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FEATURE STORYDecember 22, 2023

Resilience Agricultural Projects Boost Livelihoods of Vulnerable Communities in South Sudan

Farmer Achol in South Sudan

Achol Akueth Deng waters her vegetable garden in Bor County, Jonglei state. Photo: FAO / World Bank.

More than 52,000 households facing acute food insecurity are benefiting from climate-smart agricultural and technology. Over 184,000 vulnerable households are receiving assistance to protect and restore livelihoods and food security. Project support is also strengthening systems for preparedness against challenges such as dessert locusts.

JUBA, December 22, 2023- In South Sudan, multiple shocks such as food insecurity, excessive floods, economic volatility, and sub-national conflict continue to affect the livelihoods of vulnerable communities. But some communities can see a ray of hope and a chance to transform their livelihoods. Amid growing poverty and food insecurity in South Sudan, the  Resilient Agricultural Livelihoods Project (RALP) and Emergency Locust Response Project (ELRP)  are addressing immediate and long term development needs.

Both projects focus on strengthening the capacity of farmers and their organizations with emphasis on improving agricultural productivity through promoting knowledge, skills, access to inputs and other solutions for enhancing agricultural production and resilience.

The Resilient Agricultural Livelihoods Project (RALP)

Achol Akueth Deng, age 45, is one of the beneficiaries of RALP. According to Achol, a resident of Kolnyang Payam in Bor County, and a member of the Tuidu farmers’ group, the project has improved her life and that of her family.

“With the support we received from the project, I am now living a happy life since I started growing some vegetables for household consumption and selling the excess for money to buy some basic needs for my family and to pay the school fees of my children,” recounted Achol.  

Sowila Mangu Ali, age 38, a mother of five children, is a progressive farmer and a member of the Momoi Seed Production for Market Cooperative in Wau County. She is among those benefiting from foundation seeds provided by the RALP Project.

“With the seeds we are producing, farmers will be ready to cultivate large farms/lands and plant crops and vegetables in both dry and main seasons at the right time and produce larger quantities for both home consumption and markets because there is a ready market,” Sowila said.

Some of the results from the project so far include:

  • Provision of climate-smart agricultural inputs (seeds, maize, sorghum, groundnuts, cowpeas, vegetables) and technology to increase production to 52,224 farming households facing acute food insecurity (33,595 female and 18,629 male).
  • Support to 281 farmer’s groups of 8,813 farmers (4,035 females and 4,778 males), trained them on extension methodologies and communication skills, climate-smart agriculture, tree planting and agroforestry, and seed production.
  • Decentralized training of farmers with 191 farmers’ garden demonstration plots developed.
  • Enrollment of 72 farmer groups with a total membership of 2,187 individuals (1,014 females and 1,173 males) in tree planting and agroforestry activities.
  • 1,700 households (1,065 female and 635 males) received small ruminants.
  • Formation of 63 seed producer groups of 1,890 members (1,346 females and 544 males) and support to reduce dependency on imported seeds.


The Emergency Locust Response Project (ELRP)

On the other hand, the Emergency Locust Response Project focuses on responding to threats posed by the desert locust outbreak, protecting, and restoring livelihoods and food security, and strengthening systems for preparedness. The project supports a total of 184,176 vulnerable households in nine counties in the five states of Eastern Equatoria, Central Equatoria, Jonglei, Northern Bahr el Ghazal, and Northern Bahr el Ghazal.

Awel Borong Deng, a 45-year-old woman with six children is among the Labour-Intensive Public Works (LIPW) beneficiaries of the project. She works to help rehabilitate roads, such as the three-kilometer Ritnhom access road in Bor County. Awel works for 15 days a month and through the program receives a cash payment of $40.5 per month.

“I appreciate the World Bank, the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, and FAO for this project because the project came during serious hunger times. I have used the cash I received to buy food, pay medical bills, and send my children to school,” Awel explained.

LIPW beneficiaries at the Ritnhom access road in Bor County. This road connects farmers to market opportunities in Bor County and beyond. Photo: Janet Maya Logo / Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security.

The Ritnhom access road leads to a seasonal cattle camp, which is of major economic and social value to the community. With more than 500 households residing in the area along the access road, the maintenance and availability of this road provides convenient access to farming communities, and an additional 62 hectares of land in the area will be cleared for cultivation of crops and vegetables.

