27-03-2019 | di COOPI
CAR: we are strengthening food security in Lobaye
61% of the Lobaye community in the southwest of the Central African Republic is affected by malnutrition.
To strengthen food security, in November 2018, we launched the "Support for the resilience of vulnerable farmers and stockbreeders in southern Lobaye" project, funded by the AICS.
Within a year, we aim to enhance production and marketing techniques related to agro-pastoral products, involving 495 people among local farmers and livestock breeders.
To anticipate some of the activities envisaged by the project, we can mention:
- the distribution of poultry, pig and goat kits;
- the rehabilitation of reservoirs and farmland;
- the supply of food production units.
Women empowerment is another pivotal asset to increase the resilience of the local communities - although they play a vital role in the agricultural sector, they are still excluded from the decision-making process and the control of product inputs.
This is why it is so important to engage women in training programmes.
"We are encouraging women to participate in the “champs écoles paysans” training sessions, where groups of farmers gather together and try to solve problems related to their crops and farms. Since it is a practical and technical learning model, an agriculture technician will also be involved and will act as a mediator during training sessions. Once the programme comes to an end, each beneficiary will be able to put production techniques they have learned into practice, both on their production and other community sites,” explains Leiticia Grengou, COOPI project leader in Lobaye.
To encourage women's participation in food safety activities, joint working groups will be set up to ensure women's access to materials, equipment and technical training.
To achieve women empowerment and social sustainability within their community, we are promoting women’s involvement in the decision-making process. As Leiticia Grengou points out: "We want to promote the champs écoles paysans participatory model to teach the best practices in the administrative and commercial field, including accounting, budget management and marketing skills, to ease microcredit and saving opportunities for women and strengthen their empowerment."
According to the 2017 estimates released by the Human Development Index, the Central African Republic ranks 188th out of 188 countries, thus recording one of the highest rates of poverty in the world. In addition, according to OCHA, about 43% of the population out of a total of 4.6 million people suffers from acute malnutrition - almost one in two Central Africans.
This is why we intend to reduce food insecurity in the agro-pastoral sector in Lobaye, by creating new job opportunities, removing social and economic inequalities and enhancing the role and empowerment of women.