July 2003, Rome -- For the first time, FAO has
successfully delivered a substantial amount of seeds and tools
by road to previously inaccessible rebel held areas in the Nuba
Mountains in southern Sudan, according to a statement released
The region is controlled by the
rebel Sudan People's Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A). The
Nuba Mountains are located in South Kordofan and part of Western
Kordofan States. The area has been a conflict zone between the
government of Sudan and the SPLM/A since 1985.
As a result of the war, many of the Nuba Mountains
people were forced off the plains and are living under very
insecure and precarious conditions, cultivating limited
agricultural land on steep slopes and flat land on the top of
and in between the hills.
The delivery of
urgently needed agricultural aid became possible after a
ceasefire agreement between the Sudanese government and the
SPLM/A in January 2002.
Agricultural aid will improve food
FAO distributed around
130 tonnes of sorghum, maize, sesame, cowpea, groundnut and
vegetable seeds to different parts of the Nuba Mountains
controlled by the SPLM/A. Farmers also received some 13 400
agricultural tools (hoes, axes, machetes and sickles). More than
10 500 households benefited from this assistance. The project
supports the resettlement of returnees and the early
rehabilitation of agriculture.
supported local blacksmiths with tool kits and metal sheets to
produce hand tools for returning people and farmers who want to
FAO has also
distributed 154 tonnes of local crop seeds and more than 16 000
hand tools to displaced people and returnees in areas controlled
by the government of Sudan. This relief aid will improve the
food situation of an estimated 12 500 farm families.
Non-governmental organizations distributed the relief aid to
people in need.
In total, the delivery of
seeds and tools is expected to result in the production of 8 200
tonnes of food in 2003 and to improve livelihoods and food
A contribution to
"It is a real
breakthrough that FAO succeeded in delivering seeds and tools by
road to people who have been living under insecure and extreme
conditions in the Nuba Mountains," said Anne M. Bauer,
Director for FAO's Emergency Operations and Rehabilitation.
"This project will make farmers and their families less
dependent on food aid and could be a contribution to peace and
stability in the region."
project is financed by the governments of Norway, as the main
contributor, the Netherlands and Sweden.
FAO said that around 300 000 households in southern
Sudan are in dire need of seeds and tools, estimated at nearly
$8.6 million, to resume their farming activities in the upcoming
season starting in July 2003. So far, FAO has received funds of
about $1.7 million.
Information Officer, FAO
(+39) 06 570