Tenant farmers prepare rice seedlings for transplanting. Tearfund gave them sunflower seeds as a fast-growing crop to earn money in the flood’s aftermath. Profits from the harvest have been reinvested in rice seeds – a more sustainable source of long-term income.
31 July 2012
Farmers like Khamiso Amro were left desperately vulnerable after the floods destroyed their crops and therefore their livelihoods.
The 55-year-old lost his produce, his livestock and his home and his 11-year-old daughter became ill.
‘We were truly in shock and stranded without having a place to go,’ said Khamiso. ‘When I came back after two months, I saw there was nothing and my rice crop was finished.
‘I got to know about Tearfund and am eternally grateful to them for helping my family. Without them, I couldn’t have looked after my family and up to now we live because of Tearfund.
‘I pray every day asking God to look after Tearfund for the work they do for the poor like us. Thank you very much.’
Tearfund helped farmers like Khamiso by supplying them with seeds and fertiliser so they could return to agricultural productivity.
More than 3,000 families in Thatta district of Sindh province received rice, wheat and sunflower seeds and the income generated from the resulting crops has enabled many to repay loans from money lenders taken out before the flooding.
Income has also meant farmers can invest in their next crop without resorting to taking out loans and also keep some to provide food for the rest of the year.
Tearfund has worked with local communities to develop 20 seed banks which will help more than 2,000 acres to be cultivated next year.
Tarique Aziz, 27, used the fertiliser and seeds to plant two acres of rice which earned his family 90,000 rupees (£650).
‘This is enough for us to live, for us to provide ourselves with food to eat, to send my children to school and other necessary costs.’
‘Now I have no problems as Tearfund has really saved our lives and I’m grateful for all the help they have given us.’