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Workshop to tackle food security

GOVERNMENT officials and development partners on Wednesday opened a workshop centred on the implementation of a 20-month programme designed to improve food security for poor farmers in nine provinces, an issue they say has taken on new urgency in the aftermath of Typhoon Ketsana.

The Food Facility Programme, for which the European Union has committed €11 million (US$16.6 million), began earlier this month.

Etienne Careme, emergency programme coordinator for the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation, said that while the most important aspect of the programme would be the distribution of rice seeds and fertiliser, officials would also be looking to improve irrigation canals, raise national standards for nutrition education and promote healthy feeding practices for women and children.

“When we have disasters like droughts, floods and typhoons, certain portions of the population are very vulnerable,” he said. “So we need to improve their access to food.”

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