FAO in South Sudan

Crop and Food Security Assessment Mission findings show encouraging increase in cereal production

Announcing CFSAM findings during a press conference in Juba on 6 March, 2023.

(Juba) – The findings of the 2022 Crop and Food Security Assessment Mission (CFSAM), prepared by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security and the National Bureau of Statistics, were released today indicating a net cereal production increase.

An analysis conducted by FAO and the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security estimated net cereal production at 936 200 tonnes in 2022, an 11.5 per cent increase in production when compared to the year before. The cereal deficit is estimated at 485 400 tonnes, 10.2 percent below the deficit estimated for 2022, and two percent below the 2018-2022 average. The estimated harvested area in 2022 was 1 078 900 hectares, 8.4 percent above the 2021 level and 15.8 percent above the average of the previous five years.

The increased production is attributed to security improvements in some areas which allowed displaced households to return their place of origin and engage in agricultural production, and favorable rains over most cropping areas.

“Despite continued challenges, the 2022 Crop and Food Security Assessment Mission findings are encouraging because they show that South Sudan is headed in the right direction when it comes to food production. In order to increase food security in the country, South Sudanese need to be able to grow their own food,” said Meshack Malo, FAO Representative in South Sudan.

“FAO supports farmers with seeds, tools, technical training and market development, as well as providing assistance to develop the seed sector which brings agriculture in the country one step closer to self-sufficiency,” noted Malo.

The increased production occurred despite several challenges faced by farmers including the presence of pests, wildlife, and climate shocks. However, flooding, insecurity, high food and fuel prices, a depreciation of the South Sudanese Pound, reduced humanitarian resources, and weak market integration all contributed to persistent food insecurity in many areas and posed challenges to food production. Around 130 000 hectares of cultivated land was damaged by floods, resulting in an estimated loss of 65 000 tonnes of cereals.

“Increased food production is welcome news and as we move forward it’s critical that producers have the tools and support they need to be resilient in the face of a multitude of shocks,” said Mary-Ellen McGroarty, WFP Representative in South Sudan.

“WFP is working with farmers to adapt to these shocks, for example in some areas that are prone to flooding we have worked with FAO to assist families to begin growing rice which thrives in waterlogged environments. Programmes that improve resilience to shocks such as climate events and conflict are critical if farmers are to continue to increase their annual production and become food secure.”


The annual CFSAM analysis workshop reviewed the findings of several crop assessment missions conducted between June and November 2022 in different agro-ecological zones of the country.

The FAO and MAFS assessment teams completed a total of 2 190 case studies at both planting and harvest, out of which 2 072 were farmers and 118 key informant interviews with senior staff of State Ministries of Agriculture (SMoA), county officials and NGOs based in the field. In parallel, 5 093 interviews were conducted using tablets, coupled with collection of farm geo-references using remote sensing tools as well as 10 focus group discussions were carried out. 

Information regarding household-level food security came from WFP and FAO’s annual Food Security and Nutrition and Monitoring Survey, covered 8,994 households, using a two-stage, stratified cluster sampling approach providing representative results at the county level. 

# # #

The United Nations World Food Programme is the world’s largest humanitarian organization, saving lives in emergencies and using food assistance to build a pathway to peace, stability and prosperity for people recovering from conflict, disasters and the impact of climate change.

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations that leads international efforts to defeat hunger. Our goal is to achieve food security for all and make sure that people have regular access to enough high-quality food to lead active, healthy lives.

Follow us on Twitter @wfp_SouthSudan, @FAOSouthSudan

For more information please contact:

WFP - Gemma Snowdon, [email protected], +211 92 543 0085
FAO – Tanya Birkbeck, [email protected] +211 92 049 0149