People living in the east of the Sudan are badly affected by the consequences of climate change. Their harvests suffer and so the main source of income for the families is at risk because alternatives to farming in the Sudan are very rare. The GRC is supporting the Sudanese Red Crescent Society (SRCS) and its volunteers in improving the food situation in selected communities over the long term.
For many years, farmers in the Sudan could depend on regular rainfall, which also ensured good yields from their fields. This situation is unhappily no longer the case. Rain tends to come later and all the heavier than before in smaller periods so that the seeds sown in the field are in part washed away. As a result production costs have significantly increased. Many farmers are, however, unable to afford high quality seed and fertiliser without entering debt. A problem in this connection is also the one-sided nutrition of families in which above all children suffer from under nourishment and malnutrition.
Improving agriculture and resilience
The joint project of the GRC and the SRCS focuses on small-scale farmers in 12 communities in the district of Al Goreisha in the federal state of Gedaref in the east of Sudan, near the border with Ethiopia. Farmers attend "Farmer field schools" in order to take part in practically-oriented agricultural training and learn improved farming methods and the production of organic herbicides. In the communities themselves more than 10 000 neem trees have been planted to improve the climate and also provide a source of shade. Tree cuttings and other plant matter can be used to produce organic fertiliser.
Furthermore farmers are instructed in how the farming of different and more drought-resistant crop varieties makes them more resilient against climatic conditions. Selected farmers are also trained in the production of improved seeds which have been adapted to conditions in the region.
Improving the food situation, strengthening local structures.
In order to provide the basis for more balanced nutrition amongst the target groups, households are accompanied and supported when creating vegetable gardens. They are given for example seeds for a variety of herbs and vegetables and the necessary tools for sowing and harvesting. To be able to harvest fresh vegetables during dry periods simple systems are built in the communities to store rainwater so that there is always sufficient water for vegetable growing. The project team organises practical exercises with families on preparing vegetables. This measure is intended to help reduce undernourishment and malnutrition and improve the population's food situation.
Training sessions in the target communities take place with SCRS volunteers, who originate from the communities, as well as by a newly established village project committee. The volunteers and the representatives of the village project committee are given the opportunity to take part in practically-oriented further training sessions on a regular basis. This means that the knowledge and know-how learned is disseminated in the communities during project duration and therefore remains in place in the communities after the project has ended.
Region: Gedaref, Sudan
Project volume: 1 111 111 Euro
Financing: EU, donations
Partners: Sudanese Red Crescent (SRCS)