ABSS to finance gum Arabic production
By Bullen Bala Alexander
The Agricultural Bank of South Sudan (ABSS) is set to finance 40,000 hectares for gum Arabic production from the year 2020 to 2023 in across the country, Managing Director for Agricultural Bank of South Sudan, Rual Makuei Thiang has revealed.
He said a government policy to increase exports in cash crops would focus on gum Arabic and other crops that would boost the country’s economy was in place.
ABSS is concerned with providing inputs and other requisites for the plantation of gum Arabic in areas where the production is high,” said Thiang during an exclusive interview with Juba Monitor last Friday.
He revealed that planting more fruit trees in the country would help in generating additional foreign currency after oil products.
“We are encouraging the planting of fruit trees to assist in generating additional foreign currency after oil and increase export and also help in solving energy shortages as well as controlling the environmental deterioration,” he said.
According to Thiang South Sudan is in the forefront of gum Arabic production in the world saying the crop generates the biggest foreign currency after oil in the country.
He said ABSS will continue to pay particular attention to directing agricultural credit services towards the development of peoples’ forests initiative.
“This tree fruits is widely introduced recently to provide food and to be an additional item of the country’s exportable commodities, “he said.
Thiang said the sub-sector is expected to be activated to witness a noticeable expansion during phase one within the efforts towards realizing food security.
He said in order to implement it successfully, the government needs to provide services to agricultural bank in order to improve farming system in the country.
“I think in both cases the Central Bank of South Sudan and the Ministry of Finance and Planning need to earmark a considerable share in commodity protocol, foreign credit and be solicited to provide the required guarantees,” he said.
He said in order to activate and promote this sub-sector agricultural credit services there is need to be directed towards vertical and horizontal expansion for producing legumes, spices, fruits and vegetables and honey.
“The bank will finance additional sixty thousand hectares in five years period to reach three hundred thousand (300000) hectares in 2023,” he said.
He added that the strategies for credit investment should be implemented in the form of specific investment plans for the production of basic food security crops such as Millet, Maize, Rice, Root Crops, and Export Crops such as Oil seeds.
However, he appeals to government to earmark a considerable amount of money from oil capital revenue to utilize for agricultural development in the country.
The bank will finance three Agricultural Sub-Sectors mainly: mechanized, traditional rain-fed, and irrigation sub-sector.
“Am urging every household to embrace on planting fruit trees especially mangoes, lemon, guava and other trees, which can bear the eatable fruits and produce juice in the country,” he said.
Thiang said as soon as ABSS got the capital from the Ministry of Finance, they are going to import those trees from South Africa, Israel, Kenya and Uganda.
He said women should also take the responsibility of planting these trees because it will improve their own businesses at different locations in the country.
He said the total areas planned for 32 states plus the Administrative area of Abyei is two million hectares out of 10 million targeted for cultivation across the country in five-year period of the total area available for cultivations in our land.