received the certified wheat seeds.
18. Close up, certified bag of wheat seeds distributed
19. Wide shot, Trenchard and Sultany, talking to a recipient of the wheat grains
20. SOUNDBITE (English) Richard Trenchard, FAO Representative in Afghanistan:
“It is disastrous. Every farmer we’ve spoken to has lost almost all of their crops this year, they were forced to sell their livestock, and they’ve got no money at the moment. These seeds are absolutely vital.”
21. Wide shot, USAID bags of 50 kg of certified wheat seeds distributed by FAO
22. Tracking shot, recipients of bags of wheat seeds
23. Wide shot, Trenchard at seeds distribution
24. Wide shot, seeds distribution at Zendajan’s District Centre

15 NOVEMBER 2021, SAFAR KHAN VILLAGE, ZENDAJAN DISTRICT, HERAT PROVINCE, AFGHANISTAN

25. Wide shot, Trenchard, and Ahmad Shah, FAO officer arriving at the field of Esmatullah Mirzada
26. Close up, Esmatullah Mirzada.
27. SOUNDBITE (Pashto) Esmatullah Mirzada, farmer, FAO beneficiary:
“If we didn't get this bag of certified wheat seeds, we wouldn’t be able to cultivate wheat this year. This improved wheat seeds will grow a much better yield”
28. Close up, Esmatullah Mirzada sowing wheat seeds in the field
29. Wide shot, of Esmatullah Mirzada sowing wheat seeds in the field
30. Close up, ox being prepared to roll flat the land
31. Med shot, man preparing ox to roll flat the land
32. Close up, ox being prepared to roll flat the land
33. Med shot, man preparing ox to roll flat the land
34. Wide shot, young farmer rolling flat the land with oxen
STORYLINE
As the Afghan people confront widespread drought, rural dislocation and economic upheaval, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) is providing critical life-saving assistance to farmers and herders, but also urging far greater support for agricultural production to feed the Afghan people.

More than 18 million Afghans are unable to feed themselves on a daily basis, and this number is projected to rise to 22.8 millions by the end of 2021. FAO is supporting farmers and herders with seeds, fertilizer, cash and livelihood support to keep agricultural production going and to avoid widespread livelihood collapse in several parts of the country.

Due to severe droughts, farmers are unable to irrigate their fields, or even provide water to their families and their animals.

SOUNDBITE (Pashto) Abdul Nafi, pomegranate Orchard owner:
“We face many difficulties due to the drought, you can see how dry these orchards are. Moreover, we have less drinking water, so we are facing many difficulties. We are suffering from the drought; we need to be assisted, for example deep wells should be dug for us and there should be assistance to rescue our assets (orchards) from being dried by the drought.”

Without a massive uplift in humanitarian support, more farmers and herders will be forced to abandon their land and this will severely damage Afghanistan’s food production capacity, and worsen the already staggering food insecurity figures.

SOUNDBITE (Pashto) Haji Khair Mohammad, nomad Panjwai, Kandahar:
“Due to current drought and lack of food for animal, our animals are very thin and skinny, they are not producing milk, also some of our animals died.”

Agriculture is the backbone of Afghan livelihoods and critical for Afghanistan’s economy. Protecting rural livelihoods is a core element of the immediate emergency humanitarian response to Afghanistan’s crisis, in addition to other lifesaving support.

Around 70 percent of Afghans live in rural areas and agriculture accounts for at least 25 percent of GDP while an estimated 80 percent of all livelihoods depend directly or indirectly on agriculture.

SOUNDBITE (Pashto) Bibi Shah, a farmer from Shakiwan Tajiki village, Zendajan District:
“Our problem is that we don’t have wheat seed, fertilizers and also food items like rice, oil and wheat flour.”

FAO is currently distributing wheat cultivation packages for Afghanistan’s winter wheat season, including 50 kg of high quality and locally-supplied certified wheat seeds, along with training for farmers.

SOUNDBITE (English) Richard Trenchard, FAO Representative in Afghanistan:
“It is disastrous. Every farmer we’ve spoken to has lost almost all of their crops this year, they were forced to sell their livestock, and they’ve got no money at the moment. These seeds are absolutely vital.”

The campaign will benefit 1.3 million Afghans and will enable them to maintain their livelihoods in the coming weeks and months. For USD 150, a single package can help a family with its cereal needs for a year. This support is key for farmers to be able to stay in the farms and avoid resorting to rural migration in despair.

Esmatullah Mirzada, a farmer from Safar Khan village in Zendajan district, who has been recently assisted by FAO said “If we didn't get this bag of certified wheat seeds, we wouldn’t be able to cultivate wheat this year. This improved wheat seeds will grow a much better yield”

But the lean season before the harvest will be harsh and much more needs to be done to feed rural families and ensure their survival that means protecting their livestock to keep their valuable animals alive, healthy and productive.

FAO urgently needs USD 115 million to reach five million men, women and children this winter and for the Spring Response in 2022 to protect rural livelihoods. This funding request is part of FAO’s overall USD 200 million requirement for its humanitarian response in 2022.
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