Hunger and malnutrition ravage South Sudan. Famines strike often, causing preventable deaths and exacerbating other common illnesses. When ASMP began working in Old Fangak, the scourge of hunger became immediately apparent. Children, the elderly and the sick were the most vulnerable, and lives were being lost. We decided we needed to help, and when a prospective farmer asked ASMP for help to start a garden, we saw a solution at hand.
People are dying from a lack of food.
Recent conflict has only made the situation worse. The United Nations now estimates that over 7 million people in the country are at risk of food insecurity in 2014 (report).
Yet there is immense potential for agriculture.
The fertile banks of the Nile River and the sunny climate make for ideal farming conditions. Although South Sudan is ranked among the world’s poorest countries, it has huge agricultural potential. More than 90% of the land is suitable for farming. However, three decades of civil war displaced millions of people and stopped farming in its tracks. With the appropriate seeds, equipment and training, a resurgence in agriculture is not only possible... it is the only hope that future generations will have food on the table.
Farm aid, not food aid.
We do not provide direct food aid. But by providing the tools so that families can grow their own food, the people in South Sudan can escape the cycle of starvation. ASMP's agriculture program provides seeds, micro-loans for water pumps and farming equipment, and agricultural support. Not only can they families their children, they can develop livelihoods to last a lifetime.
Since the program began in 2009, it has grown from one pilot farmer to 40+ families. Many more are waiting in line and asking for our help. For the first time in 2013, five women farmers joined the program.
Farmers need basic supplies and training to get started.
Basic tools and agricultural training gives villagers a means to feed their families and sell their surplus crops to others- a truly sustainable approach. Food security AND health can exponentially increase.
How it works.
A locally-led ASMP Farmer Council recruits new farmers to the program and provides guidance. New farmers receive seeds, hoes, spades and other basic tools. Once they prove their commitment, farmers are eligible for micro-loans for water pumps, roto-tillers and canoes.
The farmers grow crops, sell surplus produce, and pay back their loans, which are invested into the next farmer.
A sustainable cycle.
Farmers are gaining skills they teach their children, ensuring future generations can break the cycle of hunger and starvation.
One farmer we helped recently told ASMP: "This is the way life should be."
Another farmer told us: "Now that I can farm, I will fight in war no more."
Agriculture creates new prospects for peace and development.
The impact of your donation.
You can help end famine in the region by helping families start farms. Most farmers still lack access to basic pumps, tools, seeds and training needed to adequately grow crops. You can help sponsor a farming family today… and have a true impact on hunger and malnutrition for a lifetime.
and make a lifelong impact.
Sponsor a family to start a farm: $1,500
Water pump: $500
Farming tools: $50
Locally-led agriculture programs can change lives... from the ground up.
The village Farming Council recruits farmers, provides guidance, and distributes seeds & tools. They are the bosses- ASMP just gives them the tools to succeed. This locally-led "ground-up" approach encourages ownership, leadership and true sustainability.
ASMP is always looking for Agriculture Volunteers. To learn more about these opportunities, click here.