Farmers need peace to increase food production
By David Mono Danga
The South Sudan Agricultural Production Union (SSAPU) noted that the insecurity in South Sudan has affected overall crop production in their areas.
The SSAPU chairman Timon Wani says the civil war displaced farmers in some regions leading to a reduction in the number of farmers producing food in the country in the areas of Yei, Maridi, Magwi, Juba rural, Mundri, Yambio and Kajokeji.
“Some of these areas have faced massive displacement of people due to the civil war that broke out in July 2016.”
“Insecurity has also affected marketing of the products, traders and organizations like WFP find it risky to travel to far remote rural areas.” Said SSAPU chairman Timon Wani.
According to the United Nations High Commission for Refugees – UNHCR updates in January, the conflict in the country has displaced over 2.2 million people into the neighboring countries. And 1.97 million IDPs inside South Sudan including 193,219 in UNMISS Protection of Civilians (POC) sites.
Gabriel Aliga, a member of the farmers’ union added that poor rural roads and other key physical infrastructure have led to high transportation costs for agricultural inputs and products.
“This has led to spoilage of perishable commodities during transportation. This causes high losses to farmers,” Aliga said.
SSAPU says the cost of key inputs such as seeds, pesticides, fertilizer, drugs and vaccines are high for resource-poor farmers as a result of insecurity in the country.
The civil war has crippled the country economically. A catastrophe the ministry of Agriculture believes if not solved, the country would not produce the 1.2 million metric tonnes of food required to feed the country’s population.
The Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) says it has been working with local communities in the country to empower them, improve their livelihood and reduce poverty.
Through its implementing partners FAO has provided over 1 million tons of quality crop seeds to 590, 200 people, in about 72,400 seed insecure households.