South Sudan: Women Champion Fight against Malnutrition through Vegetable Growing          

By Benjamin Takpiny

While a large proportion of South Sudan’s population struggles to feed their families amidst conflicts and climatic shocks, still a proportion of it is making strides to attain self-reliance through local livelihoods.

In Ajong area of Wunrock Payam of Warrap State, Akon Rebecca, 36, a mother of eight whose two children got malnourished sometimes back is now benefiting from vegetable farming supported by the World Food programme (WFP).

Rebecca with the aid of WFP started in June this year to plant tomatoes, eggplants and vegetables.

 She says WFP ensured she and other women underwent training before planting vegetables.

“These vegetables such as tomatoes and eggplants have helped me improve my earnings, we sold them and I managed to school fees, medication and other services,” Rebecca told The Dawn on Tuesday in Ajong village.

She says prior to growing vegetables she used to sell charcoal to pay school fees to for her children.

“All these vegetables I used to buy from the market before, but now I have my own farm of vegetables, I can’t buy again and my children are eating fresh food and I am balancing their diet too,” Rebecca says.

  Rebecca says most families in Ajong village used to eat only dry fish and that dry fish, adding this sauce lacks enough nutrition.

However, she says this has changed as majority of households can afford to alternate between eating meat and vegetables

Rebecca says she is capable of earning about 20,000 SSP daily from her vegetable farming.

Adakcien Madut, a mother of four, says without WFP they would remain struggling to treat their children of malnutrition which is common among South Sudanese children under-five years.

Madut also a vegetable farmer earns about 5000 SSP a day which she uses to feed her family and also save to buy other necessities.

She advises other women to establish small vegetable farms within their residences.

Isaac Amule, head of programme WFP in Kuacjok says Warrap state has been experiencing climatic shocks such as flooding and drought over the past months.

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