Ox Plough Farming Project


Project Summary

Project Title

Ox Plough Farming Project

Project Location:

Tonj Area Diocese: (Adol, Makuach, Juol gok, Wunlit, Lurchuk, Ngapagok, Wunangui and Arich Villages)

Implementing Agency:

Tonj Area Diocese

Postal Address

PO Box  110, Juba South Sudan

Email Address

tonjmission2@gmail.com or tonjareabishop@wau.anglican.org

Contact Person:

Rt Rev. Peter Yuol Gur  bishop of Tonj Area Diocese


+211 955390228

Project Location:

Tonj State

Project Duration:

6 months

Project Budget:

USD 71,543


 Project Summary

The proposed Tonj Area Diocese ox-plough training project is a project of the Episcopal Church of South Sudan and Sudan (ECSSS), Tonj Area Diocese and is conceived from a realization that the biggest problem the farmers in the diocese face is lack of capacity to open up more acres of land for farming. It is an effective alternative to digging and tiling the land using maloda (a hoe), a common practice in South Sudan. The hoe method is ineffective, time wasting and energy consuming. The animal traction (ox plough) method will increase production and improve the lives of farmer’s households through increased food production, and more income from the sale of food surplus. The animal traction mode of ploughing will be based on the concept of teambuilding. Eight farmers groups will be formed in 8 villages within the diocese. Each of these farmers groups will be given 5 ox ploughs and 20 bulls.

While over 90% of the land is suitable for farming in this area, more than twenty years of civil war have had a devastating effect, and the hundreds of thousands who fled are now returning with nothing. In this proposal we are going to train them in practices that enable them to get the best from their land, and so rebuild their lives.

Tonj Area Diocese is a rural diocese and poverty levels are very high. People live on subsistence agriculture. A household may possess a number of domestic animals (cattle, sheep, goats) but the animals are local breeds that produce very small amounts of milk or meat.

This idea is unique because it is targeting poor rural farmers who live on less than one dollar a day. The poor rural farmers do have land and it is only the rudimentary methods of farming which is still being practiced. This project aims at increasing food production to the rural poor farmers. The project is demand driven and self sustaining because each season farmers have to produce enough food when ox-plough service is provided.


Problem Statement

The economic activity of the people in Tonj Area Diocese is centred on livestock and subsistence farming. People are still using a hand hoe to open up gardens to plant crops. The use of a hand hoe forces people to have small gardens which in turn make them produce very little food. The little food that is produced, people are forced to sell part of it to meet their basic needs. Since a very small amount of food is produced by the farmers, and part of that is sold to raise income to meet the basic needs of the community, the farmers have to face the problem of food insecurity and poverty. The ox-plough project will provide forty (40) ox-ploughs and 160 bulls to farmers so that they are able to produce enough food for consumption and surplus for sale.


Project Justification

The most limiting factor for most farmers in Tonj Area Diocese is the type of tools available. The most commonly used in the area is called a maloda, requires a farmer to kneel on the ground, and takes approximately five hours to work between 20m² - 50m². Using a well trained pair of oxen and a mould board plough however, three farmers can cultivate half an acre of land (2,023 m²) in just two hours. A substantial difference.

A previous attempt to introduce ox plough techniques into this region was initially resisted by local farmers. Oxen are so prized, that people were unwilling to harness them for agricultural purposes. However now that the benefits have been demonstrated, farmers are growing much more enthusiastic.

The struggle to restart normal living after more than 21 years of civil war is an uphill task. This is because village homes were destroyed, farm tools lost, families shattered and the local economy destroyed. The community is almost helpless. The only thing they have left is the life, farmland, and a few hand tools from which they can make a new start to rebuild their livelihood.

This trend (food insecurity) is progressively on the increase calling for urgent intervention. The interventions described in this proposal aim at: - enhancing levels of production and increasing productivity. The overall result will be guaranteed food security and increased household incomes. Of equal significance is the fact that farming practices that conserve the environment will be promoted.

Due to the limitations mentioned above there is a need for an urgent and strategic intervention to help this community recover.

Because there are many problems that the community have to solve in the aftermath of the war, there is need for strategic interventions that will kick-start and accelerate the recovery process back to normal living and also propel the community forward to a better state of well being. Subsequent and sustained recovery will follow if this one intervention is made.

The subsistence farmer’s food security is precarious because of the low acreage and low productivity. Farmers are also dependent on rainfall only. When drought strikes the farmer experiences failure of crops and hence certain famine. A farmer using an ox- plough can increase his/ her acreage to 10-15 acres in one-months cultivation. This increases the household land area of crops three times in a year. Other benefits of this method of cultivation are that the farmer (household) has time to weed his/ her crops early thus improving the productivity of his farm. During training the farmer also gets added knowledge of improved agricultural techniques that can increase the yield of his crops.

Overall Goal:

The overall goal of the project is to strengthen food security in the project area by establishing good farming techniques which can be up scaled to other areas of Tonj Area Diocese. It is expected that, this will lead to programmatic and structural change of the Tonj Area Diocese farming system in those areas that have potential for increased food crop production.


