SOUTH SUDANThe African Development Bank Group has approved a US$8.1 million grant to South Sudan to fund its Emergency Food Production Programme.

The grant constitutes additional financing to the ongoing Agricultural Markets, Value Addition and Trade Development Project (AMVAT) which seeks to reduce food insecurity and poverty, bolster economic growth and social cohesion, and also build community and household resilience.

Climate hazards and the impact of the war in Ukraine have exacerbated the food crisis threat that has long loomed over South Sudan, which has not been food self-sufficient since 2009.

More than 70% of the population, received humanitarian aid in 2022, which according to the World Food Programme, is 600,000 more people than in 2021.

This Emergency Food Production Programme will target an additional 600,000 of the most vulnerable groups in five states where recent severe flooding has affected hundreds of thousands of households and resulted in heavy crop and livestock losses.

The project will boost agricultural production and productivity in these states using improved seeds, fertilizer, and extension services for farmers and to strengthen the institutional capacity of the agricultural sector.

Specifically, 498 million tonnes of sorghum seeds, the same amount of cowpea seeds, and 10 million tonnes of rice seeds will be distributed to farmers, who will also receive 30 million tonnes of fertilizer, as well as training on good agronomic practices.

Once completed, the project will result in higher incomes, and, improved quality of life for farmers and will also help promote climate-smart agriculture and enhance the country’s food security.

Nnenna Nwabufo, the Bank’s Director General for East Africa, said, “it is a continuation of the of the performing AMVAT project, but with a focus on the emergency food crisis and disruption of supply of critical inputs for food production in South Sudan”.

To ensure continuity, implementation of the Emergency Food Production Programme has been entrusted to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, which is already implementing the AMVAT Project.

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