AfDB Grants $8.1 Million to Support Food Production in South Sudan

AfDB Grants $8.1 Million to Support Food Production in South Sudan (News Central TV)

The emergency food production initiative in South Sudan has been given $8.1 million in funding by the African Development Bank, AfDB.

According to a statement from the AfDB, the grant, which was given under the transition support facility, adds more funding to the ongoing Agricultural Markets, Value Addition and Trade Development Project (AMVAT).

“AMVAT seeks to contribute to reduced food insecurity, poverty reduction, economic growth and building of community and household resilience and social cohesion,” partly noted the July 17 statement.

In South Sudan’s Northern Bahr el Ghazal, Upper Nile, Eastern Equatoria, Western Bahr el Ghazal, and Western Equatoria states, where recent severe flooding has affected hundreds of thousands of households and caused significant crop and livestock losses, it was stated that this emergency food production program targets an additional 600,000 of the most vulnerable groups.

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“It is a continuation of the of the performing AMVAT project, but with a focus on the emergency food crisis and disruption of supply of critical inputs for food production in South Sudan”, Nnenna Nwabufo, AfDB’s Director General for East Africa stated.

Nnenna Nwabufo, AfDB’s Director General for East Africa

According to reports, the initiative will use enhanced seeds, fertilizer, extension services for farmers, and to strengthen the institutional capacity of the agricultural sector to increase agricultural production and productivity in the five states.

The institution stated that farmers will receive 30 million tonnes of fertilizer in addition to 498 million tonnes of sorghum seeds, the same amount of cowpea seeds, and 10 million tonnes of rice seeds.

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“To ensure that these measures are effective and sustainable, the project has provided for the training of thousands of farmers, nearly half of whom are women, on good agronomic practices and the right application of fertilizer,” Themba Bhebhe, AfDB’s Country Manager for South Sudan said.

The project, in accordance with the AfDB, will eventually result in a sustained rise in the nation’s agricultural productivity, increased revenues, and an improvement in the standard of living for farmers. Additionally, it will strengthen the nation’s food security and encourage climate-smart agriculture.

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), which is already carrying out the AMVAT project, has been tasked with carrying out the emergency food production program to maintain continuity.

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The possibility of a food crisis has long hung over South Sudan, which has not been food self-sufficient since 2009. Climate hazards have made it worse. The banking institution emphasized that in 2022, 4.6 million children and 8.9 million individuals, or more than 70% of the population, received humanitarian relief.

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