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Former impeached Minister shines in his farm

By: Manyuon Mayen Manyuon

Jonglei State former Minister of Labour who was impeached after exposing “rots” in the State’s pay sheet now shines in his farm.

Thon Simon Thok after his impeachment changed from politics into agriculture.

The politician turned farmer said his farm has now harvested over 4, 000 bags of white sorghum in his farm at Renk Town of Northern Upper Nile State.

Thok was the former Jonglei State Minister of Labour, Public Service and Human Resource Development who was impeached in 2018 after revealing ghost names in Jonglei State pay sheet where the Assembly was greatly affected.

Gearing to his firing, Mr. Thok was accused of defamation by Jonglei Assembly after exposing rot to the media.

He turned to farming in 2019 and founded “PNIC Agriculture Company”. Thok said he has always dreamt of exploring other opportunities after he was impeached.

“It was not good for me to just sit down and wait for position. Yes, I am a professional lawyer and a politician, but it was not logical to just be idle. So I just wanted to be in the private sector since I had a dream to be part of private sector,” he said in an interview over the weekend.

Mr. Thok added that his skills and competency pushed him to be part of South Sudan private sector.

“When I started last year in March, it was unbelievable. Buying tractors and farming equipment was hard. But I am happy to affirm to the people today that we have harvested 4,000 bags of 90 kilograms of white sorghum in the store now. The farm still has other produce in the garden, so we expect the number of bags to rise after complete harvest,” Thok said.

“For sesame, we have about 250 bags. So I am estimating from 8,000 to 9,000 bags of white sorghum and up to 2,000bags of sesame,” he added.

Thok’s farm in Renk town is 1000 hectors where he had planted white sorghum and sesame last year only.

“White sorghum covered 750 hectors and sesame up to 250 hectors. The produce of this year were actually affected by rains but we are happy,” Thok said while he could not hide his excitement.

He encouraged people to join private sectors in order to boost productivity to improve the Country’s economy. 

“Private sector especially agriculture is a backbone of any nation. So it will be great to boost our economy and get other opportunities for employment if we get in to private sector especially agriculture,” former minister advised.

He said he acquired his tractors and initiated his idea through his family’s accumulated wealth.

“Someone might be wondering where I got the money. So it is my family wealth. Our family had two lands in Northern Sudan and when I was relieved from the Ministry, I just had wealth which I think was to be utilized instead of sitting down and wait for the next appointment,” he said.

According to Thok, his family wealth motivated him to join farming.

“If we need to come out from this inflation then let’s branch to the agricultural sector. Everything you wish can be possible,” Thok noted.  

“We have a very fertile soil, water in the river and enough rains for production. So my message to South Sudanese is to improve the economy of the country,” he said.

He called on the humanitarian organizations, Ministry of Agriculture and South Sudan Agricultural Bank to buy from his company since his company has enough sorghums.

“We have enough white sorghum, and the challenge is a market. So we urge international organizations like WFP, FAO to come to us because we need market for this huge production,” he concluded.

Thok said that he was also planning to acquire big tractors from South Africa early this year for his new land given to him in Pochalla County in Eastern part of Boma State. 

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