[Red Sea key achievements of the voucher system]

Material Information

[Red Sea key achievements of the voucher system]
SOS Sahel International UK ( Author, Primary )
SOS Sahel Sudan ( contributor )
Place of Publication:
SOS Sahel International UK
Publication Date:


Subjects / Keywords:
Afrique -- Soudan -- Mer Rouge
أفريقيا -- السودان -- البحر الأحمر
Subsidies ( LCSH )
Subsidies -- Red Sea Coast (Sudan) ( LCSH )
Spatial Coverage:
Africa -- Sudan -- Red Sea
19.583333 x 35.616667


General Note:
Title supplied as file name by SOS Sahel International UK
General Note:
This title was published jointly by SOS Sahel Sudan and SOS Sahel International UK
General Note:
VIAF (name authority) : SOS Sahel (Organization : London, England) : URI

Record Information

Source Institution:
SOAS University of London
Holding Location:
Special Collections
Rights Management:
This item is licensed with the Creative Commons Attribution, Non-Commercial License. This license lets others remix, tweak, and build upon this work non-commercially, as long as they credit the author and license their new creations under the identical terms


This item has the following downloads:

Full Text

The Agricultural and Fishery Production by Smallholders Project did things differently. In an area where populations were chronically
dependent on aid, the project asked people to financially contribute to that aid through a voucher system. Rather than providing inputs
for free, beneficiaries were linked with the private sector and contributed a proportion of the price of an input, the rest being paid by the
project. The voucher system was combined with intensive and practical training for all beneficiaries involved in the project. This way of
providing aid was new to communities and while it took a significant amount of time for people to trust the project, by the end of the five
years significant attitude changes had taken place. By giving people an active role in the investment into their livelihoods, it created a
significant level of independence not seen before. Dependency on aid turned to ownership, pride and self-reliance.

Three years into the project, Abdul Rahman Mohammed Mabrook told us “| had two boats

before but | was considering selling them as | couldn't afford to maintain them. With the help
of SOS Sahel | have improved both boats and | now rent a third. | have been able to buy
engines, ice boxes and fishing gears thanks to the project, and | plan to buy a GPS system in the
future. This will improve my catch even more, as | will be able to find good fishing ground, even
at night... With my improved income | have been able to build a new home for myself and my
family.” Two years later, when the above photo was taken, Abdul Rahman told us he owns four
boats and has bought a tuk-tuk. The contribution he made towards new technologies paid off;
inputs such as GPS and Fish Finders helped him to improve his catch by an incredible amount,
and along with ice boxes and training on on-board and off-board handling, he has improved the

quality of catch to the market and increased his income more than significantly.

Whilst the project has certainly improved incomes of all beneficiaries, the stark financial success of Abdul Rahman may not be replicated
by all of his fisher friends to the same level, but the pride, ownership and motivation to invest is now widespread. The success has grown
beyond the scope of the project and the independence seen by fishing and farming communities will have a longer-term impact than any
financial gain ever could.

Agricultural and fishery production by smallholders une
Implemented by SOS Sahel Sudan; Lead by SOS Sahel UK; Funded by the European À js

Commission; 1st December 2013 to 30th November 2018 LE o>

SOS Sahel

International UK

“Ahmdoon shop in Port En r
A key part of the growth of independence that was seen throughout the project came from building — «. ee ES aio
relationships. Fishermen and Farmers in rural areas who were previously quite isolated grew their
professional networks as a result of the project. The most important relationship formed was between
producers and private sector suppliers. The project indirectly strengthened the private sector in and
around Port Sudan significantly; with an increase in demand, shops expanded and new ones opened. The
project chose to work with those with the best reputation and biggest capacity to supply the required
inputs. By building direct contact with the private sector into the project design, the impact became more
tangible, long-term and sustainable. Fisher and farming communities were able to build familiarity with
what is available and where, therefore boosting their confidence and negotiating power. This contributed

significantly to the attitude change and increase in independence, ownership and self-reliance.

Mohammed (standing third from the left in the top photo) is the representative of a group of fishermen in Arem—a fishing site near
Suakin Port. He explained to us that “fishermen in this area did not have engines on boats so they used ores, but were unable to go far
enough. They could only get engines from merchants and middle men in exchange for selling their catch cheaply. Now they have engines
and ice boxes, purchased through the voucher system. Most importantly, now they can get a good market price for their fish.” This
relationship with middle men is important; fishermen and farmers have more negotiating power because of the project. They have
improved quantity and quality of produce, and have a direct relationship with suppliers. Therefore they are no longer at the beck and call
of middle men, and have the power to demand a better deal.

