Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Small farmers in Sudan will receive improved seed varieties

IFAD Press Release
US$10.07 million grant from IFAD to boost food security

Rome, 24 February 2012 – The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) will provide a US$10.07 million grant to the Republic of the Sudan to help improve food security and incomes of smallholder producers, particularly young people and women.

The grant agreement for the Seed Development Project was signed today by Gafar Ahmed Abdalla Omer, State Minister for Agriculture and Irrigation of the Republic of the Sudan, and Kanayo F. Nwanze, President of IFAD.

Agriculture in the Sudan remains the most important sector, employing 80 per cent of the active population and contributing 39 per cent to the country’s gross domestic product.

Most farms in the country are rainfed and susceptible to drought. Ninety per cent of the land area is arid and the development of drought-resilient production systems and livelihoods is a pressing need. The new project will help smallholder producers to increase crop productivity through the use of certified seeds and improved soil and water conservation techniques.

It will improve food security, incomes and resilience to environmental shocks among the smallholder producers in the rainfed areas. In addition, the project will promote the public-private partnership for the supply and production of seeds.

Cofinanced by the government of the Sudan, the project will be implemented by the Ministry of Agriculture in Rahad and Sheikan in North Kordofan, and Abbassiya and Abu Gubeiha in South Kordofan. More than 108,000 smallholder farmers, including young people and women are expected to benefit along with1,280 seed growers.

Young dynamic farmers will be given priority. The new grant support is aligned with IFAD’s strategy to work with fragile and post-conflict countries to build resilience.

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