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Internally displaced communities thriving in dry season agriculture in Wau, South Sudan

 

Vegetable growers groups from Hai Kresh and Lokoloko communities in Wau State, South Sudan, participated in a field day on 13th June 2017, where they had the opportunity to showcase their vegetable fields, which they set up in February 2017. The farmers are growing eggplant, okra, tomatoes and amaranth.

 

Egg plant at Hai Kresh farm AAHI South Sudan
Eggplant ready for harvest at the Hai Kresh farm

 

The vegetable plots in Hai Kresh and Lokoloko are two of three demonstration plots established by Action Africa Help International (AAH-I) with support from Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), under the ‘Dry season vegetable project’. The third demonstration plot at New Site was closed down due to armed conflict in the area.

 

The field day was attended by local community members, government officials from Wau State, a representative from FAO, a representative from UNHCR and representatives from AAH-I.

 

“Before we started participating in the project, we had challenges in providing for our families during the dry season, while the vegetables would rot before harvest in the wet season. The knowledge we have gained in the project to grow our vegetables during the dry season has helped us mitigate Bacterial Wilt causing rotting of taproots,” said Rizig Peter, a facilitator in the project.

 

 Wau State Minister visits AAHI farm

Hon. Peter Opiyo, acting Agriculture Minister and Physical Infrastructure and Reconstruction Minister (in red tie) with Lokoloko Chairman Rasas Mohammed Rasas (in green cap) during a tour of Lokoloko demonstration plot.

 

“Women are among the most affected people during armed conflict,” said the Minister. “I encourage women in the project to learn as much as they can from the demonstration plots, to take advantage of river Jur for irrigation and to use the knowledge to start kitchen gardens.” According to data collected by the project’s Field Extension Supervisor Oliver Yasona before the project launch, only 1 in every 10 households has a backyard garden of indigenous vegetables.

 

Training by Martin Damazo from the Ministry of Agriculture Martin Damazo (4th left) from the Ministry of Agriculture, facilitating a training on good agricultural practices

 

Kale at Hair Kresh farm AAHI South Sudan

Kale at Hai Kresh farm

 

The tour of the demonstration plots culminated in a luncheon and speeches held at the AAH-I Wau office.

 

 Guests at AAHI South Sudan Wau Office

 

Guests at AAHI South Sudan Wau Office

 

Guests at AAHI South Sudan Wau Office

 

 Guests at AAHI South Sudan Wau Office

Guests and project partners during a luncheon held after the field day at the AAH-I Wau field office

 

“We are applaud the resilience of the people of Wau and are proud that they determined to ensure that the project succeeded, despite reports of armed conflict at the New Site. At AAH-I we believe in partnerships. We are grateful for the support we received from the Ministry of Agriculture, especially in their seconding of extension staff to work in the project. This ensures sustainability,” said Richard Ofwono, AAH-I Head of Programmes in South Sudan.

 

“Do not let the lessons you have learnt go to waste,” AAH-I Wau Field Officer, Officer in Charge Juma Aloro emphasized. Director General, Ministry of Agriculture in Wau State Edward Lino agreed. “Don’t wait for a second set of inputs. You have already received enough support to start you off. Go out as ambassadors and together let’s tackle food insecurity in this State,” he concluded.

 

The objective of the ‘Dry season vegetable project’ is to support the most vulnerable food insecure people in the area to produce vegetables to alleviate hunger, fight malnutrition and improve their livelihoods. It targets especially women, who make up about 60% of the beneficiaries, and vulnerable children and internally displaced people. Besides receiving vegetable seeds and farm tools, the farmer groups also received training on vegetable production and post harvest management through the farmers’ field school method. They also took part in exchange visits.

Inspiring story ahead of the World Refugee day.