Over 3,500 farmers in Magwi and Lopa Lafon in South Sudan benefit from SNV’s Livelihood Development Project. This project helps to build local capacity to produce locally what was previously always imported into South Sudan.
A delegation from the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Juba visited some of SNV’s projects to meet with and talk to its beneficiaries. The Dutch delegation comprised of HE Robert van den Dool, the Dutch Ambassador to South Sudan, and Mr. Henk van Trigt, First secretary food security (Agriculture and Livelihoods). In Magwi, the delegation visited a maize seed multiplication enterprise group and an ox plough manufacturing group, and talked to some of the projects’ beneficiaries. “We get 650 SSP (185 USD) per ox plough and make a profit of 200 SSP (57 USD). We have the capacity to produce 5 ox ploughs per day.” says Lily Ochola, the only female member of the ox plough manufacturing group. “While at the local market the price of maize grains goes at 1 SSP (0.28 USD), we are happy to sell to the buyer at 3 SSP (0.85 USD) per kg. This is encouraging other farmers to venture into the seed production practice as well.” claims Joseph Odok, a member of the maize seed multiplication enterprise group. This group works on contract farming arrangements with a certified seed company that offers a higher price. Robert van den Dool commended the efforts to build local capacity to produce locally what was previously always imported into South Sudan. If farmers are organized to produce their own inputs, then technology, seeds and production costs will be substantially reduced and profit margins will increase. He did also caution against poorly negotiated contracts with buyers, advising a thorough market study before committing farmers to a contract.