“This access road is highly valued because it provides the community with access to their farms and the markets. Women also appreciate the access road as it will allow them to collect firewood with less risk of sexual assault and harassment,” Awel said.

In Kapoeta East, Kiden Juan, a mother of eight received training on seedling and vegetable production.

“With the knowledge from the training, I will also train other members of my community who have not been fortunate enough to receive these skills I have acquired,” said Kiden.

South Sudan farmer
Kiden Juan waters some seedlings in the community nursery bed in Kapoeta East. Photo: FAO

The project has so far achieved the following results since the start of activities in August 2022:

  • The project strengthened South Sudan's surveillance and monitoring systems by training a total of 200 state and county officials (22% women) on pest surveillance in nine counties, in addition to 14 (11 male, 3 female) national task force members trained in pest surveillance.
  • 15,375 Ha of farmland affected by locust and other pests were surveyed and a total of 7,546 (1,509 female and 6,037 male) affected livestock-holding households received emergency fodder/feed. In addition, 124 Ha of affected pasture and rangeland area were restored.
  • 23,779 (80% female) households were provided with direct income support and 22,156 (62% female) households with able-bodied members were assisted through Labor-Intensive Public Works (LIPW). 166 LIPWs sub-projects contributed to building community assets, such as community access roads, tree nurseries, and schools among others.
  • Distribution of 12,000 tree seedlings (2,000 guava, 3,000 mango, 1,500 grevillea, 2,000 orange, 1,500 pine, 2,000 moringa) to farmers. 38 community nurseries were established through LIPW activities in 10 counties, in addition to 7 central tree nurseries already constructed and handed over to the County Agriculture Department (CAD).
  • 8,117 households were provided with seeds and tools and 31,830 (25,118 female and 6,712 male) farmers with vegetable kits for dry season cultivation. 43 demonstration plots for pest management were established and 6,500 (4,550 female and 1,950 male) households trained on good agronomic practices, integrated pest management and post-harvest monitoring. To improve pest surveillance and monitoring, the project provided 30 motorbikes, 50 bicycles and 5 vehicles at the national, state and county level for easy mobility.

Key to the achievement of the development goals, the project has invested in building the capacity of government, both at the national and state level in pest surveillance and control operation measures. As a result, 10 (2 female, 8 male) national officials were trained as trainers on pest surveillance, 14 (3 female, 11 male) national task force were trained on pest surveillance, 90 (30 female, 60 male) state and county officials were trained on pest surveillance, 30 national task force members received training of trainers on pest control operation measures, and 160 pest control operation Staff (55 female, 105 male) received training.

“The agriculture sector is the backbone of South Sudan. It contributes significantly to the Gross Domestic Product of this country and employs over 80% of this country’s population. To this effect, the government has declared a country-wide war against hunger and poverty by developing the Comprehensive Agriculture Master Plan (CAMP) and Irrigation Development Master Plan (IDMP), which outline the priority investment areas and roadmap to agriculture sector transformation in South Sudan,” said Honorable Josephine Joseph Lagu, South Sudan’s national Minister of Agriculture and Food Security.

In her first visit to South Sudan in March 2023, the World Bank Vice President for Eastern and Southern Africa, Victoria Kwakwa had an opportunity to visit Bor town in Jonglei State to assess and get firsthand information on the World Bank resilient agricultural project sites. She was accompanied by key ministers from the economic cluster, the Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Honorable Josephine Joseph Lagu, Minister of Livestock and Fisheries, Honorable Onyoti Adigo Nyikech, and the former Minister of Finance and Planning, Honorable Dier Tong Ngor.

Kwakwa and ministers visit to South Sudan
(L-R) Hon. Josephine Joseph Lagu, Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Victoria Kwakwa, World Bank Vice President for Eastern and Southern Africa, Ousmane Dione, World Bank Country Director and Holger Kray, World Bank Practice Manager for Agriculture inspect a vegetable garden in Bor Town in Jonglei State. Photo: Janet Maya Logo / MoAFS.

The RALP has received an additional financing of $30 million from IDA that will be channeled towards fighting the food insecurity generated by the four years of devastating, record floods in South Sudan. Part of the additional financing will also fund livestock and fisheries projects in targeted areas in South Sudan.


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