Displaced Tastes is a research project run by the Rift Valley Institute in partnership with the Catholic University of South Sudan under the X-Border Local Research Network. The project examines the changing tastes for food in South Sudan in the context of the country’s economic transition and place in the regional, cross-border economy of grain. In this piece, Elizabeth Nyibol describes the lifestory of her aunt, Mary Ajok Wetkwuot, who throughout her life has demonstrated a commitment to growing the indigenous grains of her Dinka community—varieties of sorghum and millet—which she carried with her while living much of her life in displacement. The account shows how Mary, like many other Dinka women, deployed the social and material capital of seeds under her control to manage the wider transitions experienced during South Sudan’s decades of war.
This briefing is a product of the X-Border Local Research Network, a component of DFID’s Cross- Border Conflict—Evidence, Policy and Trends (XCEPT) programme, funded by UKaid from the UK government. The programme carries out research work to better understand the causes and impacts of conflict in border areas and their international dimensions. It supports more effective policymaking and development programming and builds the skills of local partners.