UN agency to provide 706,000 USD to help South Sudan farmers reduce COVID-19 impact
A United Nations agency that supports agriculture growth in rural areas announced Monday it will provide 706,000 U.S. dollars to help South Sudan’s small-scale producers safeguard their livelihoods in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis.
The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) said in statement that the funding, through its Rural Poor Stimulus Facility, will cover 23,900 vulnerable rural people in Bor and Torit counties in South Sudan under the Resilient Livelihood and Food System project to help improve their agricultural productivity.
“This grant to South Sudan is a demonstration of IFAD’s commitment to support post-conflict countries under the framework of the humanitarian-development-peace nexus, and to safeguard food security by ensuring small-scale farmers continue their farming activities and build their resilience to external shocks,” Bernadette Mukonyora, IFAD country director for South Sudan, said in the statement.
IFAD said the project will distribute a combined total of 52 metric tons of seeds for maize, sorghum, groundnuts and select vegetables at the beginning of the planting season. Farmers will also receive training on production technologies and post-harvest handling practices.
The project will also make available post-harvest equipment such as threshers, silos, hermetic bags, refrigeration and coolers.
Food availability and access in South Sudan remain a challenge for most of the population due to the country’s prolonged conflict, disruption of agricultural value chains and displacement of people.
IFAD said the COVID-19 pandemic thus poses a serious threat to an already fragile situation, especially in regard to food and nutrition security.