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The Central African population depends 75% on the agricultural sector for a living. Among the consequences: the threatened availability of seeds. The planting season is fast approaching, but the available seed stocks have dropped drastically compared to last year. The World Food Program fears a " <em>catastrophe </em>»At the time of the next harvests, in a country already highly food insecure. </p><div> <p><em>With our special correspondent in Bangui</em>, <strong>Florence Morice</strong>
When the first clashes broke out in December, it was the height of the crop processing season, which was crucial for seed production. But because of the conflict, some farmers lose access to their fields and others, on the contrary, take refuge there. Consequence: a significant drop in seed stocks available in the country.
« The peasants who took refuge in the fields certainly consumed a good part of their production, including that part which was to be considered as seeds for the next year. So there is a great need that will arise », Explains Etienne Ngounio, program officer at FAO, the United Nations food and agriculture organization.
Lean harvest in the fall
One figure illustrates the scale of the problem: of the 3,000 tonnes of seeds that organizations that help the most vulnerable farmers buy on average each year, only a third are available this year in the country. This portends a meager harvest next fall.
A situation that worries Aline Rumonge, director of the World Food Program for the Central African Republic, while the violence has already worsened malnutrition: ” This will result in a food disaster. Because, even the households that had kept a little stock, now they have exhausted their stock and are starting to sell their goods to be able to survive, the cattle, the goats, the small equipment that they had.. »
Since December, the number of food insecure Central Africans has already fallen from 1.9 million to 2.3 million people.
► Read also: The Central African Republic sets up a committee to fight against food insecurity
Source site www.rfi.fr