Improved agricultural methods lead to sustainable farming and greater food security
Timeline: 1 year
Anticipated lives impacted: 3,052
Ministry Focus: Holistic
Total Amount Requested: $39,620
In their own words:
“After attending the agricultural training and participating in the horticultural demonstration farm, I was given seeds, which I planted in my garden using the knowledge I had gained. Now I am able to harvest more from my garden and even sell the surplus. I can now meet my financial obligations, like taking children to school.”
— Rebecca Abuok, a project beneficiary from Kohrmalang, South Sudan
After more than two decades of civil war, Sudanese are fighting the uphill battle of returning to normalized and peaceful living. Years of loss and suffering have left families broken, local economies destroyed and farmers without means for doing their work. In light of such devastation, communities are nearly helpless to respond. In the Wau Diocese, the most limiting factor for farmers is a lack of tools. Their most common tool, the maloda, requires farmers to kneel on the ground, while working an area of between 20 to 50 square meters for approximately five hours. Therefore, achieving high yields is difficult and food insecurity is high. The crops that farmers produce often get sold in order to generate income to pay for living expenses, even as families have less food for personal consumption.
The people of South Sudan need to learn better farming methods so that they can utilize large, arable tracts of land and curb food insecurity. They also need adequate, long-term farming implements to sustain their work.
The Anglican Diocese of Wau in South Sudan will work with community leaders to identify and train farmers in better farming methods, and then provide these farmers with ox plows so that they can increase production. As a result, households will improve food security and family income. A total of 250 people in 50 families will benefit, while 2,750 community members will develop better farming skills.
This project benefits at least 3,052 people, some through multiple impacts::
- 2,750 community members show willingness to engage with the Scriptures by sharing in devotions led by diocesan staff during training sessions on improved farming methods and the use of an ox plow.
- 250 family members increase their understanding as they apply better farming methods, under the supervision of agricultural agents.
- 52 people, including 50 farmers, take action by using ox plows to develop their farms to increase production; two agricultural extension agents will supervise these farmers.
The Wau Diocese will hold a one-day community sensitization and mobilization workshop to teach 2,750 community members how to work with an ox plow. The diocese will then work with community leaders to identify farmers able to provide two oxen for use in the project. A total of 50 farmers will be selected. They will complete three weeks of residential training – led by two paid agriculturalists – on caring for oxen and improving farming techniques. Two extension agents will keep records of farmers’ acres, crop yields, annual rainfall, pest infestations and animal health problems. Each agent will start a local demonstration farm and provide feedback on farmers’ perceptions of the project. Each stakeholder group involved will share the lessons learned. Extension agents will receive bicycles so they can visit farmers regularly.
Fifty trained farmers will receive ox plows and accessories on credit. They will then return to their communities and practice the techniques they learned, resulting in an expected 30 percent increase in production and improved household incomes for 250 people (five people in each of 50 households). They will sell surplus yields in order to repay the diocese for the ox plow. The farmers will each pay $75 a year for two years, after which they will own and be able to use the plows for years. Funds received from the first group of trained farmers will be used to purchase plows that will be used by the next set of trained farmers.
Measuring impact: The project coordinator, a clergyman in the Akon archdeaconry, will collect progress reports from extension agents. A newly purchased motorcycle will enable him to visit the farmers regularly.
Track record: The Diocese of Wau has experience working in Western Bahr el Ghazal with rural communities experiencing food insecurity and malnutrition among children. In a project funded by the European Union, 120 farmers received training on improved agricultural techniques and were given ox plows and seeds. To date, 97 of them have repaid the diocese for the plows.
Ox plows, yokes and accessories: $9,375
Incentives for two extension agents $4,800
Research and evaluation $4,245
Transportation of plows $3,750
Food for trainees $3,700
Project coordinator salary $3,600
Administration and finance officer $3,000
Motorcycle and two bicycles $2,900
Fees for agriculturalist trainers $2,100
Motorcycle fuel $900
Community workshops $750
Space rental for training $500
Low: 1, Low/Medium: 2, Medium: 3, Medium/High: 4, High: 5
Concept: Risk Level 1
South Sudan struggles with food insecurity and cannot depend upon handouts for the long-term. Sustainable farming methods will enable farmers to increase food security and have positive longterm impact on their communities.
Program Design and Experience: Risk Level 1
The Wau Diocese has successfully implemented training programs in improved farming methods. It employs experienced extension agents who will monitor project progress and report to the diocese. Of the 120 participants in the previous project, 97 have repaid the diocese for the plows.
Leadership: Risk Level 1
The Wau Diocese has successfully implemented training programs in improved farming methods. It employs experienced extension agents who will monitor project progress and report to the diocese.
Financial Control: Risk Level 3
The diocese has made major improvements to its record keeping since 2011 when it had no financial statements. Project costs are reasonable. The diocese has stable management and secure wire transfer methods, but lacks an independent governing board, as all members are also members of the Anglican Church. The diocese also lacks externally audited financial statements.
Sustainability: Risk Level 1
The project has strong community endorsement, and once the extension agents are in place and demonstration farms are established, the project will not require further funding to continue.
External: Risk Level 3
Conflict in South Sudan has forced populations to relocate, which could impact this project. Additional instability could cause newly trained farmers to leave the project region, leading to a setback in progress and negatively impacting the community.