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Sudan: IFAD to help smallholder farmers increase food security and manage natural resources

With more than 80 per cent of the Sudanese labour force engaged in agriculture, a new US$85.7mn programme that aims to increase food security and ensure access to natural resources is a vital investment in Sudan’s future

The project will benefit about 720,000 smallholders, pastoralists and agropastoralists in nine states, across three regions, according to the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).

The new programme will help smallholder farmers manage natural resources to better farm their lands and improve their incomes. It will help agropastoralists to gain access to better feed and animal health services and enable pastoralists to diversify their livelihoods through small enterprises.

“This new programme will not duplicate our past investments in Sudan but will capitalise on them to consolidate social infrastructures and strengthen natural resources management, and thereby amplify the benefits and sustainability of the previous projects,” said Tarek Ahmed, IFAD country director for Sudan.

The financing agreement for the Sustainable Natural Resources and Livelihoods Programme (SNRLP) was signed by Cornelia Richter, vice-president of IFAD, and Abdelwahab Mohamed Elhijazi, ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary of the Republic of the Sudan.

Project financing includes US$49.8mn grant and US$12.4mn loan from IFAD. The project will be co-financed by the Global Environment Facility Least Developed Countries Fund grant (US$1.9mn); the Government of Sudan (US$412.9mn); the private sector (US$3.6mn) and the beneficiaries themselves (US$44.8mn).

SNRLP will be implemented in Butana in the east, Sennar in the south-east and Kordofan in the west. It will target poor smallholder farmers and give special attention to youth (30 per cent of participants) and women (50 per cent).

The programme will introduce gas stoves to replace dependency on firewood, which will benefit women. Training in better nutrition practices and promotion of rural youth involvement in crop, fodder and forestry development activities are also planned.