The Episcopal Church of the Sudan
Specific objective 1:
– To improve the food security and nutrition of particularly disadvantaged and marginalised people in Western Bahr el Ghazal.
Specific objective 2:
– To strengthen local institutions to better address food insecurity and climate threats.
Also to increase production and diversification of agricultural production, increase awareness of nutritional issues, create an improved, accessible marketing system and increase food access for vulnerable, internally displaced persons and returnees.
Activities towards achieving the improvement of production of staple crops:
– Identification, selection and registration of beneficiary farmers.
– Finding options for storage facilities for perishable produce.
– Assessment of cultural appropriateness and how best to improve animal ploughing in the area.
– Farmers form into groups of about 20-25 and elect a leader and a subleader (including at least one woman). These positions are voluntary, however these are the contact persons for the group and also have a number of other responsibilities. They organise, coordinate and guide the group, chair farmers meetings, represent the group at meetings with the government, consortium members and other stakeholders and deliver project based information. They are given a bicycle which can be used for project related activities and used by others who have been delegated responsibilities.
– Procurement, transport and distribution of sets of tools and improved varieties of seeds, including sorghum, ground nuts and maize. The beneficiary farmer will repay a stipulated amount of cost-recovery to the project once they begin to reap the benefits.
– Cassava is initially introduced just for the lead and sub-lead farmers but once it multiplies, stems can be distributed more widely.
– Farmers receive hands-on training in improved agronomic practices. They learn practical methods and skills which they can implement on their farms with support from the trainer who is also the project extension worker.
– Farmers receive training in animal traction with pairs of donkeys or oxen in their communities throughout the dry season.
Activities towards achieving increased diversification:
– We are working with vulnerable and marginalised returnees and internally displaced people as well as resident communities. These may include; widows, ex-combatants, the physically challenged and the unemployed, especially the youth.
– Establishing kitchen gardens with the procurement of horticulture inputs such as seeds and tools, for which a 20% contribution is requested.
– Training is provided in groups at a demonstration plot in order to enhance participation and adoption of improved methods, skills and relevant technology to their own plots. It will focus on improved horticultural practices and environmentally friendly soil conservation including composting.
– Nutrition awareness and sensitisation will be done through community dialogues, posters, public notices and practical demonstrations by leaders/co-leaders and extension workers who will be trained by a nutrition consultant.
Activities towards achieving the improvement of marketing:
– Disseminating and coordinating information and linking trade actors in a way that benefits will accrue to the target groups in terms of increased access to markets, better prices and increased sales.
– Forming and training marketing committees to access local and urban markets and market information which they collect and disseminate with the help of CARD, to the local communities, especially farmers. They also help to connect producers and traders.
– All farmers groups receive training in basic business and marketing skills.
-Sustainable seed material propagation and food production through local institutions (university, government and farmers groups), through extension (incorporating indigenous knowledge) and a research collaboration mechanism.
– Low external inputs agriculture and environmentally friendly technology which contributes to increased food production.
– Increased capacity of local communities to generate incomes as a result of increased product diversification (cereals, vegetables, fruits etc).
– Increased value of farmers’ products due to improved communication about and within the market and better organised market infrastructure.
– Enhancement of gender parity (women have access to knowledge about nutrition and to farm implements) they are taking up important roles in society through leader/co-leader positions. This is contributing to a transformation of gender-power relations.
Policy level impact:
– Informing policy implementation in local government on addressing the links between nutrition and food security.
– Policy guidance and support on seed and plant propagation and material distribution, informed by on-farm research and extension work by the university, government and farmers groups.