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FAO Supports One Million Farming Families in Sudan

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) said it had distributed nearly 10,000 tonnes of seeds to one million farming households – or 5 million people – in time for the important planting season from June to September 2023.

According to a new FAO overview of its response, this vital seed support has enabled farmers to produce enough food to meet the cereal needs of 13-19 million people, following the outbreak of conflict in Sudan in April 2023, which led to nearly half of the population falling into a humanitarian crisis.

FAO said that the total area planted for all crops – according to an upcoming assessment for the summer season – is 15 percent below the annual average during the summer season.

In addition to the conflict, farmers cited growing other challenges, including rising prices for agricultural inputs including seeds and tools, and severe shortages of inputs, funding and extension services, FAO said.

Urgent need for funding

FAO Representative in Sudan, Hongjiang said FAO’s support to Sudanese rural communities had been enormous, but the needs were still increasing.

He stressed the need for continued agricultural support, and that “there is an urgent need for funding to align resources with needs.”

“This is an urgent reminder of the need to continue to act now, and to show the people of Sudan that they have not and will not forget.”

FAO’s response is the result of a surge in food security needs, with an estimated more than 20 million people facing crisis levels of acute food insecurity.

Further complicating this picture, she said, is the expected rise in animal disease outbreaks due to a lack of veterinary services and vaccines.

This could lead to significant losses of livestock, which could lead to lower consumption of meat and milk, leading to higher rates of malnutrition among children, she added.

FAO is expected to reach 700,000 households with a variety of vegetable seeds for the winter season.

It also plans to support about two million farming and pastoral families between November and December 2023.

FAO urgently needs US$75.4 million, equivalent to about 80 per cent of the funding required under the revised Humanitarian Response Plan for Sudan from May to December 2023.

Source: FAO