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Cyclone devastates the agricultural sector in Bangladesh


Rome : The agriculture, livestock and fisheries sectors in southern Bangladesh have suffered enormous losses and large-scale assistance is urgently needed to address the damage caused by Cyclone Sidr, according to FAO.

The cyclone has affected over 6.7 million people in 30 southern districts, and the latest government reports put the death toll at around 3,000 people, news agency WAM reported.

According to data from the Disaster Management Bureau (DMB) of the Ministry of Food and Disaster Management in Bangladesh, more than 92,000 hectares of crops were completely destroyed, and over 551,000 hectares sustained partial damage.

Livestock losses were also severe, with more than 350,000 ruminants (cattle, buffalo, sheep and goats) and poultry estimated to have been lost. Serious damage has also been observed in the fisheries and shrimp aquaculture sectors.

In the important shrimp producing areas of Morelganj and Sharankhola about 5,000 shrimp enclosures were destroyed. In Bagerhat district some 90 percent of the shrimp enclosures along the Baleshwar River were destroyed.

FAO says that there is an urgent need for agricultural inputs and vegetable seeds, fishing material and aquaculture equipment, as well as feed and vaccination for the livestock. Special attention is also needed for mangrove rehabilitation and for forestation activities.

FAO has received $1 million from the UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) for immediate assistance to help rebuild the livelihoods of more than 100,000 of the worst affected households.

FAO has established an emergency coordination and rehabilitation unit within the FAO representation in Bangladesh to support its operations in the cyclone-affected regions.