Central African Republic— The African Development Bank Group has approved a grant of US$5.39 million to the Central African Republic to bolster food production and enhance food security of nearly 100,000 people in the country.

The grant will assist the production of an additional 32,000 tonnes of foodstuffs and also help the Central African Republic implement an emergency food programme to tackle the surge in food prices exacerbated by the war between Russia and Ukraine.

It will help increase agricultural productivity and production in the Central African Republic, especially of rice, maize and cassava by providing for the procurement of 1.8 tonnes of maize seed, 1.2 tonnes of rice seed and 75,0000 linear metres of cassava for the benefit of farmers.

The project will also procure from local seed producers 130 tonnes of maize seed, sufficient to sow 4500 hectares; 30 tonnes of paddy rice seed, sufficient for 700 hectares, and 5 million linear metres of cassava, for planting in 1800 hectares.

In addition, the programme will procure, via a tendering process, 750 tonnes of fertiliser, consisting of 500 tonnes of NPK (nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium) and 250 tonnes of urea, to cover the fertiliser 5200 hectares (4500 hectares of maize and 700 hectares of rice).

With an expected production of 32,350 tonnes in the first season from September 2022 to February 2023, the grant responds to the urgent needs of many vulnerable rural households and will increase household incomes and improve the quality of life of small farmers in the target group.

To enable producers to master growing techniques, part of the grant will be used to train workers in three national institutions active in the field of agriculture. A vehicle and office equipment and materials will be made available for this purpose.

The grant to is from Pillar I of the Transition Support Facility of the African Development Bank Group, which offers a fast, simple and flexible disbursement system, designed to help countries build peace, construct resilient institutions, stabilize their economies and lay the foundations for inclusive growth.

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