Food reserves in CAR dangerously low

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Beneficiaries receive food from volunteers of the Central African Red Cross during an ICRC distribution near Obo town, in Haut Mbomou. © ICRC / M. Kokic /

Farmers in the Central African Republic are in urgent need of seeds and essential tools for the March planting season if they are to help avert a full-scale food and nutrition crisis in the country, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

Food reserves in the country are almost exhausted due to low crop production in 2013, a situation that has been made worse by the on-going civil war which has displaced thousands of civilians.

FAO says the success of the main planting season next month will be a critical turning point for food security in the country, where around 75 percent of the population rely on small-scale agriculture for their food and income.

FAO representative in the CAR Alexis Bonte says the food security situation is increasingly worrying in the capital city, Bangui.

He says the situation is even more acute in the rest of the country where people who were eating two or three meals a day before the violence broke out are now down to one meal a day if they are lucky.

FAO says it needs an additional $37 million to support up to 110 000 farming households throughout 2014.

The organisation is also distributing seeds and tools to displaced people in camps on the outskirts of Bangui so that they can plant vegetables, which they will be able to harvest in six to eight weeks.

The United nations estimates that 2.5 million people in the Central African Republic are in need of immediate humanitarian assistance.

Patrick Maigua, United Nations, Geneva.

Duration 1.27″

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