Following FAO’s seed distributions, monitoring missions for the agricultural campaign take place in the Central African Republic

Following FAO’s seed distributions, monitoring missions for the agricultural campaign take place in the Central African Republic

11/09/2014

In addition to distributions of inputs to households, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) distributed crop seeds to 90 seed multiplier groups (1 600 households) in five prefectures. The first data collection mission was carried out from 25 to 29 July 2014 in the prefectures of Lobaye and Ombella-Mpoko.

Seed multiplication allows seed multiplier groups to increase the availability of quality seeds and quickly respond to the need for quality seeds in an agricultural emergency situation, while strengthening the resilience of farmers’ groups through the production and marketing of quality seeds to increase their income.

In May, the improved-seed producers’ group (Réseau des producteurs de semences améliorées [REPROSA]) in Mbaïki (20 members) received 200 kg of maize and 300 kg of groundnut seeds from FAO, which will allow for an estimated production of 11 tonnes.

“The results of the first seed distributions are promising because producers have immediately planted the varieties of maize and groundnut seeds received that have already produced good results”, said the head of and founder of REPROSA, Mr Raymond Salvador Bellet, in August.

FAO carried out three joint data collection missions on the seed distributions in collaboration with the Central African institute of agricultural research (Institut centrafricain de recherche agronomique [ICRA]) and the monitoring and evaluation agency of the Ministry of the Development of Rural World (Ministère en charge du développement du monde rural). These missions are part of the emergency project in response to the food crisis and restoring agriculture (Projet d’urgence en réponse à la crise alimentaire et la relance de l’agriculture [PURCARA]) framework in the Central African Republic (CAR).

“The main principle of the seed multiplication programme is that FAO purchases at least 50 percent of the crop seeds produced through national Non-governmental Organizations”, explains Barthélémy Lamba, a technician of FAO’s planning unit. Purchasing a part of the production allows for the establishment of initial capital as well as saving and loans schemes within the group. “It is at that point that FAO’s resilience programme with the seed multiplier groups starts”, specifies Barthélémy Lamba.

The field visits to Bouali, Boukoko and Mbaïki were the opportunity to check the results of the distribution operations during the ongoing agricultural campaign. The joint team also considered the possibility of establishing basic seed multiplication plots at the regional polyvalent research centre (Centre régional polyvalent de recherche) of Boukoko.

“Despite the late start of the rainy season, we were able to plant in time, invest in our fields and establish saving funds for the rest of the year” says Raymond. Households will also be able to sell part of the remaining production on the market to increase their income and keep the rest to be planted during the next agricultural season.