Practical Action's work in Blue Nile State
Blue Nile State in the south-east of Sudan was one of the main areas of conflict during the civil war that raged in the country for 15 years. The fighting claimed the lives of some 1.5 million people, with many more being forced to abandon their homes and livelihoods to flee the danger. Now displaced people have begun to return home, but to a devastated region without basic services or productive land.
Practical Action Sudan opened its Blue Nile office in June 2007. The inception ceremony was attended by Practical Action's country director, Governmental officials, UN agencies, INGOs. NGOs and representatives from trained groups (blacksmith, metal workers, and food processing) as well as opening of exhibition of products that were produced by trainees, such as food processed items, agricultural hand tools and rural transport which demonstrate Practical Action activities in the state.
Practical Action is currently running the following projects in the region:
Re-building of livelihoods of war-affected people in the Blue Nile State
The overall objective of the action is to contribute towards sustaining the re-settlement of war returnees and facilitate their re-integration into the community in the Blue Nile State. The specific objective of the action is re-building the livelihoods of the returnees and vulnerable residence and improving their food status. This will be achieved by:
Improving institutional and organizational developmental capacities
Improving food availability by increasing crop and animal production
Facilitating access to reliable and high value agricultural, forest and animal products' markets
Facilitating access to the infrastructure services of water and sanitation and rural energy
Read more about this project on our Reducing Vulnerability programme pages
Increasing agricultural production and building the capacities for development in the southern parts of Blue Nile State
There is plenty of productive land in the Blue Nile Province but, as a result of the long conflict between the north and the south of Sudan, the area is under developed and, until recently, has lacked services such as agricultural extension. As a result food production is low. Practical Action has been helping change this.
The overall goal of the project is to improve the livelihoods and food security of the target population through:
- Increasing the production and productivity of rain-fed agriculture
- Enhancing the developmental capacities of the local population through facilitating the formation of CBOs and building their organizational and managerial capacities and providing trainings on data collection and analysis to the public sector and civil society personnel
The directed beneficiaries of this project are about 25,482 persons living in 10 villages of Bau locality. The main sources of livelihoods of these people are rain-fed subsistence agriculture and animal herding. Another group of beneficiaries are people who will be trained on data collection and data analysis. These are from the civil society sector, and public sector such as the Blue Nile University and the concerned GoS departments in addition to the project's CBOs. The secondary beneficiaries are those who live in neighboring communities who will be exposed to the project outputs and may replicate successful interventions.
Increasing rain-fed agriculture crop production and productivity
Providing agricultural extension services by village-based extension agents
Providing blacksmith training for manufacture the needed appropriate agric.hand tools
Providing better farming recommendations and proper agricultural packages
Providing relevant appropriate agricultural tools
Providing certified seeds of improved varieties
Improving harvesting and storage
Enhancing the local capacity for development of the targeted population, civil society and the public sector
Organizing animation and mobilization sessions
With the government and other institution select 25 people to be trained on data collection, data analysis techniques and Providing on the job training to the selected trainees
Using the people trained by this project, collect socio-economic data regarding all aspects of interest to NGOs, CBOs, humanitarian and development agencies for their future works in the State
Analyzing collected data and producing a comprehensive report and share it with others
People have been farming individually and cultivating by hand, producing maybe 3 bags of sorghum a year per family - not enough to be self sufficient in food and meaning people have to seek casual labouring jobs to fill in the gaps. In 2007 we persuaded 80 families to get together to cultivate 300 acres of land. Bringing the planting together makes the land area big enough to make the use of a tractor to do the initial cultivation economical, meaning a much larger area per family can be cultivated. We provided initial inputs (seeds and tools) for the first cultivation, along with technical advice on cultivation and seed selection and breeding for subsequent years.
In 2008-9 the land under cultivation rose to 500 acres and 3,000 90kg bags of sorghum were produced at 6 bags per acre (rather than the 2.1 bags per acre at the start of the project). Each family made around £550 from the sale of the excess sorghum beyond their own family's needs. There are plans in the community to purchase a tractor next year to avoid having to rely on hiring in tractors from outside, which is expensive and not always reliable.