Agriculture is key to achieving lasting peace in Central African Republic

AA – FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva today met Central African Republic President Faustin-Archange Touadera for talks that focused on rebuilding the country’s agriculture sector and making it an engine for peace and sustainable development.

In particular, they discussed ways in which to tap into the Central African Republic’s considerable agricultural potential and how to support family farmers and small holders to improve food security and nutrition and strengthen rural livelihoods.

Years of conflict and political instability have hampered agricultural activities on which nearly 75 percent of the country’s population rely for food and income. Some 1.3 million people in the Central African Republic are severely food insecure.

President Touadera, who took office last month, has made boosting agriculture and the rural economy one of his policy priorities. The President warmly thanked FAO for its continuous support during the crisis and acknowledged the current programmes and projects being implemented by the Organization in his country.

“Implementing our ‘Disarming, Demobilisation and Reintegration of armed groups’ strategy requires that we put all our efforts into the agriculture sector so that our population can meet their immediate and longer term needs. That is the main priority of my government,” President Touadera said.

For his part, Graziano da Silva congratulated the President on his recent election and underscored how the establishment of a new constitutional order “brings hope for the country’s stability and sustainable development.”

“FAO, through its knowledge and experience, is ready to provide support in building a peaceful and inclusive society in the Central African Republic in particular for the young people in the context of a post conflict situation,” Graziano da Silva added.

The FAO Director-General called on the international community to play its part. “What is crucial right now is maintaining food production and rebuilding the agricultural sector.

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