DOWNLOAD APP: Download JUBAECHO mobile app now available on play store & coming soon to app store.

University of Juba collaborates with East-West Seed Knowledge Transfer to combat food insecurity

Vegetable production has long been identified as the key to resolving the food insecurity crisis afflicting South Sudan, where  1.4 million children are reported to be malnourished.

The long-standing question, however, has been how to ensure that this happens in South Sudan as well.
The good news is that, since 2021, the University of Juba, in collaboration with East-West Seed Knowledge Transfer, Wageningen University and Research, and Wageningen Centre for Development Innovation, has facilitated high-level vegetable production and marketing training for South Sudanese sector professionals through two projects (NUFFIC TMT Horticulture Project and NUFFIC ICP Horticulture for Income Generation Intervention).

The training aims to build the capacity of agricultural sector professionals in vegetable production to bring resilience to local farming communities through continued farmer training in production and consumption, a desperately needed intervention in South Sudan right now. East-West Seed Knowledge Transfer (EWS-KT) and the University of Juba College of Natural Resources have since taken the lead in technical capacity building for the aforementioned stakeholders. A vegetable training center has also been established at the University of Juba farm, using a hands-on technical training approach.

Under this, various types of vegetables were planted and managed, to expose trainees and university students to resilient vegetable production and management practices.

As part of the awareness around the project’s interventions among different vegetable value chain actors, a grand Farmers’ Field Day event was held at the University of Juba earlier this month, to create a platform to open opportunities for relevant stakeholders in the country, namely, primarily farmers, bulk vegetable produce buyers, agro-input dealers, and government technical departments.

During the event, Prof. Mayom Kueirot, Deputy Vice Chancellor of the University of Juba, encouraged the partners in attendance to emulate what East-West Seed Knowledge Transfer has challenged them with if South Sudan is to address the current food insecurity crisis.  “The results of this small field are a big challenge to all of us. If we have land and water, why can’t we produce these vegetables for our consumption and income?” remarked the academician.

At the same event, David Baguma, the project coordinator at EWS-KT, emphasized the core objectives of EWS-KT interventions, which aim at increasing smallholder farmers’ vegetable farm gate profit, positioning vegetable production as an appealing and viable livelihood, and developing a vibrant vegetable sector through active stakeholder engagements.

In his closing remarks, David encouraged collaboration with other like-minded development partners. “The main reason for organizing this Farmers Field Day is to call for partnerships and collaborations with you, relevant stakeholders, so you can find ways of taking such interventions outside the University premises to the farmers. Such collaborations may also involve capacity building for your technical staff who work with farmers in the community,” he added.

The project interventions aim to continue building the technical capacity of agricultural extension staff through collaborations with like-minded partners, primarily non-governmental organizations (NGOs), local governments, and other agricultural institutions in the country.  More resources, however, have been identified as necessary to extend the interventions to multiple farming communities.

This latest effort, without doubt, is certainly not a one-size-fits-all solution to the region’s food security woes, yet it stands a great chance to create a ripple effect toward resolving the persistent questions being asked about the subject in this region.

Facebook Comments Box