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Building Peace in the Central African Republic: The Role of Agricultural Extension Services

The Wilson Center Africa Program for a discussion on Building Peace in the Central African Republic: The Role of Agricultural Extension Services on Monday, October 21 from 2:00-3:30 pm in the Wilson Center’s 6th Floor Auditorium. This event will look at how the conflict has impacted agriculture and food security in the Central African Republic (CAR), assess the role of agriculture and extension services in peacebuilding, and consider policy options for enhancing food security as part of CAR’s return to peace.

For several decades, the CAR has been engulfed in a complex crisis that has weakened the country’s social and economic fabric, including food production systems. The prolonged conflict has aggravated food insecurity, and in a vicious cycle, the hunger caused by conflict contributes to systemic and entrenched insecurity. According to the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) listing, as of June 2019, 1.8 million people, or 41% of CAR’s population, were facing severe food insecurity. A revitalization of the agricultural sector is key to improved food security and a reduction in poverty and violence. Yet agriculture, especially agricultural extension services for the rural areas, is often neglected as part of the broader peacebuilding strategy in fragile countries.

This event will assess the causes of insecurity in CAR and its impact on agriculture and food security, and give particular attention to the potential of agricultural and rural extension programs to improve agricultural productivity and profitability while also contributing to peacebuilding. The discussion will look at lessons learned from other post-conflict countries, and consider how those options may be adapted to the context of the CAR.




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