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Helping to Build a World Without Hunger

FAO News Sudan
A Bi-monthly publication by FAO in Sudan
Towards a National Land Commission Act
The Importance of Land in Sudan Access to land and management of natural resources have always constituted a major challenge in Sudan. Disputes and conflicts emanating from competition over land use and rights in a highly mobile environment have long existed.
April 2007

FAO News Sudan
Published by
FAO Emergency Coordination Unit Sudan Information & Reporting Unit Othman Digna Street P.O. Box 1117 Khartoum, SUDAN Tel: + 249 183 779367/8 Fax: +249 183 774591 Email: FAO-SD@fao.org ECU South Sudan Juba Office Email: Faojuba@yahoo.com Tel: +249 1230001010 / +882 1651195464 For more information on FAO, visit: www.fao.org

Responsible Authorities
Abdullah T BinYehia - FAO Representative Tesfai Ghermazien - Senior Emergency & Rehabilitation Coordinator North Sudan George Okech - Senior Emergency & Rehabilitation Coordinator South Sudan

sion Act” brought together a wide range of stakeRecent developments of environmental degraholders in Khartoum, February 2007. dation and increased pressure on the use of natural resources by different groups are exacDebating the Land Issue erbating the situation and sometimes resulting in The workshop was opened by Mr. Abel Alier, an escalation of disputes. Co-Chair of the NCRC, stating: Both the Government of National Unity (GNU) and Government of South Sudan (GoSS) recog- “Whatever comes out from the NCRC as an act nise the importance of the land question in conwill be guided by the CPA” solidating the peace agreement. Secure and sustainable access to land and natural resources Mr. Abdulla Bin Yehia, FAO Representative in for all citizens is also a pre-requisite for engag- Sudan, also addressed the opening session ing in the recovery process, hopefully resulting emphasizing the urgent need for an operational and responsive NLC. in more sustainable rural development. The need to address the land issue is fully sup- The two-day proceedings saw the review of 8 ported by the Wealth Sharing Protocols of papers ranging from a historical review of land Naivasha under the Comprehensive Peace laws in Sudan to concept notes on the establishAgreement (CPA) and the Interim National Con- ment of the NLC and relations between the NLC stitution (INC). These milestone agreements pro- and other Land Commissions and subsidiary vide for the establishment of a number of com- institutions. The papers were presented by land missions to support the implementation of the and legal experts, officials and academics. An CPA. The National Land Commission (NLC) is inclusive, participatory approach was adopted during all discussions. Opinions were expressed one of these peace enabling institutions. freely, and the workshop witnessed a high deAddressing the Land Issue gree of mutual respect for different judgments.

The workshop “Towards a National Land Commis-

Jane Waite - Reporting & Information Officer Aisha Hummeida - Reporting & Information Officer

Inside this issue:
Towards a National Land Commission Act 1&2 The Sudan Land Programme 2

Since the Naivasha peace talks, the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has been working closely with the GNU and GoSS, the National Constitutional Review Commission (NCRC), a wide array of civil society representatives and various relevant forums and institutions to identify options for a way forward on the issue of land in Sudan. Some of these efforts culminated in a two-day workshop to discuss legislation required enabling the establishment of the NLC. The workshop “Towards a National Land Commission Act” was organized by the NCRC, with technical and financial support from FAO.

FAO technical experts on land issues Paul De Wit, Jeffrey Hatcher, John Bruce and FAO national consultants worked with NCRC members to assist the discussions and plenary sessions. The Workshop Conclusions and Outputs Turn out was far beyond that expected, including a wide range of government, UN and NGO and civil society stakeholders. With constructive participation, consensus was built on a number of key issues allowing for the drafting of a list of general principles and recommendations. These will help shape legislation on the issue.

Helping women to help themselves – the case for Fuel Efficient Stoves 3 FAO Introduces Mobile Seed Cleaners to Darfur 3 Increasing crop yield in the arid terrain of Darfur – the case of the treadle pump 3 Cheese Making in Blue Nile Returnees return to farming 3 4

“Towards a National Land Commission Act”It was concluded that the NLC and NCRC should The NCRC Workshop exist as separate entities, with participation Held from 27th to 28th February 2007 at the from a broad range of stakeholders including Grand Holiday Villa Hotel, Khartoum the work- civil society. There was an agreed need for shop, aimed at: clear law and policy to be developed and the building of an interface between customary - Exposing participants to FAO’s assessment of and statutory law. The NLC should play an the land question in Sudan, and providing com- advisory role in terms of policy formation, but parative experiences from other African coun- also have an arbitration capacity for high-level tries to aid discussions and decisions; disputes potentially affecting the peace. - Gauging the participants’ views on the future A consolidated draft of the Act reflecting these land commission; key principles was produced 48 hours after the - Building a consensual platform to support a workshop. This will now be considered through single, consolidated draft legislation. the appropriate channels.

