Posts Tagged ‘SILC’

From subsistence to income earning

Posted on Wednesday, February 28th, 2018

By John Alier

April, 2017 (RFSP)-Since 2011, the Resilience and Food Security Program (RFSP), then named Jonglei Food Security Program (JFSP) has been working with vegetable producer groups with the aim of encouraging them to start producing for household consumption.

Six years later, now under RFSP, vegetable producers have moved from subsistence production for household consumption to profitable income generating production. RFSP, under agro-enterprise programming, has started training producer groups on financial education, value addition and market linkages. Working with the producer groups, RFSP identified and mapped more than 30 buyers who could be linked with both fishery and vegetable producers to complete the value chain in Bor, Twic East and Duk counties of Jonglei State.  

One of the best hotels in Jonglei State, named Pak Palace struck a deal with two RFSP-supported producer groups for the supply of fish and vegetables. Thiepriel vegetable producer group is among the groups supported by RFSP in Bor that supplied Pak Palace with vegetables. Its members grow sukumawiki (kale), tomatoes, green pepper and onion. One piece of green pepper cost 30 SSP (US$0.20) and 4 pieces of tomatoes cost SSP 70 (US$0.50). These are competitive prices when compared to local markets where the same products reportedly go for more than 100 SSP (US$0.66), as they are mainly imported from neighboring Uganda, via Juba. Depending on the volume of production and sales, the group says it makes enough money to sustain themselves and carry on with their activities.  

 David Ngeth sorts vegetables for Pak Palace Hotel in Bor County, Jonglei State. Picture by John Philip Omot (RFSP). August 2017 

David Ngeth, the marketing member of the vegetable producer group had this to say, “We make a daily average earning of SSP 1,500 (US$10,00) per day from sales and on weekly basis, we are able to make a cumulative amount of over SSP 10,000” (US$ 66.00). He continues, “This money helps us to buy immediate group needs like sugar and coffee. This group has a vision of establishing vegetable shop to maximize sales”. Besides using proceeds from sales for their own welfare, the group saves part of their proceeds for future business initiatives. Thiepriel vegetable producer group was established in January 2017 and has a membership of 20 farmers. In addition to training, the group has also been supported with vegetable seeds and tools previously. 

Fresh fish is a source of Protein and a basic nutritious and health requirement 

Another producer group that struck a deal with Pak Palace is Jarwong fishery based producer group. The group was established in 2013 and has continued operations despite the setback of the December 2013 violent conflict. Although the group has more than the 20 recommended members, at 30, they have shown great potential in the fishing business. The group members engage in collective fishing and marketing. Besides selling their fish locally, they also supply traders who come from as far as Juba. They also supply to individuals, restaurants and other institutions where there is demand for fish.  

Philip Wel sorts fish as RFSP and Pak Palace Hotel management staff look on in Bor. Picture by John Philip Omot. August 2017 

The group make average daily sales of SSP 2,000 (US$13), culminating into an estimated SSP 14,000 (US$ 93.00) per week. The money is used for the groups welfare and sustenance. Part of the money is used to purchase repair kits for their fishing gear, whilst some is saved for future purposes. This group is also earmarked by RFSP to become a cooperative as they have shown great potential and leadership characteristics. 

The role of RFSP in agro-enterprises is to create market linkages for the farmers. The program intends to promote highly performing farmer producer groups into cooperatives. A few farmer producer groups have been identified to this end and will receive training on marketing, financial education and business management. After training, they will be assisted to register as cooperatives and be monitored. The identified groups have taken different initiatives to increase their viability, with one group having purchased a tractor and another purchased a grinding mill to increase their productivity and source of income. If the situation continues to be stable, these groups hope to be viable enterprises that not only feed Jonglei State, but the rest of South Sudan.