Khartoum, Sudan (PANA) - The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has signed an agreement, worth US$ 1.45 million, with the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) to implement quick-impact agricultural and livelihood projects in South Kordufan and Blue Nile, recently the scenes of clashes and conflicts between Sudan and Southern Sudan-backed rebels.
“The most vulnerable people affected by fighting on both states will be supported to produce their own food in order to strengthen food security and reduce dependence on food aid. Almost 240,000 Internally-Displaced Persons, returnees and other vulnerable people will be assisted.” an FAO press statement said here Tuesday.
It explained that the project would begin this month, to allow time to cultivate land before the rainy season starts. It will be implemented in calm areas that are not affected by the fighting, adding that support will be provided for more than 25,000 households in South Kordufan and 12,000 households in Blue Nile to grow food, including sorghum, maize, sesame, okra, cowpeas, beans, pumpkin, tomatoes and watermelon.
It said the participants would also be encouraged through short training sessions to adopt more productive, sustainable farming practices.
The press release said more than 2,000 mostly woman-headed households would be provided with training and basic equipment to engage in income-generating activities such as fish drying and milk processing, including cheese-making.
In order to reach the most needy people even in remote areas, FAO will closely collaborate with national implementing partners and provide them with technical and organizational guidance and support, it said, quoting JICA’s Chief Representative in Sudan, Mr. Mori Hiroyuki, and FAO’s Representative in Sudan, Mr. Mai Moussa Abari, both of whom signed the agreement at JICA’s office in Khartoum.
“I’m pleased that this project is going ahead. It is vital to get assistance to the most vulnerable people now, before the rainy season starts, otherwise it will be too late to cultivate the land and roads will become impassable,” Mr. Abari added.
-0- PANA MO/VAO 8May2012