The U.S. Agency for International Development has launched a USD55 million agricultural program to help small-scale farmers in southern Sudan increase their production of maize, sorghum and other staple crops.
The Food, Agribusiness and Rural Markets program will focus on select regions in southern Sudan’s “green belt zone,” which USAID said has great agricultural potential that has been stunted because of Sudan’s civil war. It aims to increase trade and agricultural productivity in the region as well as build the capacity of farmers, producers and other stakeholders in Southern Sudan’s agricultural sector. It will provide technical assistance to the region’s agricultural and food ministries.
Shah is in Sudan as part of his first official trip to Africa. In the capital city of Juba, the USAID administrator visited two sites where the agency is helping provide quality health care and clean water to the city’s residents, according to his post on the USAID blog. The first site is a clinic providing basic health services and educating parents on preventive care, while the second is a water distribution point that was opened last year under USAID’s Urban Water Sanitation and Health Program.