A delegation from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs- Kingdom of Netherland in The Hague led by the Paul van de Logt Head Food and Nutrition Security, and the embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands Juba staffs led by Marc Mazairac, the First Secretary Development Cooperation, paid a two day field visit to Yambio on the 27-28th May. Accompanying the Netherlands delegation was the FAO South Sudan team led by Deputy FAO Representative Mr, Pierre Vauthier.

The delegation met with the government of Gbudue state and accompanied by the State Minister of Agriculture and Forestry (SMAF) honourable Gibson Wande. The team visited Kodapai Fish farming group (Kodapai) supported under the USAID funded  Sustainable Agriculture for Resiliency (SAFER). Kodapai is a women’s group of 25 Women and 5 male who have been trained in fish farming practice and management. The group has rehabilitated one fish pond and constructed two new fish ponds. The group plans to transform the farm into a fish farming knowledge hub to the communities of Gbudue state. While in the farm, the delegations interacted with beneficiaries and the team was addressed by the chair lady who thanked STO/FAO for the support in terms of trainings, inputs to include tools, and stocking of the ponds with fingerlings.

The delegations proceeded to visit one progressive beneficiary (Gabriel Peter Bimo) of previous interventions 2017 in Nagbaka. Other vulnerable HHs (in Nagbaka) who benefited from the ELRP 2019 first planting season congregated at this farm for an audience with the visiting delegation. While in Nagbaka 15Km away from Yambio in Gabriel’s flourishing homestead, the team was warmly welcomed and escorted to the farm. In the farm, one could observe with certainty how much Gabriel had adhered to best agronomic practices. The clear walk path, straight maize stocks, proper spacing and his mixed cropping technique of ground Nuts, maize and sesame were eye-catching. Resting under papaya trees, the delegations interacted with the farmers, and Gabriel narrated his story how he ended up in Nagbaka as an IDP following displacement from Li-rangu in 2016, and eventually becoming a lead farmer. He thanked the Minister of SMAF for honouring his farm by his presence. Above all, he acclaimed the Kingdom of Netherland for the support that it has extended to the people of South Sudan. Among the challenges highlighted by the farmers were issues of fall army warm (FAW), and post-harvest handling techniques. After inspecting the farm, the team headed to Gabriel’s home to see is local storage facility and the local threshing method of pounding. Deputy FAO representative inspected the granary and called for innovations to improve local storage facilities that can be sustainable.

Talking to the farmers Paul van de Logt, the Head Food and Nutrition Security thanked and commended the great work that is being done. “I know that farmers learn by watching other farmers not by listening to FAO telling them things, so get as many farmers together and learn from each other” he was appreciative of the farmer’s hospitality.

The Kingdom of Netherland is a major partner in the partnership for resiliency and recovery in Gbudue state. And major funder of the FAO Supported Emergency Livelihood Response Program (ELRP) in the region.
1 Up to 4,000 vulnerable HHs (including 200HHs) received inputs through direct distribution and seed fairs in Yambio alone for the first planting season of 2019.

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