22nd March 2023
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Invest in agriculture to improve economy, gov’t told

Author: Michael Daniel | Published: Friday, April 22, 2022

Gum Arabic

A farmer in Renk County of Upper Nile state has called on the national government to invest in agriculture to help improve the economy.

Maruop Muorwel Ayii has also blamed the national government in Juba for neglecting agriculture in the state, since the independence of South Sudan in July 2011.

He said despite the fertile lands in the country, little has been done to boost the agriculture sector.

Last month, the World Food Programme warned that more than 70 percent of South Sudanese will struggle to put food on the table this year as the country struggles with unprecedented levels of food insecurity.

This, it says, is the result of internal conflict, climate shocks, Covid-19 and the rising costs of living in the country.

According to WFP, Communities living in Jonglei, Lakes, Unity, and Warrap state are said to be at a high risk of starvation.

Speaking to Eye Radio yesterday, Ayii called on the government to invest in their farms.

“If you make a comparison between agricultural production and oil production, you need six months in oil production to obtain the financial return, but with agricultural production only three months,” Muorwel told Eye Radio.

“You can reap the fruits of the cultivation of sesame, sunflower and peanuts. The price of a sesame sack is 30,000 pounds, while the price of a barrel of oil is $20 dollars. Why don’t we focus on agriculture when the beginnings of agriculture were 7,000 acres?

“To transfer production to consumption areas, there are no roads, and river transport is not safe, so the merchant is forced to take crops and sell them at cheap prices to Sudan.

“Every year the president speaks in parliament about agriculture, but when the agricultural season begins, the officials disappear from bearing the responsibility.

Maruop Muorwel Ayii instated that there is a lack of technical support from the government in the agriculture sector.

“The Ministry of Finance, the Agricultural Bank and the Central Bank are responsible for developing a plan to purchase these monetary products like sunflower, sesame and gum Arabic and export them to the markets,” Muorwel said.

” We have a second problem, which is the issue of the agricultural plot. It has been exhausted because it has been replanted for fifty years. Now we would like to have cooperation with the FAO to restore more land for agriculture.”

In November last year Cash crop farmers in Renk County, Upper Nile State criticized the government failure to fund them, the chairman of farmers’ Union said.

The same year, the farmers called on UN agencies and humanitarian groups operating in the country to buy their 2 million bags of sorghum.

In August last year Farmers in Renk County of Upper Nile State appealed to the government to intervene to save the agricultural season threatened by lack of fuel.

According to Renk County Farmers’ Union, 90 percent of the 1.5 million acres earmarked for cultivation this season is lying idle.

A farm in Renk County – Courtesy


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