Mobile  |  About us  |  Photos  |  Videos  |  Subscriptions  |  RSS Feeds  |  Today's Paper  |  Classifieds  |  Contact Us
The Daily Star
FRIDAY, 18 APR 2014
09:36 PM Beirut time
22 °C
Blom Index
Follow this story Print RSS Feed ePaper share this
Farmers in Central Africa need urgent aid: UN
Agence France Presse
Children are seen in a camp at Mpoko international airport in Bangui December 15, 2013.  REUTERS/Herve Serefio
Children are seen in a camp at Mpoko international airport in Bangui December 15, 2013. REUTERS/Herve Serefio
A+ A-

ROME: The UN food agency on Monday estimated 40 percent of the rural population in the Central African Republic -- or around 1.29 million people -- are in urgent need of assistance because of the conflict ravaging the country.

"Farmers need urgent help to prepare for the upcoming planting seasons," the Rome-based Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) said in a statement.

It said the number of farmers affected was about double the estimated level from February, adding that the numbers would increase "dramatically" next year if farmers are not able to sow their crops.

FAO said crop production in the country had decreased sharply this year because of the conflict, which has forced around 500,000 people to flee their homes and has cut off access to fields for many farmers.

"Seeds have been in short supply due to looting and because people have had to eat them instead of saving them for planting," said Dominique Burgeon, director of FAO's emergency and Rehabilitation Division.

Burgeon said farmers had sold tools and livestock and raids on livestock and equipment were widespread.

It said a crisis in farming will "severely undermine" the economy since agriculture accounts for 53 percent of the economy and a major share of employment.

Agriculture exports like coffee, cotton and timber -- a key source of foreign exchange earnings -- have dropped this year while food prices are high and volatile.

FAO said maize prices in the capital, Bangui, rose 31 percent between January and November 2013, while millet prices increased by 70 percent between March and October in Ouham, a farming hub in the northwest.

Bukar Tijani, FAO's regional representative for Africa, said the increase in peacekeeping operations was expected to create "favourable conditions" for farmers to return to their fields.

A UN humanitarian appeal is requesting $241 million (175 million euros) to help 1.8 million people in the Central African Republic.

Home International
Central African Republic

Your feedback is important to us!

We invite all our readers to share with us their views and comments about this article.

Disclaimer: Comments submitted by third parties on this site are the sole responsibility of the individual(s) whose content is submitted. The Daily Star accepts no responsibility for the content of comment(s), including, without limitation, any error, omission or inaccuracy therein. Please note that your email address will NOT appear on the site.

comments powered by Disqus

Baabda 2014
Follow us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Follow us on Linked In Follow us on Google+ Subscribe to our Live Feed
Pictures of the day
A selection of images from around the world- Friday April 18, 2014
View all view all
Rami G. Khouri
Rami G. Khouri
Silencing Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s hate talk
Michael Young
Michael Young
Why confuse gibberish with knowledge?
David Ignatius
David Ignatius
Putin will keep rolling, until Obama says no
View all view all
Click to View Articles
Privacy Policy | Anti-Spamming Policy | Disclaimer | Copyright Notice
© 2014 The Daily Star - All Rights Reserved - Designed and Developed By IDS