Two UN agencies on Monday distributed agricultural machinery and rice seed among the local farmers in Cox's Bazar as part of a joint emergency response to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in partnership with the Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE) extended the supports.
The machinery, which includes power tillers, threshers, and diesel generators, will benefit 500 farmers who belong to 25 farmer groups in Ukhiya, the UN agencies said in a joint statement.
They will receive full training to use the machinery, as well as financial investment advice, and technical training aimed at boosting production, and the DAE will be responsible for providing operational support.
In addition, around 24,000 farmers will receive rice seed and household hygiene items from FAO while IOM will provide 48,000 cloth face masks.
Besides, face masks and hygiene kits, which include soap for hand washing, will help to protect the farmers from catching Covid-19 while at work, the statement added.
The emergency assistance, which is line with government priorities on supporting agriculture and food security, will provide much needed support to farmers who have been dealing with the combined impact of the coronavirus pandemic and Cyclone Amphan.
"This joint effort from two UN agencies will support government efforts to improve agricultural production at an important and sensitive time," said Robert D. Simpson, FAO Representative in Bangladesh.
Patrick Charignon, Head of Transition and Recovery Division, IOM Cox's Bazar, said, "FAO and IOM have been working together closely since the beginning of the Rohingya crisis, in coordination with government."