Livelihoods Recovery for Vulnerable People of Southern Sudan
After decades of civil war, generations of farming knowledge have been lost in southern Sudan. This is particularly true in areas like Upper Nile State, near the border with Ethiopia, where semi-nomadic cattle herding was a more strongly rooted tradition than settled farming. With cattle herds still small and crop yields low, there is little food available to area residents.
“If you go in the village now, you will not find a single vegetable,” says David Duop, IRD field assistant.
IRD, with funding from the U.S. State Department, is bringing agricultural expertise back to the Sobat River corridor in Upper Nile State. IRD staff members have designed a series of training courses covering preparation of beds, composting, planting, harvesting, livestock production, and food processing. IRD works with local leaders to identify plots of land that program participants can use, so that after they learn the theory, they can put it into practice. IRD field assistants live in the community so they can continue to offer advice throughout the planting season.
In addition to providing expertise, IRD brings seeds and tools to participating villages. In the coming months, fishing line, hooks, and canoes will be delivered so that residents can add more protein to their diet.
The program, which will run through the end of 2008, will also help farmers with issues they may have getting their produce to markets, which will increase their incomes.