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Renk farmers bag millions of dollars in grain sale to WFP

Authors: Michael Daniel | | Published: Saturday, June 4, 2022

Sorghum warehouse in Renk County, Upper Nile State. | 3rd June 2022 | Credit; Michael Daniel.

The World Food Program has purchased more than 22 thousand metric tons of sorghum from local farmers in Renk County of Upper Nile.

The Head of WFP Field Office in Renk, Leonidance Andrew Rugemalila, said WFP has paid more than $7 million to the local farmers and suppliers to secure sorghum consignment. This is the first such local purchase of relief food assistance.

“We purchased 23-thousand-metric tone and we paid more than 7.7 million dollars. we are requesting the donors and investors to look where other commodities products in South Sudan can be purchased,” said Andrew.

In November 2021, the farmers in Renk County in Upper Nile State appealed to the UN agencies and humanitarian groups to buy their 2 million bags of sorghum.

Andrew disclosed that the UN agency has finally purchased 22,179 metric tons in 2021 and that it also targets 40,000 metric tons, this year.

He added the food will be used to fill the nutritional gap in the areas affected by insecurities and floods across the country.

The WFP representative appealed to the government to waive taxes on agriculture inputs and outputs.

“The government should have look into the challenges of exports like Gum Arabic and Simsim, the challenges that face the agriculture sector, so that the farmers and the trader so that WFP scale-up for the local purchase. The high price of the fuel which one of most inputs in the agriculture sector,” he said.

Meanwhile, some of the farmers and suppliers who benefited from the local purchase project spoke to Eye Radio yesterday.

They say there are still some difficulties in selling products such as Simsim, Arab gum and onion.

“WFP provides for us a market (and) our role is to purchase from the local farmers and sell it WFP.”

“The WFP purchase program reduces the number of jobless people in this area. We want WFP to extend this program, as you know Renk is agricultural area and it needs a market. now the farmers found suppliers if not WFP no one will buy.”

In July 2020, WFP South Sudan signed a Joint Action Agreement (JAA) with the Ministry of Agriculture and the Agricultural Bank of South Sudan.

The objectives of the agreement were to harmonize the intervention of the government and WFP in a common strategic framework and to scale up WFP’s local food procurement footprint in the country.

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