FAO Newsletter Sudan, April 2007



Helping to Build a World Without Hunger
Going Forward The workshop was seen as a success and a milestone in the establishment of the NLC, with expectations that such a commission will be established sooner rather than later. The event demonstrated that there is room for consensus building on sensitive issues such as land, with the high turnout highlighting the importance of the issue. As the legislative process moves forward FAO continues to make technical support available to the NCRC whenever this is deemed necessary.

The Sudan Land Programme
Given the importance of access to land and management of natural resources in Sudan, FAO has undertaken a broad range of work in this field. Despite limited funding for this area, FAO has provided technical assistance and facilitation of discussion on a number of issues and occasions:
Stakeholders at the “Towards a National Land Commission Act” workshop listened to a range of proposals on addressing land matters.

Forming the Southern Sudan Land Commission (SSLC)

In the next issue:
-The installation of 16 cold chain solar fridges across Darfur is vastly improving access to livestock vaccines in an environmentally friendly way, and helping to curb the spread of disease at an earlier stage. -As Sudan moves to a phase of Recovery and Development, FAO will be supporting the Government in longer-term agricultural coordination through the largely EC-funded capacity building programme entitled the “Sudan Institutional Food Security Information for Action”. -With the outbreak of Avian Influenza in Sudan last year, FAO has been working with Government to build up skills and capacity to address the issue. -Early Recovery programming starts in Eastern Sudan, after the signing of the ESPA. -Fishing is the mainstay of livelihoods for many in Blue Nile. FAO has been working with local communities to build up local skills.

FAO supported the establishment of the newly formed Southern Sudan Land ComThe NCRC should proceed deliberately mission with technical and material assiswith the preparation of a further draft of tance, as well as providing the Land Adthe Act consulting broadly with stake- ministration with ongoing technical support, holders and coordinating with State gov- through Italian Government funding. ernments developing their own land comWorkshops on Land Tenure mission acts; FAO facilitated workshops on “Land Tenure The Act should make it clear that “land” and Peace Consolidation” in Darfur’s El includes all the land based natural re- Fashir, Nyala and Geneina, in partnership sources and that the National Land Com- with the UNDP Rule of Law Programme. mission should advise and propose policies Participants from academia, customary on the management of land, coordination leaders, women's groups and local adminiof different land uses, and economically, stration were involved. socially and environmentally sustainable A series of Land and Property workshops land use; have been held across Southern Sudan in The Act should clarify that the relationships collaboration with the UNHCR, NRC, Minisbetween the NLC and Regional and State try of Legal Affairs and Constitutional DeLand Commissions as well as any other velopment, and the SSLC. Workshops foState-level institutions dealing with land on cused on bringing diverse stakeholders the basis of the CPA and the Interim Na- together to move towards common solutions tional Constitution; on often contentious issues. The Workshop Recommendations The Act should clarify the practical allocaLand Management Community Projects tion of the shared competences over land among the different levels of land commis- Community land management pilot projects undertaken by FAO assisted in the estabsions; lishment of development committees in 17 The Act should task the NLC with proposing Bomas (administrative units) in Southern revisions of policies and laws to all levels of Sudan. Staff were then trained in commuGovernment on land use and rights in land, nity mobilization, natural resource management, land management and tenure. priority should be given to the following: Supporting the Darfur JAM The Act should particularly promote at all levels the ascertainment and recognition of As part of the Darfur Joint Assessment Miscustomary laws; sion (DJAM), FAO brought together highThe Act should seek to form the arbitration level customary leaders from each of the role of the NLC on disputes that may im- Darfur regions and tribes in a 3-day workpact peace and social harmony, such as shop entitled "Towards a Sustainable Land Policy for Darfur". Participants discussed disputes between groups; principles of equity, justice and sustainabilIn developing its proposals and recommen- ity when developing and implementing a dations to government, the NLC should sys- land policy for post-conflict Darfur. Recomtematically consult all affected parties and mendations were published in the DJAM . recommend guidelines for the protection of Eastern Sudan Study on Land Tenure their interests; A joint study on ‘Land Tenure and LiveliThe Act should provide for a broadly rep- hoods’ was carried out in partnership with resentative and independent NLC including UNHCR during 2006, the final version of both official and civil-society members; which will soon be released. The Act should ensure that the NLC has a strong technical secretariat, special task committees and a specialized arbitration capacity, all appointed after due consultation with the Presidency; The Act should provide for the NLC to monitor and periodically issue public reports on progress by governments on achieving compliance with the principles on land in the CPA and the Constitution.

87% of people in Sudan are dependant on agriculture for their livelihoods.

The workshop “Towards a National Land Commission Act” was organized by the NCRC with technical support from FAO.


