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Freshly harvested peanuts (ground nuts)

Rural Enterprises for Agricultural Development (READ)

About the Project

In South Sudan, $20 million in funding will enhance the capacity of Producer Organizations to improve social cohesion and serve as effective value chain actors and partners.  

The project aims at responding to critical growth and development challenges confronted by smallholders by supporting the development of rural producers’ organizations as effective value-chain actors and credible partners. The READ project aims at fostering the holistic development of rural producers’ organizations, by promoting good governance and accountability systems vis-à-vis their constituencies, enhancing their sustainable business models and economic initiatives, and strengthening their capacity to provide services to farmers including facilitating access to financial services, technology, inputs, and markets. READ also aims to contribute to the peace, recovery, and stabilization agenda by strengthening the social fabric within communities and creating livelihood opportunities for the rural population, including returnees and IDPs. READ will be implemented through a conflict-sensitive lens, whilst ensuring the inclusion and empowerment of youth and women. 

READ will invest in differentiated approaches to capacity development of existing rural people’s institutions with the aim of promoting farming as a business. It will do so through a holistic approach to the RPOs development, supporting existing formalized organizations such as cooperatives, and adopting a graduation approach for the less structured Agriculture Producers’ Groups (APGs), including women and youth groups, to equip them with assets and capacities needed to promote equitable and sustainable market linkages for rural producers. Women’s empowerment will be central to the project – given women’s prominence in the agriculture sector and their marginal role in decision-making processes, at household, community, and at interest groups levels. Project support will place a deliberate focus on economic activities that are capable of improving the nutritional status of RPO members and their households while strengthening their resilience and adaptation to climate change. 

The project will invest in the development of inclusive rural financial services, to ensure the RPOs supported to have access to long-term viable financial services beyond the READ project period. This will consist, in the target areas, support to Savings and Credit Cooperative initiatives deepening access to credit for agriculture through a partnership with the Cooperative Bank of South Sudan. Furthermore, the project will support the effective implementation of the relevant policy frameworks regulating the cooperative sector and rural financial inclusion. 


  • South Sudan

Project Status




Supervising entity

  • IFAD

Call Year


GAFSP Funding Amount



GAFSP Coordination Unit