Farmers in Aweil East, South Sudan, still cultivate the ground by hand – an exhausting and time consuming task using a stick. They have seen other areas adopt ox or donkey drawn ploughs which drastically cut their ploughing time, expand their farm size and increase their yields. When a farmer uses oxen or a donkey the task goes from taking one month to a mere two or three hours, and increases the yield ten-fold.
Since 2014, Churches of Christ in South Sudan has implemented a program providing ox-drawn ploughs. Our local partner, Christian Mercy International (CMI), works with farmers, providing them with oxen, ploughs and training. They have 10 farms each supporting 15 families. There are two people living in the community who have been trained in the use of ploughs by another organisation. These people then train others in the dry season, so that the farmers are ready to plant seeds before the rains arrive. The ox plough project increases the production of food in areas where leaders have identified the poorer families. The farmers, who were given machines and oxen, are engaging the community to have empowerment, hope and self- resilience for sustainability.
Paulino from CMI says, “It has strengthened community participation and teamwork and given us a new spirit to let us accomplish our goals as we focus on better harvesting towards the end of this year.” In return for the ploughs and oxen provided by CMI and supported by GMP, the farmers will invest part of the money from their increased harvests into their community development projects.
Colin Scott, COCOA Director
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