Assessing market opportunities in East Darfur and West Kordofan

In March 2020, the ILO visited West Kordofan and East Darfur to assess opportunities for local economic development.

News | 20 April 2020
Nomadic pastoralism and rain fed subsistence agriculture continue to provide the main source of livelihoods for forcibly displaced and host communities in Southern States of Sudan. Forcibly displaced communities often bring skills and training from their regions of displacement potentially contributing to agricultural development and increased market opportunities and business development, for both communities. Yet, challenges of investment and good governance undermine sectoral development in agriculture compounding food insecurity and poverty.

From 12 March to 26 March 2020 the ILO, working closely with the UNHCR, UNICEF and the Netherlands’ Embassy in Khartoum, visited various localities in West Kordofan and East Darfur to conduct its integrated enterprise and market systems assessment. The assessment provides a solid empirical and analytical understanding of the market system as well as the dynamics surrounding entrepreneurship, small-medium enterprises, cooperatives, and access to finance as well as financial literacy.

Conducting focus group discussions with local government representatives, refugees, host communities, as well as women and youth groups, the assessment mission was able to identify the sorghum and groundnut value chains as well as rain fed and irrigation-based agriculture as key areas of intervention to strengthen rural livelihoods. In close collaboration with its partners, UNICEF, UNHCR and IFC, ILO interventions under PROSPECTS will combine infrastructure investments in rain-fed and irrigation based agriculture with education and training in selected and in-demand occupations, while strengthening cooperatives, entrepreneurship, and access to finance in order to contribute to improving community resilience.