Interview with Marie Noelle Koyara State Minister of Rural Development in the Central African Republic

Jun 2014

Marie Noelle Koyara State Minister of Rural Development in the Central African Republic:

"I would like to thank FAO for all the assistance that FAO and the UN have always provided to my country since the beginning of the crisis. Regarding the agriculture campaign, as of today, I can tell you that we are fully satisfied because we are at the peak of the season.

This is the period of seeds, seedlings, and we are assisting to seed distributions everywhere. Indeed, there are difficulties in certain regions that are at risk. However, at least in accessible areas, we already started with the seed distributions. We believe that the agriculture season, the seedling season, that ends around 15 June, will be enough time to reach accessible areas.

I also would like to say that given the crisis situation, we cannot be very optimistic to think that we can cover the whole country. Certainly there will be areas at risk where accessibility will be very difficult. Therefore, focus should be on the areas that we can reach, where we can travel, in order to produce in these areas and provide assistance to problematic areas.

We believe that regarding agriculture, we should already start to forget the crisis, the emergency, and soon think about resilience and resuming development activities because it should not be forgotten that part of the crisis is due to the poverty level that has really increased in our country.

If we really want to fight poverty, we should focus on resilience activities, especially among women that represent 60 percent of our workforce in the agriculture sector, who need support both in terms of funding and for the processing and marketing of products because the biggest challenge we’ve encountered is that women farmers are not able to sell their products. We were thinking about this programme with FAO and we came up with a pilot programme that is about to start in this direction and we are confident that it will be successful."