After 21 years of civil war between Government of Sudan and the opposition Sudan People Liberation Movement, a comprehensive peace agreement was signed in Nairobi, Kenya on January 2005. This was the beginning of peace and stability.
Women constitute 65% of the population in South Sudan. Estimates by a group of major aid agencies in 1998 suggest the literacy rate among women in parts of southern Sudan could be as low as 10 percent. Apart from deprivations resulting from war and underdevelopment, a drastic reduction in the male population in some areas has placed additional responsibilities on many of the women left behind. These women, who were already largely responsible for keeping the family alive under fraught circumstances, are now shouldering extra burdens in traditional societies that give them a low status, poor access to income-generation activities, few education opportunities, and little or no legal redress.
Southern Sudan has bountiful natural resources and the potential to be a major producer of a wide range of agricultural commodities. Largely untapped livestock, fishery and forestry resources, adequate rainfall, fertile land, and water availability all point to the agricultural potential of southern Sudan. However, development of this sector has been stifled by the long civil war and resulting economic isolation of the region. Constraints to agricultural production and marketing include poor infrastructure, lack of access to capital and low-level agricultural technical efficiency and skills in production, marketing, and business management.
Upon realizing this SWAN in collaboration with VACID Africa has developed an Agri-business programme to help support Agricultural development in South Sudan by capacity building to youth and women farmers on production, processing and value addition.
To promote efficiency in service delivery to communities by infusing knowledge and technology to what has evaded development efforts in South Sudan.
Given the background VACID-AFIRCA proposes an agribusiness development that rides on:
. The development of agricultural production programmes supported though private sector driven extension support.
. The creation of agricultural based entrepreneurs supported through focused SME/Entrepreneurship training
. The development of localized trainers of trainers in development of opportunity along the agricultural value chain.
•There are large tracks of fertile unused land lying in waste
The few with farming skills lack equipments
•Lack of interest in farming
•Poor infrastructure restrain farmers from market linkage
•Lack of finances
•Due to lack of proper farming methods and technical support farmers use wrong methods which leads to minimal harvest and reduction in soil fertility.
•In some cultures women are not allowed to cultivate yet they head majority of households with minimal income to support their families.
· Agricultural sector a leading sector with a third of the country suitable for farming.
· There are five months of rain and availability of water from the River Nile.
· Political stability which now allows development in all sectors.
· Majority of the returnees were farmers before the war and are interested in learning more skills in agriculture as a means of earning a living.
· VACID has proper links to the best seed and equipments traders, researchers and market linkage strategists.
· SWAN and VACID have partners and teams well experienced in the agricultural sector in Kenya and some parts of Sudan.
To obtain the mentioned objective VACID Africa is assist in:
· Capacity building of all persons involved in trainings and mentoring of the farmers.
· Create cottage industries and packaging standardized, processed products of these industries.
· Undertake TOT to help in capacity building of the farmers in the program
· Assist the farmers create their own local organization which they can use to formally link with other development institutions.
· Assist farmers benefiting from Research and Development efforts to create of unique products to offer to Farmer Organizations.
· Linkages to networks of information
SWAN is also assist in:
· Identifying and mobilizing potential trainers to undergo TOT
· Forming groups of farmers that will be involved in the program.
· Mobilizing leaders from the grassroots level to the senior positions in the community to support the initiatives.
· Create awareness of the program to other farmers, local development organizations and institutions that may assist the farmer organizations.
· Identifying Local market links
· Register cooperatives and Saccos formed by the farmers.