African Development Bank grants $8.1 million to support food production

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The grant is additional funding to the ongoing Agricultural Markets, Value Addition and Trade Development (AMVAT) project

The board of directors of the African Development Bank Group approved an $8.1 million grant to South Sudan to fund its emergency food production program.

Awarded by the Transition Support Facility , the grant is additional funding for the ongoing Agricultural Markets, Value Addition and Trade (AMVAT) Development Project. AMVAT seeks to contribute to the reduction of food insecurity, poverty reduction, economic growth, and the strengthening of community and household resilience and social cohesion.

Exacerbated by climatic hazards, the threat of a food crisis has long hung over South Sudan, which has not been self-sufficient in food since 2009 Some 8.9 million people, or more than 70% of the population, including 4 .6 million children received humanitarian aid in 2022. This is 600,000 more people than in 2021, according to the World Food Programme. But the threat of a food crisis has never been greater, due to the impact of the war in Ukraine.

This emergency food production program targets an additional 600,000 people among the most vulnerable groups in five states where recent severe flooding has affected hundreds of thousands of households and led to heavy crop and livestock losses: Northern Bahr el Ghazal, Upper Nile, Western Bahr el Ghazal, Eastern Equatoria and Western Equatoria. Those who have received food aid in recent years – half of them women – will be given priority.

Nnenna Nwabufo, the Bank’s Managing Director for East Africa, said, “This is a continuation of the successful AMVAT project, but with a focus on emergency food crisis and food disruption. supply of essential inputs for food production in South Sudan »

The project will boost agricultural production and productivity in these five states through the use of improved seeds, fertilizers and extension services for farmers and will strengthen the institutional capacity of the agricultural sector.

Specifically, 498 million tons of sorghum seeds, the same amount of cowpea seeds and 10 million tons of rice seeds will be distributed to farmers, who will also receive 30 million tons of fertilizer.

“To ensure that these measures are effective and sustainable, the project has provided training for thousands of farmers, almost half of whom are women, on good agronomic practices and the correct application of fertilizers,” said Themba Bhebhe, Bank Group Country Manager. Responsible for South Sudan.

Once completed, the project will result in a sustainable increase in the country’s agricultural production and productivity, higher incomes and improved quality of life for farmers. It will also help promote climate-smart agriculture and strengthen the country’s food security.

To ensure continuity, the implementation of the emergency food production program has been entrusted to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, which is already implementing the AMVAT project.

As part of its efforts to help address food insecurity in Africa, which has been aggravated by the war in Ukraine and the global spike in food prices, the African Development Bank Group has launched the $1.5 billion African Emergency Food Production Facility on May 20, 2022 to provide some 20 million smallholder farmers across the continent with high-quality wheat, rice, maize and soybean seeds and fertilizers, as well as a range of technical assistance services. The goal is to produce an additional 38 million tonnes of food – worth $12 billion – in Africa over the next two years.

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