The future of family farming – An important part of the family

The future of family farming – An important part of the family

20 March 2011

This is Zeinab Awad el Karim Ahmed. She lives in Barankawa, a village in the state of Sinnar, in the Blue Nile region of Sudan.

Notwithstanding her young age she plays an active role in the household and farm chores.

Zeinab Awad el Karim Ahmed

One of her tasks consists in bringing the food that her mother prepares to her father and younger brothers when they are working harvesting bananas on their family farm, far away from home at the other end of the village.

At other times she helps handling banana transplants in the field. One of the main problems in Barankawa, as in the whole region, is the lack of support for agriculture and the lack of infrastructure, although many villagers also mention the lack of social amenities and the general remoteness of the area.

Zeinab’s father describes the families in this area as poor in resources, but rich in spirit. They use many strategies to cope with their harsh realities; pooling whatever resources they have to implement their projects.

One of these included, for example, setting up the infrastructure to provide the village with electricity. In a situation where external support is limited, many neighbours have played a key role in different projects supported by the PROLINNOVA (Promoting Local Innovation) programme. This picture is one of the outcomes of the “farmer-led documentation” project in the area, which helped highlight the role that all villagers, including Zeinab, play. Seeing young people like Zeinab around a farm is thought to be a good omen. This project showed why.


Text and photo: Nageeb Ibrahim Bakheit