Report of The National Capacity-Building Workshop On Contract Farming – South Sudan

Introduction: In response to the global challenges posed by COVID-19, Conflict, and Climate Change impacting economies and business growth in the East African Community (EAC) region, the East African Business Council (EABC) collaborated with Sequa GmbH under the Business Scouts Fund. The joint effort resulted in the implementation of the project “Enhancing Competitiveness of Agri-food Industry and Mitigating the Impact of Global Crises to Improve Food Security in the EAC Region.” A pivotal aspect of this initiative was the Master Trainers Capacity-Building Workshop on “EAC Export Procedures and Contract Farming,” which took place on July 24, 2023, in Kampala, Uganda.

National Capacity-Building Workshop on Contract Farming: Following the regional training, EABC, in collaboration with the South Sudan Agricultural Producers Union (SSAPU), organized the National Capacity-Building Workshop on Contract Farming on October 18, 2023, in Juba, South Sudan. This workshop was part of the broader EABC – BSF Programme, focusing on enhancing competitiveness in the agri-food industry and mitigating the impact of global crises to improve food security in South Sudan.

Background and Objectives: South Sudan, grappling with the negative impacts of global economic shocks, the pandemic, and climate change, possesses vast agricultural potential. However, challenges such as limited access to quality seeds, high seed costs, low yields, and climate-related issues hinder the sector’s productivity. Fragmented small-holder farms, limited irrigation, and low mechanization contribute to low economies of scale, fluctuating market prices, and overall challenges in the agricultural value chain.

Participants: The National Capacity-Building Workshop on Contract Farming drew 35 agri-value chain actors from Rajaf, Luri, and Gondokoro. The diverse group underwent comprehensive training to strengthen their understanding and skills in contract farming.

Welcome Remarks: Eng. Saulo Emmanuel, EABC’s Liaison Officer, and Mr. Jimmy Kato, Secretary General & CEO of SSAPU, delivered warm welcome remarks, emphasizing the critical role of contract farming in fostering collaboration between farmers and agribusinesses. Participants expressed appreciation for the workshop, recognizing its value in knowledge exchange and practical learning experiences.

Training on Contract Farming: Led by trainers Lumeit Nancy, Caesar Zino Riko, and Saulo, the workshop covered various aspects of contract farming, including definitions, benefits, models, challenges, conditions influencing benefits, contract formation, negotiations, legal and regulatory structures, dispute resolution, and global best practices. Key areas of discussion included risk assessment, market realities, climate change considerations, and the promotion of food crop production for enhanced food security.

Recommendations and Next Steps: The workshop generated key recommendations, including establishing a framework for contract farming, building technical and contractual capacity among producers, and advocating for a conducive business environment for smallholder farmers. Additionally, there were calls for further sensitization, market analysis, and ongoing training initiatives to support food security and productivity in the region.

Conclusion: EABC and SSAPU remain committed to future collaborations and initiatives that contribute to the growth and development of the agricultural sector in South Sudan. The success of the workshop underscores the importance of such capacity-building endeavors in mitigating the impact of global crises on food security and fostering sustainable agricultural practices.