Islamic Relief Introduces a Modern Drip Solar Irrigation System in Terekeka State- South Sudan
IR SWAT project is one among the most successful for its positive impact in lives of thousands of people living in Gwor, Nyori and Terekeka County. The project supported women with alternative farming Technologies through provision of mechanized drip solar Irrigation Systems, seed distributions, capacity building and strengthening food security of the mostly affected Payams and counties of Terekeka State.
People in Terekeka State practices subsistent farming in small scale as their main source of living whereas surplus is being sold in the market for exchange of goods. Simple and unconventional traditional tools are mainly used with limited ideas while access to improved farming technology such as irrigation remain a big challenge.
Farmers in this state mostly plant cereals and other longer maturing crops such as maize, millets sorghum and cassava. Although the aforementioned crops can grow widely and produce enough food for both the family and the market, sustainability due to reliance on rain water remained a key concern. This resulted into food shortages despite of availability of good farming prospects. Through SWAT project, lives of thousands of women have changed and the market is now experiencing constant flow of surplus.
Mary Lukuma, a single widow, mother of seven during a press statement, attest to the rapid changes women are experiencing, she thank Islamic relief for positively responding to their needs based on the results of assessment carried out. She continued ‘’ when IRSS came, women submitted all challenges and anxieties they face in Terekeka state, the results of the assessment prompted IR to intervene with the introduction of modern farming technology which significantly changed the dynamics of their livelihood. more importantly women in Terekeka could now share platforms with men to discuss farm related which was not the case.
Principle challenges facing the development of South Sudan’s agricultural sector includes; use of low or no improved technologies, lack of inputs such as seeds, planting material, improved breeds, fertilizers, poor rural infrastructure that hinders access to markets, illiteracy and numeracy rates, lack of financial services, weak agricultural and livestock research and extension services, poor quality animals, lack of animal health services, lack of water among others.
In December 2013, a renewed outbreak of internal conflict exacerbated the situation in South Sudan further. At the beginning of 2015, around 2.5 million people were suffering from hunger, with a further 6.4 million threatened by food insecurity. Only around four per cent of agricultural land is being farmed while production is stagnating at subsistence level. The cereal production deficit amounts to 408,000 tonnes. South Sudan lacks both well-functioning domestic markets and agricultural extension services