Sudan (MNN) — Due to insecurity, unpredictable weather extremes, a high number of returnees, and limited resources, food production is an acute challenge for many families in Upper Nile State, Southern Sudan. To assist these communities in reviving their agricultural livelihoods, Food for the Hungry (FHI) is working to restore food security for more than 10,000 families — approximately 80,000 people — in Upper Nile.
Under the USAID-funded program, FHI works in coordination with three Sudanese nongovernmental organizations to establish demonstration farms and conduct extension training to increase communitiesÃ¢ï¿½ï¿½ agricultural knowledge. In addition, the program provides fishing equipment, seeds, and irrigation equipment to vulnerable families. A few months ago, FHI conducted three seed fairs that provided seeds to 934 families and conducted seven agricultural training sessions for agricultural extension workers. These workers have already trained 170 farmers to strengthen the agricultural capacities of residents and help reestablish agricultural activities for returnees.
While these initiatives work to improve food production and food security, FHI also provides its three local partners with the tools that will allow them to initiate and implement their own relief and development programs. FHI has provided its local partners with a team office, as well as training, mentoring,and material assistance to improve their outreach and communications, including boats,satellite phones, radios, and motorbikes.
Since they work through the local church, FHI is providing the church a credible voice in the community.
Although recent insecurity forced FHI to evacuate staff from the region, work continues. As the dry season begins in Southern Sudan, FHI will conduct additional extension training focusing on agricultural preparation for the dry season and continue distributing agricultural equipment, vegetable seeds, and irrigation equipment to conflict-affected families throughout Upper Nile.