Published on 5 October 2021
As we approach World Food Day we honour our Food Heroes in South Sudan, who have developed their farming skills through our UK Aid Match programme.
Abuk is new to farming. After just one year, she stands surrounded by the impressive array of vegetables she has grown in her garden, in Aweil North County, Northern Bahr El Ghazel State, South Sudan.
She now grows tomatoes, ground nut and sorghum, using the produce to help support her family.
Abuk explains that farming is hard, and she has challenges with pests and lack of irrigation. But her plot is already making a real difference. Previously she needed to buy her vegetables from the local market, but this meant she needed an income, and she did not always have the money.
I no longer go to the market to buy groceries. If I need to cook, I can just go to the farm and pull up what I want from the farm, come and cook. This is the first help.
Abuk who is supported by Christian Aid’s partner SPEDP is also teaching her how to save. She is now a member of the village savings and loan association.
The money she has raised from selling her vegetables she can invest in the village saving scheme. She has started a small groundnut paste selling business. She sells the paste in the market and then saves the proceeds with her association. She explains that whilst working on the farm, she is also saving at the same time. She is also able to borrow money from the savings group to invest in her farm.
Luka too is a member of a local farmers group and a village saving and loans association in Jur River County, Western Bahr El Ghazel State.
Sadly, he lost his wife after suffering from a long illness, and now raises his five children with his mother-in-law.
When Christian Aid partner HARD were training local farming groups in the best cultivation practises and distributing seeds, Luka took advantage of the programme.
When I was given the seeds most of the people in my community were thinking that I may not be able to plant the seeds, but now I have a good harvest.
Whilst his family still faces many challenges, their lives are slowly improving. Luka has managed to save a little money and was able to hire a tractor and pay for fuel to plough the land.
If someone passes my house, they will think that I am a strong person, but I am disabled, and I do things with one hand, but even now I know more things than those who have two hands.
In the future, he would like to build a new house for his family and a grain store. He is looking to irrigate his land but needs a good store to keep his tools safe.
Luka’s eldest child is in school, and he aims to send his other children to school using his income from his farm.
South Sudan has some of the highest malnutrition rates in Sub Saharan Africa. Our UK Aid Match funded project takes a holistic approach to tackle malnutrition in Aweil North and Jur River regions of the country. Working with our partners SPEDP and HARD we aim to reach just over 28,000 women and girls of child-bearing age and their children, with a focus on children under five.
Our work in action
To improve access to nutritious foods, our partner SPEDP is training women and supporting them to form farmers groups in Aweil, to produce better quality and quantity of crops. SPEDP have also provided them with seeds and tools.
The project established demonstration plots so community members can see first-hand the impact of the improved agricultural practices.
Christian Aid through our partner HARD has also trained local farmers groups on the best cultivation practices. HARD distributed seeds so that the farmers can plant and produce good crops.
Find out more about our UK Aid Matched funded work in South Sudan