Assessing the impact of support to agriculture and forestry development project on maize productivity in South Sudan
Tongun, Nixon James
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The government of South Sudan through the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry launched the Support to Agriculture and Forestry Development Project in 2007, as one of the strategies aimed at increasing agricultural productivity. The project aimed to increase productivity by facilitating access to improved technologies of production and building capacities of both Central and State governments. However, cereal productivity in general and maize productivity in particular has generally been low, resulting in persistent food insecurity. Since the Comprehensive Peace Agreement was signed in 2005, the consumption trends of the people of South Sudan have greatly changed, hence maize has evolved from a purely subsistence crop to a successful commercial crop. Therefore, this study assessed the impact of the Support to Agriculture and Forestry Development Project on maize productivity of farmers in Juba and Morobo Counties of Central Equatoria, South Sudan. Cross-sectional data were obtained from 200 maize farmers, 80 participants and 120 non-participants. A Propensity Score Matching analysis was used to analyze the impact of the project on maize yield whereas a GLS model was used to assess the determinants of maize yield. Results obtained from the model indicated that the impact of the project on maize productivity was statistically significant. Therefore the SAFDP farmers obtained higher maize yields. The results also revealed that maize farming experience; number of extension visits, credit accessed and the type of seed used positively and significantly influenced maize productivity, whereas age of the farmer negatively and significantly influenced maize productivity.