FAO in South Sudan

The success story of the smart Arek Apiir vegetable growers in Bor.

Yar Ajong of Arek Apiir takes donors around the vegetable garden

Twenty-three women, seven men, a 1. 7-hectare piece of land and a strong desire to escape poverty. This is what makes up the successful and life changing Arek Apirr Vegetables Project in Bor, Jonglei State in South Sudan.

It is a small-scale project established in 2006.The food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations(FAO) noticed their potential in 2022 and began supporting them under the Resilience Agricultural Livelihoods Programme (RALP).

The members produce a variety of vegetables, including tomatoes, beans, okra, onions, kale and amaranth for sale.

This project demonstrates the good results of organized vegetable farming. Their exciting story also shows how the World Bank’s support partnered with the tireless work of the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security (MAFS),FAO staff and local implementing partners, is making a difference in people’s lives.

Beneficiaries testified on how the project has uplifted them from poverty making them more food secure.

The head of the group Yar Ajong said: “When we started, we used traditional farming methods, but that changed when FAO trained us on using modern methods. We are now realizing better incomes since we adopted correct crop management practices.”

She thanked FAO and its donor partners who also supported the group with a solar pump, a variety of seeds, gumboots, wheelbarrows, racks, watering canes and hoes.

A visibly excited Yar added that she could now afford to send her children to school, buy medication for herself and enough food for her family.

“My life has really changed for the better, thanks to the income I am realizing from selling my produce.,” she said.

Yar confessed that if it had not been for the project, she could still be in poverty, unable to feed her family or send children to school. She thanked the Lord for the help.

Another female project beneficiary, Ayen Maluk concurred saying: " My life is now much better. l always have some spare cash to take care of my basic needs such as buying food and clothing and sending my children to school. Without the support from FAO and partners, life would be miserable for us."

The group also received training on record keeping and documentation, which has enabled them to keep track of their progress. According to their records, they have earned a cumulative net income of between US$18 000 to US$22 000 in a space of six months.

The Arek Apiir Project is a true success story highlighting how with the right agronomic practices and input support, the livelihoods of people in communities can be significantly transformed.

Despite losing everything in 2019 due to floods that hit Jonglei State, through sheer determination and support under RALP, the group is now back in full production.

The Arek Apiir vegetables project is one of the three projects that were visited by a team of donors to the World Bank recently. The visitors saw for themselves the green and healthy varieties of crops ready for the market.

For more information, contact:

Chakanyuka Bosha,

Communications Specialist,

FAO South Sudan,

Email - [email protected],

Tel: +211 922 002 251