ISLAMABAD - Lauding the efforts of Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) in assisting the flood affectees, Federal Minister for Food and Agriculture Nazar Gondal has said that the country needs a comprehensive plan for restarting the farming activities to enable the people to earn their livelihood Holding a meeting with a delegation led by Dr Jacques Diouf, Director General (DG) of FAO, the minister said, We are grateful to the international community for the prompt response to assist the flood affected people. Losses of about $3.5 billion in damages to our standing crops and an affected population of 20 million people needs a comprehensive plan to restart the farming activities. Dr Jacques Diouf said that his visit was an expression of friendship and support to the people and government of Pakistan. He added that the magnitude of the flood was extremely high and the government of Pakistan promptly responded. He appreciated the governments plan to restructure the infrastructure damaged by the floods. Gondal said that the ongoing projects of FAO should not be stopped and the assistance plan for the flood-affected areas must be a wholly separate programme. He said that relief to the affected people must be provided in a way so that its results were visible. Rehabilitation of the damaged irrigation channels and water courses can positively impact a huge number of households in the flood affected regions. Free seeds and fertilizers for the sunflower may also be provided along with a similar package for wheat sowing, added the minister. The Director General informed the participants that FAO were already an $8 million agriculture development programme for the border areas of Balochistan apart from a $34m Combating Rising Food Prices Programme supported by EU. He further said that the ministrys recommendations and suggestions would incorporate for the recovery programmes of the agriculture sector.