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Building robust seed systems in South Sudan

Distribution of improved cassava cuttings and orange-fleshed pro-Vitamin A sweet potatoes to target project beneficiaries by Star Trust Organization (STO) in Yambio. Photo: FAO South Sudan

In South Sudan, FNS-REPRO is focusing on developing an integrated, robust, sustainable seed sector and seed systems. Seed is a key factor in any agricultural system, and the shortage of quality seeds has been a constraint for many generations in South Sudan. The situation was made worse during the 21-year civil war, in addition to recurrent floods and drought that have impacted the local seed supply significantly.

Thus, FNS-REPRO seeks to address complementary past and present Integrated Seed Sector Development (ISSD) initiatives by key stakeholders in the South Sudan seed sector while drawing relevant experiences from several other African countries.

Characterization of local landraces during a Seed System Resilience Assessment (SSRA) in Torit. Photo: FAO South Sudan

The programme approach in South Sudan contributes to improved agro-biodiversity conservation and sustainable use by identification, cleaning and promotion of local landraces, and establishment of community seed banks for local landrace diversity. Furthermore, FNS-REPRO promotes an ISSD approach that recognizes and builds upon the diversity of seed systems to guide the design and implementation of seed sector interventions that are coherent with farmers’ agricultural practices, while stimulating policy reforms that support local seed sector growth.

Lastly, FNS-REPRO promotes harnessing of traditional crops varieties, indigenous knowledge and practices, towards reducing cases of malnutrition across South Sudan. The rich biodiversity, especially within the informal system, provides an opportunity for nutrition-sensitive livelihood support.