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The World Bank has approved a $25 million grant from the International Development Association (IDA) to finance the Agriculture Recovery and Agribusiness Development Support Project (ARADSP) in the Central African Republic.
The project aims to increase the agricultural productivity of small-scale farmers; strengthen the capacity of micro, small, and medium agribusiness enterprises; and provide an immediate and effective response in the event of a crisis or emergency.
World Bank Country Director for the Central African Republic, Jean-Christophe Carret said, In a country where 80% of the population depends on agricultural activities as the primary source of income, strengthening communities economic resilience by developing agriculture is of critical importance to the Central African Republic. In the short term, the main challenge is to boost productivity, increase agricultural production, and decrease food insecurity.
The ARADSP is composed of four components: (i) development of productive infrastructure and competencies for agriculture and rural entrepreneurship; (ii) improvement and maintenance of public infrastructure; (iii) improvement of the quality of agriculture public services and project management; and (iv) contingency emergency response.
The targeted project intervention zones are (i) Ouham and Ouham-Pend regions in the north-western part of the country; (ii) Bamingui Bangoran and Vakaga regions in the north-eastern part; and (iii) Ouaka around Bambari in the central corridor. The periurban zone of Bangui will benefit from targeted interventions.
Senior Agricultural Specialist and Task Team Leader at the World Bank, Omar Lyasse said, Skills development and job creation, particularly for young people, will lay the foundation for the emergence of a dynamic and economically viable agri-food sector, facilitating poverty reduction in rural areas, and thus helping to break the vicious circle of recurring violence in the country.
The main beneficiaries of the project will be 20,000 households of small-scale farmers located in periurban zones, approximately 40 micro, small, and medium agribusiness enterprises, and 600 farmers groups (associations or cooperatives) in the project zone.
The World Banks International Development Association (IDA), established in 1960, helps the worlds poorest countries by providing grants and zero-interest loans for projects and programs that boost economic growth, reduce poverty, and improve poor peoples lives.
IDA is one of the largest sources of assistance for the worlds 75 poorest countries, 39 of which are in Africa. Resources from IDA bring positive change to 1.5 billion people. Since its inception, IDA has supported development work in 113 countries. Annual commitments have averaged around $18 billion over the past three years, with about 54 percent going to Africa.