Cairo/Khartoum: To save livelihoods and lives and ensure food access and production in violence-hit Sudan, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has kicked off its emergency seeds distribution campaign to reach farmers in the country.
This comes as a response to the urgency of the ongoing main crop production season (June – October 2023) in the country. It is expected to ensure the necessary resources to meet the food production needs of the farmers.
“The need for swift agricultural support in the Sudan is paramount. While much work lies ahead, we are fully committed to leveraging this crucial planting season’s window of opportunity and our efforts on the ground continue daily,” stated Hongjie Yang, FAO Representative in Sudan.
“Our goal is to navigate the complex security and logistical challenges to continue to reach farmers in the country with this time-sensitive assistance,” Yang added.
The Organization’s emergency seed distribution will allow vulnerable farmers to plant and produce enough food (up to 3 million tonnes of cereals) between November–December 2023 to cover the cereal requirements of around 13-19 million people.
To date, FAO has delivered 3.3 tonnes of seeds to 8 states of Sudan – Blue Nile, Gedarif, Kassala, Sennar, White Nile, Red Sea, South Kordofan, and North Kordofan, and started the distribution to farmers.
With the support of USAID’s Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance, Norway, Germany, the Netherlands, and the Central Emergency Response Fund, FAO said it plans to reach and assist over one million vulnerable farmers and their families (5 million people) with 10 000 tonnes of sorghum, millet, groundnut and sesame seeds for planting across 17 states of Sudan.
To date, FAO has raised nearly $20 million against the total of $95.4 million to reach 15 million people with multiple life-saving interventions including providing farmers with seeds and farming equipment and protecting and restocking pastoralists’ livestock herds.
Expressing its commitment to continue the delivery and distribution of these urgent seeds amidst the security and logistics challenges, FAO said it remains steadfast in its mission to save livelihoods and lives and ensure food access and production in Sudan.
By bolstering local food production and safeguarding agrifood systems, the Organization said it aims to alleviate acute food insecurity, reduce human suffering and curb the likely expanding humanitarian burden in the coming months.
– global bihari bureau