Rallying For Zero Hunger In South Sudan
To mark the World Food Day in South Sudan, Action Africa Help International (AAH-I) hosted an agricultural show at the Nyakuron cultural centre in Juba. The show took place on 16 October 2018 and gathered NGOs and government officials including the Minister for Agriculture and Food Security Hon. Odigo Onyoti Nyikwec. People living as refugees in Gorom refugee camp and the host community participated in the event. Farmers were present to display their seasonal harvest.
28-year-old Ariet Ochalla and 48-year-old Lilian Zeinub are some of the farmers who were at the show. For them farming has helped them achieve financial security and obtain a healthy diet.
“I fled Ethiopia with my husband and 3 children in 2011 due to political tensions. Things didn’t get any easier as my husband and I struggled to provide for our upkeep. We didn’t have money for food, medical expenses or our children’s school fees,” says Ariet. “Thankfully, our lives changed for the better with the training on improved agronomic practices that was provided by AAH-I. I learnt about crop varieties, how to increase crop production and agricultural waste management. I am very grateful for the knowledge on land irrigation and soil improvement that I acquired. My farm can now be productive all year round compared to previous occasions when environmental hazards hindered a good harvest. I earned an income of USD $200 in July which helped me support my family.”
Like Ariet, Lillian received assorted seeds and farming tools in addition to the training on improved agronomic practices. This has helped her support her husband and 7 children.
A total of 300 farmers have benefitted from training on improved agronomic practices and agricultural inputs under AAH South Sudan’s Livelihoods and Environmental Management projects implemented with funding support from UNHCR. The training took place between March and July 2018. The goal is to enhance food security while adhering to sound environmental practices.
In 2017, famine was declared in two South Sudan counties with hunger and malnutrition reaching historic levels. Due to the country’s civil war, destroyed food security and destroyed livelihoods are among the many challenges faced by the population.
During the agricultural show the Minister for Agriculture and Food Security comemnded AAH-I for its work and reiterated the government’s commitment to address food insecurity.
“We are working on making available more farming land for refugees and their host communities. I wish to thank AAH-I on behalf of the government of South Sudan, and I am positive that we will achieve a Zero Hunger South Sudan by 2030,” said Hon. Odigo Onyoti Nyikwec.