Abyei is a relatively small and disputed area of land on the border of North and South Sudan that in recent years has experienced much turmoil. In May 2011, following violent skirmishes, the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) sent troops into Abyei seeking to push out the Southern forces.Compounding the pressure and instability caused by the numbers of both the returnees and the IDPs, the North blocked important trade routes to the South in the midst of the traditional lean season. The combination of these factors had a significant impact on food security in both the short and medium terms. This EMMA was conducted jointly by Mercy Corps and the Norwegian Refugee Council in June 2011 and focused on analyzing the impact of the conflict and the road closure on the maloda (traditional hoe) and okra seed market systems in northern parts of South Sudan. This EMMA report suggests that in-kind seed distributions often undermine markets in the region and inhibit the development of market linkages. It recommends that NGOs stop working as "market actors" and promotes market responses that encourage the market to function better on its own. It also suggests that longer term programs should focus on promoting new and more effective agricultural practices.