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Natural Resource Management and Agricultural Productivity; Good practices from Sudan.

 MG 5366001

24th October to 2nd November 2016

The natural resource base is in steep decline in Sudan, as evidenced by conflicts between pastoralists and other users and the failure of rangelands to recover between seasons. Rain- fed and irrigated agriculture is competing increasingly with pastoralism for the land and water resource base.

There is ample evidence that accelerating climate change is affecting rainfall patterns adversely and that burgeoning livestock numbers are competing for dwindling resources. Climate change is also contributing to decreased availability of ecologically healthy and climate resilient rangelands. The trend will be made more severe by widespread deforestation for fuel wood and charcoal, which is expected to contribute to the vicious circle of degradation of soil, forests, biodiversity, and range resources. Under these circumstances, traditional coping mechanisms are becoming increasingly difficult, and the vulnerability is magnified by social and political conflict, as well as by the encroachment of mechanized farming on former grazing areas. Agricultural productivity in Sudan is low and variable due to erratic climatic conditions, degraded soils, low use of productivity-enhancing technologies and limited knowledge among the rural population. Additional factors include decades of civil conflict have ravaged traditional rain-fed agriculture; disabling agriculture policies; insufficient financing of costs of agricultural services; inadequate land and water policies; and inefficient marketing arrangements.

The International Fund of Agriculture Development (IFAD), through their funded projects have demonstrated how appropriate incentives can significantly improve agricultural production, for example through the adoption of Conservation Agriculture and distribution of improved seeds, and how community based Natural Resource Management (NRM) can contribute to consolidating peace initiatives. IFAD project interventions are fostering community dialogue around sensitive topics like natural resource management, improved land reforms, and harmonization of resources for nomads and farmers, and equitable distribution of resources through, participation of local communities in decision-making and empowerment of women and youth groups.

Documentation of good practices and the sharing of knowledge and experience related to NRM and Conservation Agriculture through the Learning Route, will contribute to better uptake of effective approaches for NRM, lead to enhanced capacities in Agricultural Productivity and rural development in Sudan, not only within the Sudan IFAD portfolio but with key line ministries such as the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Animal Resources, and with other Development Partners. The Learning Route methodology developed by the Procasur Corporation, is a proven and effective strategy for capacity building focused on practical learning, promoting the exchange between best practices and the scale up of innovations. The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) Country Office (ICO) in Sudan, IFAD supported projects in Sudan and the PROCASUR Corporation have been working in close partnership during the past years to improve project performance through several learning activities following the Learning Route methodology.

It is withinthis framework, that the International Fund of Agriculture Development (IFAD) country office in Sudan and the Central Coordination Unit for IFAD funded projects in Sudan (CCU), invited the PROCASUR Corporation to lead the methodological training process utilizing its expertise to develop the design and implementation of one (1)methodological training in Sudan and to support with the development and implementation of one (1) in country Learning Route activity in Sudan to benefit Sudan projects staff and other identified key stakeholders.

The Learning Route titled:Natural Resource Management and Agricultural Productivity: Good practices from Sudan.The learning route will take place in several districts in Sudan between the 24thOctober and 2ndNovember 2016.

The main objective of this Learning Route is to contribute toKnowledge sharing andpeer to peerlearning at country and regional level in order to build technical capacities within IFAD's operations and partners in the NEN region on good practices of Natural Resource Management and Agricultural Productivity. Another objective is to build the capacity of IFAD funded projects in Sudan and government institutions to implement similar Learning Routes in Sudan, with other thematic areas, using the PROCASUR Learning Route methodology.