Agriculture and food: the Netherlands and South Sudan

The Netherlands is your partner in agriculture and food.

The agriculture sector comprises all economic activity relating to food, from production to marketing and distribution.

Exporting nation

The Netherlands is the second-largest exporter of agricultural products in the world, after the United States. It is known for its flowers, cheese, tomatoes, vegetables and beer.

The Dutch horticulture sector has an extensive logistics network. Vegetables harvested in the Netherlands can be sold in New York the very same day.


The Dutch food sector has developed smart storage and packaging technologies that keep food fresh longer.

The Netherlands wants to reduce the use of antibiotics in food production in order to combat antimicrobial resistance in humans and animals.

The Netherlands shares its expertise in food production with developing countries. It is committed to a free market with safe, sustainably produced food.


Research and innovation are vital to Dutch agriculture and horticulture. Dutch agri-food companies and knowledge institutions do innovative work in many areas, including sustainability and nutrition.

Agri-food: the Netherlands and your country or region

Agriculture in South Sudan largely remains at subsistence level with average field sizes of two feddans/acres per household, crop yields being very low: hardly one ton per feddan/acre due to use of poor quality seeds, tools and agronomic practices. The same applies to the livestock and fisheries sectors. The private sector, which could play an important role in agriculture by including farmers in value chains, needs to be rebuilt.  Low levels of production in combination with ongoing hostilities have led to a large part of the population being food insecure and experiencing unbalanced diets.

The majority of the Dutch development activities has been confined to the former Greater Equatoria with prospects for expanding to other parts of South Sudan with similar activities. Over the coming month, the Embassy will focus on the new concept of hubs of stability with specific developed projects that are linked to nexus between Humanitarian assistance and development.

The Dutch development activities and interventions related to policy areas of Food Security and sustainable development are as follow:

Emergency Livelihood and Resilience Programme (ELRP, 2018) (FAO):

  • The contribution is part of multi-donor effort to raise USD 75 million for 2018 aimed at helping farmers to break the vicious circle of poor crop, livestock and fisheries production and insufficient resilience and means for preparation for the new crop season.
  • The project aims to reduce people depending on humanitarian aid by improving their livelihoods, resilience and recovery.

South Sudan Agribusiness Development project, Phase 1 (Mott McDonald):

  • The project targets increasing productivity and income by helping larger farmers in the Equatorias through Business Development Advisors to develop sound business plans and better access technical know how, inputs and markets.
  • It also links farmers to finance from microfinance institutions and commercial banks.
  • To ensure sustainability, the project created business hub (Premium Agro consult Ltd) to continue its operations in serving SMEs against payment of a fee.
  • The SSADP programme created 900 jobs over the past years through support to 457 farmers who employed one or two additional persons each.

South Sudan Seed Development Programme, no cost extension (AGRA):

  • The programme, extended to the end of 2019, supports production of certified seeds, foundation seed, seed inspection, seed research and release of new varieties.
  • In 2017 1000 MT of certified seeds were produced and distributed by 8 seed enterprises. Two new seed companies will be identified and supported to produce high quality certified seeds.
  • Operationalization of the registered Seeds Trade Association.
  • 10 MT of foundation seeds produced by outgrowers for key crops.
  • Two improved beans higher yielding varieties released
  • 1 – 2 hybrid maize seed varieties produced
  • One seed laboratory up graded for effective quality assurances

South Sudan Youth and Women Agribusiness Entrepreneurship Programme (SPARK):

  • SPARK works to strengthen business development services in selected project areas in order to support youth and women to start and grow agribusinesses. This is being accomplished by providing entrepreneurial education and business incubation activities as well as access to finance and markets.
  • The business incubation activities identify and disseminate improved and appropriate technologies for sustainable agricultural and fisheries production that could be used to transform subsistence producers into micro/small commercial producers.