South Sudan

Yei farmers optimize reap with new machines

Farmers in on the world’s most food insecure countries received processing machines from Norwegian People’s Aid (NPA) in order to get the most out of their produce. More than 60% of the food sold in the local market is now locally produced.

Kojoba Farmer’s Producer group located in South Sudan’s Yei River County is looking forward to continue adding value to their food produce through the processing machines.

South Sudan is one of the most food insecure countries in the world. The UN estimate that 6.1 million are in need of assistance, most of them because of access to food.

Kojoba Farmer’s Producer group received a grinding mill and cassava processing machine from NPA in June 2015 to enable them process grain and fresh cassava-for-flour before selling the items in the market.

The machines add value to the famers’ farm produce by having it processed soon after harvest. This means minimal loss of produce due to poor storage, rodents and termites.

The project is aimed at strengthening the competence and organization of small-scale farmer producer groups to produce enough food to meet the local market demand, according to NPA’s project officer, Mr. Guya Emmanuel.

The Kojoba is one of the eight small-scale farmer’s producer group’s receiving supports from the NPA-KAVLI project, aimed at increasing agriculture production through revolving grants, as well as extension services and trainings.

“We formed this group to increase food production in order to meet local market demand as much of the food in the market at that time came from Uganda,” said Mr. Clement Sebit, the chairperson of the group.

Kojoba cultivated 39 feddans this year in their farm at Minyori location outside the town.

“We cultivate mainly sorghum, maize, groundnuts and cassava which have readily available market,” he said.

Mr. Sebit said the group received over 35.000 South Sudanese Pounds (SSP) as a revolving grant from NPA between 2013 and 2014.

Progress towards meeting market demand through locally produced food is attested by the current plenty of food in the main market in Yei town.

“Over 60% of the food sold in the market these days is locally produced,” echoed Mr. Edimond Gogo, the Assistant Commissioner of Agriculture, Yei County.

Mr. Gogo encouraged farmers to be persistent and work jointly in groups in order to increase food production and expand on their acreage.

The KAVLI kicked off in Yei River County in 2013. The project has so far distributed grinding mills and cassava processing machine’s each to six groups in Lasu, Tore, Mugwo, Minyori, Logo and Tore locations.

“The machines are intended to reduce the burden farmer’s face in travelling long distances to grind grain and process cassava, as well as generate income for the group members,” Mr. Guya said, adding that group members, bank the money earned from machines through grinding services rendered to other members of the community.

“Profits earned from grinding services are banked in the group’s account. Members use it for maintenance of the machines and for other group activities,” he noted.

Mr. Guya added that the project has conducted extension services as well as trainings on record keeping, group dynamics and agronomic practices.

06.01.2016 | Tamama Norbert Mansfield