UNIDO And FAO Supporting Local Artisans For Agricultural Hand Tools Production in Eastern Equatoria

Majority of farmers in Imatong and Kapoita States of South Sudan have to depend on hand outs from international organizations such as UN Food and Agricultural Organization for hand tools for cultivation of their crops because the technical capacity and knowhow of the local blacksmiths are limited.

JUBA, 19 March 2018 [Gurtong]-Therefore, the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and FAO decided to improve capacity of the local artisans and blacksmiths in the Imotong and Kapoita States to produce quality agricultural tools and other household items such as hoe, panga, axe, sickle, maloda, knife, metallic bins, cooking stove, frying fan, storage box (sanduk), etc. Moreover, FAO is planning to introduce animal traction technology in the Imatong and Kapoita States in which farmers will be trained on use of ox plough. Thus, to complement the activity and ensure local availability of spare parts, UNIDO decided to train the local blacksmiths on production and repair of ox plough spare parts and improved planter.

Mr. Ram Kishore Prasad Singh, the Chief Technical Advisor for UNIDO informed that UNIDO and FAO together with the Women Action for Sustainable Development (WASI), a local NGO, trained 60 blacksmiths from Lopa and Kapoita North Counties in the Eastern Equatoria region on production and repair of improved agricultural tools and implements and spare parts for oxen plough. In addition, 27 metal workers from Torit and Kapoita South Counties were trained on fabrication and repair of improved design of metallic bins, frying pans, cooking stove, sheet metal boxes (sanduk), etc.  At the end of the training programme the participants were organized into groups and each group were handed over with a set of tool kits to start their business.

FAO Project Coordinator and Head of Torit Field Office Mr. Mezbanur Rahman thanked UNIDO for organizing the training programme under the ‘Sustainable Food Security through Community-Based Livelihood Development and Water Harvesting in South Sudan’ which is funded by the Government of Canada and jointly implemented by FAO and UNIDO in the Imotong, Kapoita and Boma States. Mr. Rahman during discussions with the participants also shared FAO plan for supporting the artisans and blacksmiths groups through their implementing partners with working capital and raw materials to locally produce agricultural tools and implemented in the Eastern Equatoria region. He said that FAO through their implementing partners will make contract with the local blacksmith groups for supply of locally produced agricultural tools and implements this will help improving local economy and income of the trained artisans and blacksmiths.

Ms. Esther Kenyi, UNIDO Project Officer said that UNIDO is planning to train some bee keeper and honey collectors in the Imatong and Kapoita States on collection, processing and marketing of honey and other by-products. Thus, to ensure availability of locally improved bee hives, UNIDO trained 23 local carpenters from Kapoita North and Lopa Counties on fabrication and repair of improved design of bee hives. In the same training, the carpenters also learnt the fabrication and repair of improved planter, making handles for agricultural tools and implements and construction of low cost solar dryer.

The Director General of the Ministry of Agriculture of Imotong and Kapoita States hailed UNIDO and FAO for organizing various training and capacity building activities of the local community in their states. “There are different ways for livelihood enhancement and this training is on hands skill that you participants can benefit from a lot. However all of you need to be attentive” said Mr. Adedomia the Director General for the Ministry of Agriculture in Kapoeta State. He added that once the knowledge is gained from this training, the participants can use the information to produce quality products from which income is generated and the money gained can support with payment of medical bills as well as school fees. Thus, better livelihood.

While Dr. Isaac the Director General for Agriculture from Imotong State asserted that the issue of access to farm inputs especially the metallic bin, hoes and pangas has been a challenge to the farming communities, so building the capacity of the local artisans on the production of these inputs will enable timely production for the farmers and also improve incomes of the trainees. One of the trainees in Imotong State expressed his gratitude to UNIDO especially for providing tool kits which previously they did not have and they promised to identify a strategic location from which they will operate as a group. In Kapoeta, the trainees informed UNIDO that this is the first training of its kind that they have done. Most of them gained their knowledge and skills through practical work. Therefore, they are happy to be beneficiary of the carpentry and metal work training. 

The Sustainable Food Security through Community-Based Livelihood Development and Water Harvesting in South Sudan’ is a project funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development (DFATD), Government of Canada and jointly implemented by the FAO and UNIDO in the Imotong, Kapoita and Boma States. The project aims to reduce conflict resulting from lack of water and increase in agriculture productivity and livelihood diversification targeting about 8,000 HHs from the different communities and groups in EES and GPAA.

The project will contribute to improved food security and income of target communities by increasing household agricultural production capacity and creating further opportunities for youth and women to contribute to household welfare as well as addressing water scarcity in the area. The expected outcome of the project is a strengthened resilience of communities in Kapoita, Imatong and Boma States to drought and other shocks.


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