The project has helped build up professional networks—with suppliers, the bank, technicians etc. They know who to go to when their
engine needs repairing, or where to purchase a new ice box. Importantly, relationships with government has also improved —government
teams were conducting extension services throughout the project, and their role within the community has increased massively. These
professional relationships will help to build long-term impact and sustain the community's independence that has grown throughout the

Agricultural and fishery production by smallholders une
Implemented by SOS Sahel Sudan; Lead by SOS Sahel UK; Funded by the European as *

Commission; 1st December 2013 to 30th November 2018 Kye <0 owl

SOS Sahel

International UK

With an aim of increasing access to and use of services, such as formal credit and financial services, the project helped to organise
communities. This organisation came in the form of associations, where groups of producers would formally register with the
government, as well as more casual organisation around accessing the project services.

Grouping together and getting organised gave communities a louder voice. Each organisation elected a representative, who negotiated
prices, and organised, negotiated and distributed contributions. By having meetings and open discussions, each member of the group
understood and had a say in the price of inputs and their contribution. All members are involved in making decisions, and working
together to improve their livelihoods—whether that is lobbying the government for improved services or having a greater negotiating
power when buying inputs or arranging financial credit.

Whilst women are heavily involved in the farming sector, they were previously rarely engaged in the fishery sector. Since the project,
women have started engaging; they have set up a Fishermen’s Friends Association, with 206 members. Rowda (middle of above photo)
explained “men already had an association, and so we thought about starting one just for women”. The association makes fishing nets
and tools, and has set up a fish restaurant with support from the project. All income goes back into the association and the women.
Through this mechanism, women in fishing communities are getting more of a voice, and slowly engaging more in economic activities.

As the project went on, women were beginning to realise that there was a space for them and an opportunity to organise. The first
women's only farmers association was registered and has sought support from the bank and ministry of agriculture; they purchased a
tractor through the voucher system with a 30% subsidy from the project.

The project has helped provide small producers with long-term assets that will remain long into the future. But beyond it has helped
small producers, and particularly women, find a louder voice. It has helped them to practice good governance and many groups now have
revolving funds and a bank account. While some producers are hesitant to officially register as an association with the government, most
are nonetheless organised and working as a group to negotiate prices or lobby for better services.

Agricultural and fishery production by smallholders Fah
Implemented by SOS Sahel Sudan; Lead by SOS Sahel UK; Funded by the European a *

Commission; 1st December 2013 to 30th November 2018 Kye <0 owl

SOS Sahel

International UK

When reviewing the successes of the project, one of the most positive aspects is that the change seen is sustainable and will have very
long-lasted impacts.

Discussing the project with fisherfolk in Suakin town, it was clear that a new generation of fishermen were engaging in the livelihood.
They described ‘university graduates’ and ‘graduates of the sea’ - now both working within the same livelihoods. When the project
started, there was a belief that the fishery sector was dying out, with new generations having little interest in traditional ways of life and
often migrating for work. But now, young people have seen the financial benefit that their fathers, uncles and friends are reaping. The
new technologies like GPSs and Fish Finders are now commonplace because of the project and this has helped to entice young people
into fishing. Mohammed, pictured above, has recently graduated from university; he has a boat, engine and GPS system purchased
through the project and goes deep water fishing. With young people becoming more involved, not just in the fishery sector, but also in
farming, the impact of the project on these livelihood is likely to live on in future generations. Women are also gaining a greater voice in
these sectors, and slowly change is happening. As Jemani, the leader of Suakin Fisherman Association (below}, said: ““Real change, it’s
true. You cannot hide the sun with your hands”

The most significant long-term change will be the change in attitude that has
happened as a result of the project. When talking to the beneficiaries, they are no
longer asking for things, but rather telling us what they have done for themselves.
They now have agency and a desire to push themselves forward. As Jemani put it,
“six years ago, we had no table, no chairs and no meeting... Now look at us sitting
here. Step by step we have changed... We are happy. But desire has no limit. We
want to go higher and higher. We want to train our new generations to take
over... Dreaming is so important. We sleep to dream. No one can stop us

SOS Sahel

International UK

Agricultural and fishery production by smallholders * *

Implemented by SOS Sahel Sudan; Lead by SOS Sahel UK; Funded by the European a js
Commission; 1st December 2013 to 30th November 2018 kx* mo)

Full Text