2019 News

What Does Farming Look Like in South Sudan?

Wednesday, 4 December 2019

What comes to mind when you think of farming? For many of us it might be tractors and harvesters being driven around fields. It might be the ads on TV showing a single apple being picked, and trucks driving to your local supermarket.

In South Sudan, farming looks very different. Many people lack even simple tools. They have to plough fields with a stick. It’s exhausting work, and it takes a long time to plant even a small amount of crops. Much like in Australia, a lack of rain can decimate a harvest. And because only a small amount can be planted, it’s even easier to lose a whole crop.

This is what farming was for Mary.

“I used my knees and my hands, I got scars on my knees and my hands,” she explains. “With the stick, you can’t plough enough. If the rain lays off, you may not get a good production.”

But last year, Mary was able to join the Plough Project. Together with a neighbour, she was given oxen and a plough, and trained in how to instruct them to work. For her, this gift has been life-changing!

“Now the ox does the pushing of the plough, and you can plough a bigger space and guarantee yourself a big harvest, even if the rain is laid off,” Mary says. When ploughing with a stick, you only have three days after rain to plant before the soil is too hard to work again. With oxen, they can plant over a much longer period!

This year, she has been able to grow so much more food!

“The production is really good – really different – almost 15 sacks instead of three.

“This is because of the power of the bull. With human beings you cannot manage that.”

The harvest is plenty for Mary and her family. They have enough to eat, with plenty of nuts, grains and herbs left over!

“With the additional sacks I can sell one out for the tuition fees of my child and if I have three children, that is three sacks,” Mary explains. “Then I will use the extra sacks to cultivate more land in future so I get more production in future years.”

The gift of an Ox Plough has helped Mary cultivate her gift for farming! And did you know? You can give a Great Gift to someone like Mary this Christmas!

From an ox and a plough, to a pair of baby chicks, every Great Gift makes life changing difference! Many people lack the time, energy or resources they need to realise their gifts and fulfil their potential. Your Great Gift can make a real impact on their lives.

If you want to receive a specially designed gift card, mailed to you in time for Christmas, your Great Gift must be ordered before December 13! 

Or, you can print your own card – right up until December 23.

You can find out more, and choose a Great Gift to give, by visting www.GreatGifts.org.au

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