CRESS has started three farming and discipleship groups in three areas of Kajo Keji County. These agriculture groups are going well but variable rains have made things difficult at times. They are growing the staple crops of South Sudan maize, beans, cassava and ground nuts and now kale, cabbage, red peppers, tomatoes and onions.
The women are learning new farming techniques such as mulching to preserve moisture and prevent weeds, how to grow seedlings in a nursery (under a shelter) and to water them. They are also being taught how to carefully prepare beds for planting.
The other new agriculture method that the women are learning is how to build and use key hole beds, where waste water and vegetable peelings are put in order to fertilise the crops.
Challenges this year have included the cabbage saw fly, drought which meant the seedlings spent too long under the shelter and chickens eating the seedlings due to poverty and poor fencing. The groups are saving for wire mesh to use around the nursery beds to protect them.
Each group meets weekly for farming and discipleship lessons. They are also saving money each week to go towards a joint investment project.
This farming has given the women and their families hope for the future as they are able to sell some of their vegetables. It also means they are healthier as they eat a more varied diet and the saving scheme has encouraged them to think as business women. Alongside the agriculture lessons are those on health, finance and personal growth.
There is a huge need for a vehicle to help with transporting manure to the fields and vegetables to market, as well as the women to central meetings.
CRESS has sourced a suitable vehicle for the job, the cost to run for three years with a driver is $84,800!
The UK CRESS team is very much looking forward to meeting these women in their groups and hopeful more groups will start in the next growing season.
Well done to Rev Joseph Aba and Golda Poni for getting these groups up and running and now successful in spite of climate change and extreme poverty. Also thank you to Edward Upton for sourcing funds from Sir James Reckitt Foundation to make this possible.
Founder & CEO