Planting Seeds of Hope in Pakistan

Pakistan seeds

CRS provided local farmers with vouchers to buy seed and fertilizer so they could recover some of the crops wiped out by floods. Here, farmers in the hard-hit southern region of Pakistan take advantage of the program. Photo by Maria Josephine Wijiastuti/CRS

Namah Rullah, his wife and three children survived the historic floods that inundated parts of Pakistan earlier this year, but the water swept away everything he owned—his house, his personal belongings, his livestock and the family’s wheat and rice crops. He and his family were evacuated and lived in a camp for two months until the water receded enough for them to return.

“I own three acres of land, and I am also a tenant in an additional three acres, so in total I have six acres of cultivable land. Before the floods I was able to support my family’s needs satisfactorily. Farming is our source of income. After the floods, I felt hopeless, wondering what to do after losing everything. Thinking about how I would manage to feed my children and restart our lives was very upsetting,” said Rullah.

CRS provided Rullah and other eligible farmers with vouchers that they used to buy seed and fertilizer for their land. A few vendors in the area were selected to participate in the program, too. It’s a win-win situation—the vendors get the much-needed business and the farmers buy what they need to get back on their feet. Cash grants are also being provided to kick-start the local economy and assist farmers with other agricultural needs not covered by the vouchers.

Since the planting season ends in December, Rullah and other farmers are preparing the land now so they can soon cultivate their crops. “I am very pleased that CRS has given us this support. Seeds and fertilizer are the just the resources we need most right now to restart our lives,” Rullah said. “I don’t know what I would have done without this assistance. The care and support shown by CRS has encouraged me to do more for my family. I cannot wait for the crops to come in.”

Reported by CRS staffer Maria Josephine Wijastuti who is currently based in Pakistan

Pakistan voucher

A farmer carries supplies provided by USAID and CRS through a voucher program that allowed Pakistan flood survivors to purchase seeds and fertilizer. Photo by Maria Josephine Wijiastuti/CRS

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