Sudan Recovery Fund - Southern Sudan: New market rakes in more profit for women's groups

8 Jul 2011
Sudan Recovery Fund - Southern Sudan: New market rakes in more profit for women's groups

Southern Sudan - Grace Poni, a 42 year-old mother of 10, no longer has to shell out precious cash to transport her agricultural products to town. These days, she and a number of women’s groups can bring and sell their goods directly in a newly constructed covered market right in their hometown in Nyai-Wudabi, Morobo County in Central Equatoria State.

Sudan Recovery Fund-South Sudan (SRF-SS), through its Small Grants Mechanism, provided funds to national non-government and community-based organizations to improve livelihoods and generate income among vulnerable groups. The Fund, supported by the United Kingdom and the Government of the Netherlands, aims to bridge the gap between recovery and development in South Sudan.

In Nyai-Wudabi, the covered market has been strategically built along the main road. This cuts the costs of transporting vegetables from the farm to the main market by over USD 150 per trip. It also saves market sellers up to three hours of travel time and reduces loss of perishable goods. Moreover, having a central trading area within the village allows concessionaires to sell at higher prices than they would in the main market, located 35 km away in Yei, where supply is higher and prices are lower.

Completed in December 2010, the covered market can accommodate as many as 25 sellers on a first come-first served basis. Market days are usually held every Thursday and Friday. Women’s groups sell vegetables and fruits to an average of about 100 buyers a day.  Concessionaires pay local authorities a minimal market access fee upfront for a space in the covered market. This set-up has generated greater income for women like Grace, with savings earned from transportation and post-harvest losses. “I used to earn about US$15 per month from selling vegetables,” she shares. “Now, I bring home US$3-4 per day,” she reveals.

The project was implemented by the national NGO Sudan Peace and Education Development Programme  (SPEDP) – one of almost 70 organizations across South Sudan who have received funding from  Sudan Recovery Fund-South Sudan. SPEDP also conducted agricultural livelihoods training, such as vegetable farming, and formed women’s farming groups in Morobo and other counties in Central Equatoria State. Assorted vegetable seeds, fruit seedlings and agricultural tools and equipment were provided to communities as well, to increase their agricultural productivity and household income levels. A similar market shade has been built nearby through the same scheme.

To learn more please visit the new UN South Sudan website: http://southsudan.one.un.org/index.html

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