Enno Mewes, Ilse Hoffmann SLE – Centre for Rural Development Humboldt University Berlin, Germany
Photo: I. Hoffmann

11.06.2013

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Despite good potential for food production, South Sudan’s agriculture is not feeding its population. The impacts of decades of armed conflict are posing enormous challenges for the sector. Farmer Field Schools seem to be a promising instrument to improve food security and livelihoods of small-scale farmers in the country.

Moses, a typical local farmer, lives in Morobo, located in the very South of the greenbelt of South Sudan. This region has a high potential for agriculture and food production. Rainfall above 1,200mm distributed in two rainy seasons per year and virgin clay soils render this area capable of feeding the entire population of South Sudan. As population density is low access to land is not limited. Nevertheless, Moses cultivates only one hectare of land. He mostly grows food crops, such as sorghum, maize, cassava, beans and groundnuts, on traditional rain-fed systems to feed him, his wife and five of his children – without any kind of mechanisation. He generates low yields and hardly markets any of his products. Markets are too far away, and he does not even have a bicycle. Additionally, like many others, he lacks appropriate storage facilities, and streets in the new country are in bad repair and hardly passable in the rainy season, which discourages traders to come to his village.

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