Rome, 24 February 2012 – The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) will provide a US$10.07 million grant to the Republic of the Sudan to help improve food security and incomes of smallholder producers, particularly young people and women.
The grant agreement for the Seed Development Project was signed today by Gafar Ahmed Abdalla Omer, State Minister for Agriculture and Irrigation of the Republic of the Sudan, and Kanayo F. Nwanze, President of IFAD.
Agriculture in the Sudan remains the most important sector, employing 80 per cent of the active population and contributing 39 per cent to the country’s gross domestic product.
Most farms in the country are rainfed and susceptible to drought. Ninety per cent of the land area is arid and the development of drought-resilient production systems and livelihoods is a pressing need. The new project will help smallholder producers to increase crop productivity through the use of certified seeds and improved soil and water conservation techniques.
It will improve food security, incomes and resilience to environmental shocks among the smallholder producers in the rainfed areas. In addition, the project will promote the public-private partnership for the supply and production of seeds.
Cofinanced by the government of the Sudan, the project will be implemented by the Ministry of Agriculture in Rahad and Sheikan in North Kordofan, and Abbassiya and Abu Gubeiha in South Kordofan. More than 108,000 smallholder farmers, including young people and women are expected to benefit along with1,280 seed growers.
Young dynamic farmers will be given priority. The new grant support is aligned with IFAD’s strategy to work with fragile and post-conflict countries to build resilience.
Press release No.: IFAD/19/2012
The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) works with poor rural people to enable them to grow and sell more food, increase their incomes and determine the direction of their own lives. Since 1978, IFAD has invested about US$13.7 billion in grants and low-interest loans to developing countries through projects empowering about 405 million people to break out of poverty, thereby helping to create vibrant rural communities. IFAD is an international financial institution and a specialized UN agency based in Rome – the United Nation’s food and agricultural hub. It is a unique partnership of 167 members from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), other developing countries and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).