Improving livelihoods, food and nutrition security in Kassala State, Sudan

Improving livelihoods, food and nutrition security in Kassala State, Sudan

15 Oct 2021

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“In December 2019, I joined a financial education training offered by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) where I learned the main principles of accounting…After that, I followed a comprehensive entrepreneurship programme offered by UNIDO that further enriched my managerial skills. As a result, I accessed a microfinance institution called IRADA so that I could get a small loan to purchase an oil press,” explains Nour Mohagoub Amin from New Halfa in Kassala State in eastern Sudan.

Mohagoub Amin has made her small groundnut-oil processing business into a success. “I can now earn almost 5,000 Sudanese pounds (US$11) per day. This experience gives me a sense of pride and has built my confidence about what I am able to do.”

Mohagoub Amin is a beneficiary of a threeyear project, Fostering inclusive economic growth in Sudan Kassala State through agrovalue chains development and access to financial services”, implemented by UNIDO and funded by the Government of Italy.

The  project  focuses  on  development  of  priority  agricultural  valuechains by promoting advanced agrotechnologies and practices, as well as access to finance. It aligns with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture’s Second FiveYear Plan 20122016 for the agricultural sector, with the overall aim of increasing the competitiveness of key rainfed, as well as irrigatedbased, agricultural crops in Eastern Sudan.

Another project beneficiary is Elbagir Arabi, a farmer who, thanks to a microloan from UNIDO, secured a technical package of fertilizers and herbicides, accompanied by on-field training on improved agricultural techniques provided by trainers from UNIDO and the Kassala State Ministry of Production and Economic Resources (MOPER).

Arabi in his chickpea field, cultivated with help of a UNIDO technical package                                                                                  Manu and Inuaam, from Vllage 26 in New Halfa, have started a small bakery fueled by biogas

Arabi says, “Before UNIDO approached our producers’ association, we used to apply traditional techniques in the cultivation of all types of horticulture crops… After having implemented the UNIDO technical package, I gained awareness of how to improve agricultural practices."

He proudly adds that he has increased onion productivity by 12% and tomato productivity by 15%. He was also able introduce chickpeas into his seasonal crop rotation cycle.

Elbagir concludes, “After the harvesting time, I fully repaid the loan, and now that I have established a good relation with the financial institution, I will repeat this experience in the next season.”

Training for by agro-entrepreneurs in rural communities fosters financial education and savings management. Manu and Inuaam, two women from Village 26 in New Halfa, are examples of those benefiting from the project training.

“When UNIDO offered us the opportunity to join a financial education programme, we decided to step in. We started recording on a daily basis all our expenditure and any source of income, like salaries and agricultural incomes... By analyzing how our savings were generated, we managed to increase our savings by reducing some hidden expenditures that we were not really aware of before. Hence, we managed to put together 160,000 Sudanese pounds and started up a small business project that we can easily run from home - a small bakery unit fueled by biogas. We have a daily production of 600 loaves, providing a profit of about 5,000 Sudanese pounds per week. By re-investing our profits, we are now planning to increase our revenues by purchasing a bigger bakery unit.”

The two bakers say, “We hope and believe that this financial education training can push other girls and women in village 26 to follow our example and achieve their ambitions. It is not hard, we just have to believe in it and work for it.”

See: Inaugural meeting of the UNIDO Entrepreneurship Development Committee in Kassala, Sudan, 28 August 2019