EXPLORATORY MISSION OF FAO EXPERTS TO SONGHAI: BRINGING THE YOUTHS TO AGRICULTURAL EMPLOYMENT IN A POST-CONFLICT COUNTRY

A group of experts from the Central African Republic visited Songhai Regional Center in Porto-Novo from 27 August to 7 September 2018. The visitors came to draw inspiration from the Songhai development model, to better lead the "Mont Carmel" project in the Central African Republic. A project aimed at training and reintegrating the conflict-affected youths and funded by the Italian government through theFAO Nobel Peace Prize Alliance for Food Security.

Since May 2016, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations FAO has teamed up with a group of Nobel laureates to develop its strategy for peace building and food security. This willingness of the United Nations system to resolve the dual problem of hunger and violence in conflict-ridden areas at the same time is materialized in the Central African Republic through the establishment of a pilot training and socio-economic reintegrationcenter for the youths affected by conflict: the Mont Carmelproject. Funded by the Italian government through the FAO Nobel Peace and Food Security Alliance, with the participation of the Carmelite Priests in Central African Republic, this project aims at "bringing the youths to agricultural employment that remains a big potential for the Central African Republic in a post-conflict situation ".

Thus, to succeed their mission, the representatives of the various parties involved in the project, came to learn from Songhai. They are particularly keen to make the Mont Carmel site, a center of excellence in agricultural production and processing and livestock products, meeting the needs of local communities in the Central African Republic. They left convinced that their stay in Songhai will help them in this line. Their areas of ​​interest were the palm oil factory, the production of milk and its derivatives; the breeding of layers for the production of eggs and finally the garden for vegetables. A visit to some Songhai satellite sites in Benin and the visit to the farms of Songhai graduates were initiated to better build the experts.

The Carmel Center is in fact a wide 130-hectare area that has hosted more than 12,000 internally displaced people from different communities during the crisis that hit the Central African Republic.

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