An irrigation foot pump in action!
Great news from South Sudan! Over the past few months our farmers have been hard at work breaking up the concrete hard soil with iron hoes. They’ve sowed more fields and turned more barren ground into food.
This time last year a famine was announced in South Sudan – the first famine to be declared anywhere in the world in half a decade. And by the end of 2017, experts were warning that 2018 would be even worse. So we doubled down our efforts in training, equipping and supporting local farmers. With your help, we distributed tens of thousands of seeds, over 1,000 hand tools, 500 meters of fencing, 20 foot powered irrigation pumps, hundreds of fruit tree starters, 5 canoes, and 100 fishing kits. All of this to help our 126 farmers feed their families and their communities.
So far, our farmers have echoed a very similar sentiment: they’re overflowing with gratitude. Not only are they feeding their families, but they are selling their excess produce in the market, and actually earning an income – many for the first time.
When we asked how her crops are doing, Wichjak, one of our female farmers told us with a big smile, "I grow the okra, then I can sell it in the market. Then with this cash, I buy my children clothes."
Of the 126 farmers in our program 26 are women. Though it’s common for females to be charged with maintaining gardens in Nuer culture, it’s very uncommon for a woman to claim ownership over a farm. Often, the farm would belong to a man, and then his wife and mother would tend to it. We are thrilled to support the growing number of females that are independently starting and maintaining plots of their own.
We are confident that though famine is a true threat in South Sudan, fewer will go hungry in our small corner of the country. But there is still more work to do.
Small farm outside of Old Fangak
Jal shows off one of his watermelons