The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has just completed one of its largest-ever seed distribution operations in the Central African Republic (CAR), handing out supplies to more than 12,500 farmers in one of the impoverished country’s most critical regions.
Working in conjunction with Mercy Corps, a non-governmental organization (NGO), the FAO distributed the seeds in Nana-Mambéré prefecture in the west of the CAR, next to the border with Cameroon, according to an update issued by the agency yesterday.
Nana-Mambéré is bisected by a road that serves as a crucial lifeline for the CAR, enabling supplies from the Cameroonian port of Douala to reach its landlocked neighbour and providing the only real possibility for trading timber or agricultural exports internationally.
FAO said the seed distribution scheme was designed to tackle three issues: food insecurity, hunger and chronic poverty, which are problems across the strife-torn CAR.
Each seed kit given to a farmer consisted of 4 kilograms of peanut seeds and 10 kilograms of corn seeds. Mercy Corps also trained local communities in farming techniques so they can boost their yields and expand beyond subsistence farming.