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Conflict-affected populations in South Sudan farm together
In Rumbek, Lakes State, FAO South Sudan reached over 600 households with emergency livelihood crop kits between June and July 2014. This includes over 7 metric tons of sorghum, maize, sesame and cowpea seeds. Lakes State is part of the Greater Bahr el Ghazal region in South Sudan where food production this year is vital as harvest surpluses could feed people in the three affected states where food security has been deteriorate in recent months due to ongoing conflict. Nyankot boma, located outside of Rumbek, is home to over 150 people displaced by the crisis who recently returned to the country after years as refugees.
Alek Marial is a farmer and mother to seven. She began cultivating FAO seeds the same day she received them.
“Life is based on cultivation,” she says, “I’m helping others in my village grow crops to feed their families. It also provides an income for other goods such as medicines and health treatments.”
William Mukuoi is also a beneficiary in Nyankot boma who received FAO seeds for the first time. He said that prior to FAO’s emergency distribution, “there was nowhere to get seeds.” Makuoi stated that he began cultivating the seeds immediately and that they are “growing well.”
Mangar said he was grateful for FAO’s emergency distribution, “When you cultivate, your life becomes your crop. You don’t have to depend on others and ask for food.” FAO’s emergency distributions are currently ongoing in Lakes State and throughout the country. In addition to crop, vegetable and fishing kits reaching farmers, emergency livestock vaccinations are also underway and over 20 000 heads of livestock were vaccinated between June and July 2014 in Lakes state alone.The energetic group of beneficiaries in Nyankot boma are working together to grow crops on a piece of land loaned to them by the Government. Mangar Bol already has a garden growing from FAO’s emergency seed distribution and will depend on its harvest to feed his family of eight.