What makes farmers in South Sudan smile nowadays despite the coronavirus pandemic? “Supporting farmers with skills and inputs are not only important but also lifesaving”, says 30-year-old Makaleta Luka.
A mother of five, Makaleta is among the community people who are part of the seed multiplication program under World Vision’s Greater Resilience through Enhancing Agriculture and Nutrition (GREAN) Project funded by the Government of Australia through the Australia NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP).
The project aims to increase agricultural production and productivity through input support and training, and help increase income by enhancing the marketing skills of 60,000 vulnerable smallholder farmers in South Sudan’s Central Equatoria and Warrap States by 2024.
Makaleta adds, “We are still farmers but everything felt new when World Vision came and taught us ideas about seed multiplication. For the first time, some of us started to plant in large acreage. World Vision also provided us with seeds and tools.”
The farmers groups learned various skills such as good farming practices, farming as a business, market linkages, and available financial services.
Makaleta continues, “Before, we had to walk far and take small portion of our products to the market. World Vision brought the buyers right into our community to buy our products. It got us excited and the support became lifesaving for us.”
This I believe is just the beginning of our better days as farmers in South Sudan. I will save some of the seeds from my harvest for the next season and sell some for my family needs.
Expressing his gratitude, Redent Ladu said the support has lifted many people’s hopes in the communities. He says, “In our community, the men believed that weeding was only done by women. But with the new practices we learned such as line spacing and weeding, both men and women do it and work became easy.”
Ladu adds, “This I believe is just the beginning of our better days as farmers in South Sudan. I will save some of the seeds from my harvest for the next season and sell some for my family needs.”
Food Security & Livelihood Program Coordinator Berhanu Wolde says, “The seed multiplication initiative focuses on improving farmers’ access to quality seeds through building their knowledge and skills from selection to proper harvesting and handling.”
Wolde adds, “By following this process, the farmers benefit from increased yield and improved income, contributing to their respective household’s food security. They can provide enough healthy food for many vulnerable women, children, elders, and people with disabilities in their own communities”.
Story and photos by Scovia Faida Charles Duku, Communications Coordinator