Monday, January 9, 2012

Food on the Table

Bethuel Lesuk Andaria stands in his cassava farm which is proving fruitful after receiving farmer training. Photo: UMCOR Sudan

My name is Bethuel Lesuk Andaria, I attended the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) farmer training on April 28, 2011, that was conducted by UMCOR in South Sudan. We learned how to cultivate an improved variety of cassava. After the training, UMCOR distributed cuttings of the new variety of cassava to the farmers who were in attendance.

All of the farmers in Kenyi boma, Lainya county, including myself usually plant the local variety of cassava, which is not resistant to cassava diseases and takes 18 months to harvest. This season we planted this new variety, which is more disease resistant and can be harvested in just eight months.

I planted the cuttings provided by UMCOR on May 16, 2011 and monitored how well they grew in comparison to the local variety. Within two weeks the difference was clear. It was then that I realized that UMCOR has really helped us and given us a way to produce more food and sustain our families.

The crop is now five months old and is growing very fast and has been resistant to diseases. I plan to harvest it by February 2012 and it may go straight to my family because this variety is sweet and not bitter. I may store some of it for the next season. Many farmers from other villages have been asking to buy some cuttings from my garden, but I do not plan to sell it.

I am not the only one who had such a good result with this new variety of cassava. The 67 of us who attended the food security training in April are also having the same satisfying experience as me. I am very thankful to UMCOR who brought this new variety to us.

Bethuel Lesuk Andaria is an UMCOR Sudan beneficiary

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