North Kordofan, Sudan (March 25, 2014) — In the first few months of 2014, Sudanese farmers who participated in Near East Foundation (NEF) trainings increased their average income from 200 SDG to 900 SDG per month – or nearly USD $120 per month.
This amount is substantial for vulnerable families in this impoverished region of Sudan.
NEF conducted the training in Um Rawaba, where farmers learned successful strategies in gum arabic farming techniques and gained access to microfinance. The skills farmers gained at the workshop have translated into increased gum arabic production – and contributed to the increases in household income.
Huda Muhammad, a gum arabic farmer and mother of 9 in North Kordofan, learned through the training session how her techniques were actually inadvertently damaging her production and destroying the crop on which her livelihood depends.
“Before taking part in the training workshops, I had little idea of best practices for cultivating and collecting gum arabic from the local Acacia woodlands,” Huda said. “Without much consideration for the trees, we used them for many things: charcoal production, firewood, and gum arabic.”
With support from NEF, Huda and other farmers like her are actually increasing their income while helping to preserve the Acacia tree.
“The workshops taught me the how to harvest gum arabic in a way that actually stimulates tree growth,” Huda said. “It has also shown me how to manage loans and revenue.”
For over three decades, NEF has pioneered innovative solutions to economic development challenges impacting communities throughout Sudan. Moving forward, we will continue helping farmers like Huda Muhammad build a more prosperous and sustainable future for their country.
The Near East Foundation is a U.S.-based international NGO leading innovative social and economic development in the Middle East and Africa since 1915. For nearly 100 years, NEF has worked to empower citizens in disadvantaged, vulnerable communities. NEF field staff – all of them from the countries in which they work – partner with local organizations to find grassroots solutions to their development challenges. NEF’s “knowledge, voice, and enterprise” approach is helping build more prosperous, inclusive communities throughout the region. To learn more visit www.neareast.org