FAO Newsletter Sudan, April 2007


Helping to Build a World Without Hunger
FAO Introduces Mobile Seed Cleaners to Darfur
As part of a broader initiative to support local seed production, FAO introduced mobile seed cleaning machines to each one of Darfur’s three State Ministries of Agriculture. Each machine is expected to assist in the cleaning of 100 Metric Tonnes (MT) of seeds over the next year. Using air to clean out debris among the seeds, each machine can clean 1.3-1.5 MT of seeds an hour. South Darfur, for example, produces over 350 000 MT of major cereals (millet and sorghum) annually. Farmers have faced an issue with poor quality local seeds. The seed cleaners will allow farmers to grade and improve the quality of local seeds cheaply and easily. This technology is a significant mile stone in building sustainable local seed production capacity. Being mobile, the machines are more accessible for farmers, reducing the cost of seed grading and assisting farmers to obtain better quality seeds in comparison to previous practices of hand winnowing. Replication of this exercise will further assist in improving local seed production quality control and reduce dependency on imported seeds as seeds become accessible and available at local level.

Aisha Mohammed using a Fuel Efficient Stove in Dreg Camp, Nyala, Darfur, March 2007.

Helping Women to Help Themselves - The Case for Fuel Efficient Stoves
Large displacements of population in Darfur have placed excessive pressure on already thin environmental resources. Wood is in demand for firewood and shelter construction, both domestically and for incomegeneration. Women tend to be the ones leaving camps to collect wood and are then often subject to gender-based violence. FAO has, therefore, been promoting the use of mud-based Fuel Efficient Stoves (FES). These reduce time required to fetch firewood, lessening women’s exposure in the current insecure situation. They also reduce time and money spent on fuel and help reduce natural resource degradation. Research among beneficiaries has shown that FES reduced wood usage by 30-50%. Aisha Mohammed, 27, was one of 500 women trained to produce and use FES in Dreg Camp, Nyala in early 2007. With a family of 7 to look after and family income of 500SD ($2.5) a day, the training had a sizeable impact on her daily life and income. The FES cut wood consumption by one third; Aisha previously spent 100SD a day to buy one bundle of firewood. She can now make each last a day and a half. The contained stove allows for cleaner cooking and is less of a fire hazard than the open fire she had been using to cook meals in her hut. Production of the stoves is easy and environmentally friendly, constructed from mud available in the camps. FAO supported JMCO, a local NGO, to carry out training.

Cheese Making in Blue Nile
Blue Nile State is characterized by nomadic grazing land with dispersed settled farming communities practicing rain fed agriculture, gum tapping and fishing for income generation. Years of war resulted in massive population displacement. Many are now returning but with limited access to land have subsisted through relief assistance, seeking work as farm labourers or crop sharing on mechanized farms. Labour opportunities are limited in the southern parts of the state with associated food insecurity. Despite limited funding in the area, FAO has looked to assist returnees in becoming self-sufficient through sustainable livelihoods. The predominance of livestock farming in the area, meant high milk production in many localities including Ganees East. Here FAO worked with the Sudanese Red Crescent Society (SRC) to consider how this could create livelihoods opportunities. Training the community in cheese making, was a means of bridging the hunger gap from May to October. Cheese making not only assists households in their access to food, but also gives women a means of income generation.

FAO installed seed cleaning machines in each of Darfur’s three State Ministries of Agriculture

Increasing Crop Yield in the Arid Terrain of Darfur - The Case of the Treadle Pump

In March 2007, FAO and SRC trained 60 women in cheese processing, providing them with the necessary processing materials. In addition, three production units were established in Giessan, El Rosaires, and El Damazein, to allow for longer term sustainable production.

FAO introduced treadle pump technology - Women targeted have subsequently been a simple, human powered “foot pump”- to able to use production for their own family Darfur to assist farmers in accessing water consumption and for income generation. from shallow wells. The pump is used for small-scale irrigation to enhance horticultural production. Successfully tested in Bangladesh, Kenya, Niger and Zimbabwe, Treadle Pumps are considered revolutionary in small scale irrigation in the developing world.

FAO supports JMCO in training women in Dreg Camp, Nyala on the use of Fuel Efficient Stoves.

The pump had a great reception in Darfur, with over 800 being distributed across the region in 2006.

Cheese-making training for women in Blue Nile, March 2007.