Project Objective

To achieve this goal, the project has nine objectives: i) To increase acreage of each family ii) To reduce incidents of famine iii) To enable each family to produce enough food for itself and stop relief food operations iv) To improve farmers agricultural knowledge and techniques through extension programs v) To use ox-plough training centers as demonstration and extension centers also vi) To train 5 extension workers to disseminate modern agricultural techniques vii) To supply 40 good quality ox-ploughs to 8 farmer groups viii) To train 160 households in ox-plough draft technology ix) Introduce and raise awareness among small scale farmers of the advantages of ox plough farming.

Project activities

The training of farmers will take 2 weeks. Each farmers groups will be offered only 8 ploughs and 20 bulls. The Diocesan Development committee will be in charge of the project. The Ox-Plough Training Project will train farmers groups on how to use the ox ploughs. During the training period the farmer will also be introduced to improved agricultural techniques to increase crop production. Animal health principles will also be taught to the farmer to take good care of his/ her bulls. The Diocese is to employ two training facilitators to train the farmers and 5 extension officers. The extension officers will be in charge of supervising the activities of the 8 farmer groups. The duties of an extension officer shall include keeping a record of farmers’ acres, crop yields, annual rainfall, pest infestations and animal health problems. Each extension would be required to establish a demonstration farm in his/ her area. Establish systematic feedback on farmers’ perceptions and acceptability of projects to evaluate their implications for scaling up and to ensure that the technologies remain relevant and appropriate to farmers’ situations while developing appropriate knowledge and information sharing products for different stakeholder groups


Expected Results/Outcomes

  1. 5 extensions agents trained and equip to support the farmer groups.
  2. 160 households will benefit from the project and they will get dramatic food increase which will enable them to have food security throughout the year and surplus to sell which in return will enable them to reduce poverty in their homes.
    1. Agricultural production increased and food security strengthened especially in  rural communities and vulnerable populations.
    2. Increased income generation from increased food production and drought resistant crops.
    3. Improved technologies for addressing structural food security challenges adopted.
    4. Agricultural production boosted, generating income for the rural population and thereby strengthen food security in the project areas.

Project Sustainability:

Since the application of ox plough in Tonj Area Diocese will need to be financed adequately in order to ensure its sustainability, the diocese will continue to fund raise so as to support the proposed project and also mainstream the outcomes of this initiative into ongoing programmes on food security which are being implemented by the Government and key development partners. 

In addition, efforts will be made to strengthen the emphasis on an approach to community-driven participatory development that takes advantage of the strengths identified with regard to local social capital to empower local stakeholders (village leaderships and opinion leaders etc.), strengthening the emphasis on participatory forms of M&E that will enhance the sense of ownership at village level.


Monitoring and Evaluation

Tonj Area Diocese will have the overall responsibility for monitoring the implementation of project activities, including producing activity and financial reports. An approach, which embraces participatory principles involving the local people and other development partners, for regular review to assess achievement of agreed goals and objectives of the programme, will be developed. Tonj Area Diocese is committed to organizing periodic programme reviews, planning and joint strategy meetings. Programme monitoring may be undertaken jointly or coordinated with all partners. 

A mid-term evaluation of the project will be conducted by Tonj Area Diocese staff during the second half of project implementation. This will offer an opportunity to make any adjustments in programme implementation. At the end of the project, an external and independent evaluation of the project will be conducted. 

Tonj Area Diocese will be directly responsible for day-to-day project implementation. The diocese will establish a Steering Committee (SC) which will provide strategic and policy guidance for project implementation. Its membership will comprise church and local communities. The diocese will encourage stakeholder participation, including representatives of farmers, and civil society, to develop capacity for the farmers.


Budget Proposal



Unit Price (USD)

Total (USD)

Project Equipment




Ox- ploughs & Chains

40 pcs



Transport for Inputs




Bicycles for extension Agents

5 pcs







Sub Total












Training Facilitators

2 persons



Feeding of Trainees

7 days



Sub Total












Development coordinator

1 person

500 x 6 months


Extension Agents

5 persons

150 x 6 months










Admin cost 5%




Grand Total





 Ground Nuts

This year the farmers are really happy with their groundnuts, they produced more sacks from it than last year 2015.

Mothers Union Farmer

Mary is a member of the Mother’s Union who is hard working, she is complains that people stop when sun is hot but says this is our life in South Sudan.

The images above are all Tonj Area Diocese and that is how the cultivated crops are grown. We are really are in need of ox ploughs to make the work easy and more productive.

The Agriculture Coordinator

Rev Benjamin Makur is the one of the farmers who cultivates, he has been appointed to be with Rev Joseph Yuot to handle agriculture in the Diocese. Together they are doing well but they need ox ploughs to improve their work.

An orphan relying on farming

One of the orphans benefiting from our Diocese small farmers 


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