Norway, FAO sign USD15 million agreement to support Sudanese smallholders’ farmers and agro-pastoralists value chain in the face of climate change
15 December 2022
Addressing the root causes of agriculture under performance for a sustainable agro-food systems transformation
On Thursday, 8 December 2022, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization and the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Sudan signed a four-year project agreement: ‘’FAO Sudan smallholders and agro-pastoralists value chain support in the face of climate change’’ worth of USD15 million to support 20 000 Sudanese smallholders’ farmers and agro-pastoralists value chain in the face of climate change.
Sudan is among the ten Sahelian countries in Africa with a tropical semi-arid climate. The agricultural sector contributes about 35 to 40% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and employs over 80% of the population, of which majority are smallholder farmers, agro-pastoralist, and pastoralist. The country’s agricultural livelihoods are heavily dependent on soil, water, and vegetation resources, making food and nutrition security highly sensitive and vulnerable to weather extremes and consequences of climate change and variability.
Other challenges facing Sudanese agriculture sector are the very low use of high-quality seeds and improved animal breeds among the rural farmers and pastoralists, thus affecting the overall agricultural productivity as well as access to markets and improved value chains.
With little resilience to climatic changes, economic and social shocks, smallholder farmers, and pastoralist have become extremely vulnerable to food and nutritional insecurity. The integrity of Sudan’s natural ecosystem and provision of ecosystem services are crucial to sustainable and resilient development in the face of changing climate. To address the challenges, the project will apply sustainable integrated watershed ecosystem management approaches as a unique opportunity to integrate climate change adaptation/ resilience and mitigation strategies to make agriculture crops, livestock, and fishery more productive for the benefit of 20000 smallholders’ farmers, pastoralists, youth, and women groups in White Nile, Gedaref and Sennar states.
The project is organized around four mutually interdependent results or intervention areas, to address (1) Watershed ecosystem adaptive and mitigation capacities enhanced, (2) Climate-resilient agriculture value chain development of key agriculture commodities, access to market and linkages with the private sector are strengthened, (3) Better access to improved and high quality seeds and enhanced scope to community seed production and (4) Knowledge and institutional capacities of federal government and decentralized state levels to support smallholder farmers and pastoralists to respond to climate change challenges.
The project duration is 4 years from December 2022 to November 2026, starting with a six-month Inception Phase wherein FAO and in consultation with key stakeholders, will further elaborate the project implementation strategy in all key areas of results, activities, geographical locations, selection of beneficiaries and other implementation arrangements.
‘’This is a complex and multi-dimensional project, which benefits from USD15 million generous funding from the Embassy of Norway in Sudan to address the root causes of agriculture under performance for a sustainable agro-food systems transformation contributing to the achievement of the SDG 2: “Zero Hunger Goal of leave no one behand in Sudan’’, says Babagana Ahmadu, FAO Representative in Sudan.