FAO Newsletter Sudan, April 2007



Helping to Build a World Without Hunger
Returnees Return to Farming
87% of Sudan’s population are dependent on agriculture for their livelihoods, and of those 30% on livestock. Agriculture is the mainstay of most communities in central Sudan’s transitional areas. -The farmers trained were able to increase the area of land cultivated. When using hand tools farmers cultivated less than 5 feddans per agricultural season; with an oxen plough they could cultivate 15-20 feddans; 3-4 times the amount. away in Khartoum for 19 years is now 35. Ibrahim has two wives, three children and three younger brothers (the eldest of which is 12), to support. His father died during the war, so the burden of family responsibility has now fallen on him. Ibrahim was one of the 20 chosen in his village by the local village elders to undertake the animal traction training in March 2006, in the run up to the rainy season. He had two oxen, which he had bought with money raised while he was away working as a labourer. He said the training helped him to become self-sufficient. “When I returned I needed help to stand; now I can stand by myself”

-The training allowed farmers to use their skills for multiple income-generating activiThis year, with 600 000 returnees ex- ties: the sale of surplus crops, charging pected to head back to the transitional other farmers to plough their fields and areas and Southern Sudan, support to al- using the now trained oxen to pull other low returnees to reestablishing themselves vehicles, such as water carts. and become self-sufficient is key. FAO is supporting the most vulnerable in reestab- -With the greater area cultivated farmers lishing sustainable livelihoods. Support is produced more crops and were able to sell centered on providing training in agricul- the surplus. Farmers in the area tend to tural practices and basic inputs. This will cultivate sorghum, sesame and groundnut. allow returnees resume farming activities By increasing the area cultivated, on averand become self-sufficient in the longer run. age each farmer trained then had eight sacks of sorghum to sell at 4 500 SD each, In 2006, despite limited funding made three sacks sesame at 8 000 SD and five available for the area, FAO supported sacks groundnut at 3 500 SD. After feeding Umsertiba Community (a local village or- his family, an average farmer could thereganisation in the Umsertiba locality near fore make an extra 77 500SD per season Kadugli, South Kodofan) in training 50 from the sale of the surplus crops. farmers from 3 villages, on animal traction. -The combination of activities gave farmers The area had seen heavy fighting during a greater income-generating potential. The the conflict, with many leaving as a conse- average family in the area earns 15 000 quence. People have been returning to the SD in an average month (with most income region since 2004. Between July 2006 and generation around the time of harvesting) March 2007, over 1000 households re- and spends 10 000 SD. Increasing income potential can have a massive impact. Each turned to Umsertiba. family can use this to invest further in their Training Farmers to Return to the Land income-generating potential. Saving enough can be difficult as inputs are costly. Returnees came back to Umseritiba village A bull, for example, costs 50 000 SD. To with some savings raised from their time operate an ox plough, two are needed. away, so food aid was not needed. Many owned land pre-conflict but with years -As part of the training agreement each away, farming skills had been lost. FAO farmer trained then had to plough the land stepped in to assist with this. of at least two other returnee households unable to plough their own, so having a Training on animal traction (ploughing) lasts positive knock-on effect for the community. for three weeks and includes training both for farmers and farm animals (oxen and -The training gave farmers access to tools camels) alike. Farmers are taught how to they might not otherwise have been able to assemble ploughs, how to train oxen to afford. An oxen plough alone costs 50 000 respond to commands and pull a plough, SD. Farmers trained were also allowed to how to handle the animals and how to keep the ploughs they learnt to assemble plough their land. and were also given seeds to plant. -The training encourages greater selfsufficiency of farmers. Once a farmer has harvested his first crop, he is in a position to support his family both in the present, but also in future in terms of access to more seeds.

Ibrahim Mondo Ismail was trained in animal traction in March 2006. The training helped him to gain a livelihood as a farmer.

As a result of the training a year ago Ibrahim has been able to cultivate 20 feddans of land with the oxen plough, from the original 5 he could do by hand. Through this he was able to not only make his family self-sufficient in terms of food, but also raise extra income. As well as helping himself, he has been able to give assistance to other returnees. He ploughed the land of three returnee households for free last year. Ibrahim was able to charge a further 9 households for ploughing their land, so earning extra income; on average charging 2000 SD per feddan ploughed. As he earns a living through his farming, he is also able to act as a volunteer teacher in the local school teaching Arabic and Mathematics. With the extra money earned he was able to finance multiple family needs. He bought four sheep with the proceeds, to make his family more food self-sufficient, metal sheets to construct a home for his family who were previously living in a thatched grass tuckle, and he was able to part-fund his brother’s wedding which cost 150 000 SD.

Haroon Ebeid Khouri shows farmers how to assemble a plough.

Oxen used for training tend to be two to three years old, the optimal age for training as farm animals. They can then be used as farm animals for another five years. Haroon Ebeid Khouri has been training people on animal traction since 1982 Following the training of farmers last year, he noted a number of positive impacts as a result:

Farmers training their oxen to carry a bar from which to attach a plough.

Ibrahim Mondo Ismail came back to Umsertiba in December 2005 He was 16 when he left and, having been
Farmers are taught to use the ploughs they have constructed to plough their fields with the assistance of camels or oxen.


FAO Newsletter Sudan, April 2007

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