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FAO and JICA sign new Sudan deal

By Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)
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KHARTOUM, Sudan, May 9, 2012/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations has signed a $USD 1.45 million agreement with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) to implement a quick-impact agriculture and livelihoods project in South Kordofan and Blue Nile, Sudan.

The most vulnerable people affected by fighting in both states will be supported to produce their own food in order to strengthen food security and reduce dependence on food aid.

Almost 240,000 Internally Displaced Persons, returnees, and other vulnerable people will be assisted.

The project will begin this month, to allow time to cultivate land before the rainy season starts. It will be implemented in calm areas that are not under fighting.

Support will be provided for more than 25,000 households in South Kordofan and 12,000 households in Blue Nile to grow food including sorghum, maize, sesame, okra, cowpeas, beans, pumpkin, tomatoes and watermelon.

The participants will also be encouraged through short training sessions to adopt more productive, sustainable farming practices.

More than 2,000 mostly woman-headed households will be provided with training and basic equipment to engage in income-generating activities such as fish drying and milk processing including cheese-making.

In order to reach the most needy people even in remote areas, FAO will closely collaborate with national implementing partners and provide them with technical and organizational guidance and support.

JICA's Chief Representative in Sudan Mr. Mori Hiroyuki and FAO's Representative in Sudan Mr. Mai Moussa Abari signed the agreement at JICA's office in Khartoum.

“I'm pleased that this project is going ahead. It is vital to get assistance to the most vulnerable people now, before the rainy season starts, otherwise it will be too late to cultivate the land and roads will become impassable,” Mr. Abari said.