Integrated Food Security in Kassala State – Project Update
The Integrated Food Security Project (IFSP) in Sudan has achieved several recent milestones in its first four months of implementation. The USD 10 million project is funded by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) and implemented by FAO and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) in collaboration with Kassala’s Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Irrigation and Livestock.
It aims to achieve sustainable food security by improving communities’ agricultural productivity, their linkages to markets and their practical livelihood skills for increased income. The project has six main areas of activity: irrigated horticulture, fisheries, sunflowers as a cash crop, water-harvesting for sorghum production and improvement of livestock routes.
Recent achievements include the Horticulture Cluster’s establishment of eight irrigated gardening blocks on the banks of the River Atbara. They are being used to train poor farmers and young people in horticulture, vocational skills, marketing and procurement of essential equipment. Five women’s development centres are also being established which will provide a place to train women in income-generating activities such as kitchen gardening. Fifteen Farmer-Trainers from Kassala’s larger private farms have also been deployed to the target villages in order to provide village-based farmer-to-farmer extension education.
In the Fisheries Cluster a participatory fisheries value chain analysis has been conducted and representatives of the fishing villages and the Fisheries Administration were taken on an exposure visit to other fishing communities in the Khartoum, Blue Nile and White Nile states, and to boat factories and fishing gear suppliers. A similar exposure visit was held for prospective sunflower farmers from the Gash Scheme who were taken to three oil milling companies in Medani and to the Agricultural Research Corporation to talk to researchers on the opportunities and challenges in the production of sunflowers, soybeans and safflower.