Citizens told to cultivate

The Director for food extension and security in the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security Mr. Alfred Lomeling John said citizens should make use of the rainy season to cultivate food to support their families and the Nation.

“If you have harvested crops such as maize, beans, sim-sim, groundnuts, sweet potatoes and cassava then you will not spend much on buying minor items such as salt and oil. So, growing your own food is better than buying it from the market,” he said.

John added that people should get their hoes and other tools for cultivation in order to fight hunger in the country as well as the skyrocketing prices of food commodities in the country.

“The Farmers should buy seeds from the market instead of waiting to be given by the government since the current economic crisis has affected the government’s annual plan of seed distribution,” he said.

John said lack of transport and insecurity has made it difficult for them to oversee the work of farmers in their various locations.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security does not have the money to buy seeds since the Ministry of Finance and Planning did not release the budget,” he said. “All our extension programs for farmers in Yei River and Jubek states are on halt because most of the farmers have fled the areas,” John said.

The director said the citizens and farmers must stand together and fight the hunger and poverty by using our own efforts to cultivate instead of waiting for food supply from our neighboring countries. Meanwhile, Adam Abakari who owns a farm where he grows food crops such as maize, tomatoes, carrots, greens, millet, onion, and egg-plants in Gumbo after the Juba Bridge said they have been producing food items for about one year.

He said their farm production is doing well since the land is very fertile, “we have plenty of land and it is very fertile but our citizens don’t want to cultivate because they don’t like getting dirty”.

“Many South Sudanese think that if one is a farmer, he or she is poor, which is a wrong conception,” Abakari said.

He urged people to put more efforts in agriculture to produce their own food to reduce the food gap in the country.

By Rose Keji Benjamin

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