National News

Incentives put smiles on faces of Northern Bahr el Ghazal farmers

By Moses Gum

For the first time in history, some 50 rural farmers in Majook Yinthiou in the border area of Aweil East State have received farm inputs and tools.

The incentives are aimed at increasing food production by local farmers as a means of fighting poverty.

Last, week a local organization, Empower Youth Africa with support from Norwegian Refugee Council distributed groundnut, okra and sorghum seeds as well as different types of farm tools to the youth and women.

At least 25 male and 25 female farmers benefited from the distribution.

Majook Yinthiou is a town in Aweil East former Northern Bahr el Ghazal located along the border of South Sudan with Sudan.

It has been faced with numerous challenges including food insecurity, lack of communication facilities, limited health facilities, and lack of clean drinking water among other challenges.

The farmers expressed hope that with the tools and seeds, they can be resilient against food insecurity.

In a statement to Juba Monitor, the local Chief Mawien Aguer expressed happiness as their sons and daughters received inputs to improve food production.

He said the communities of Majook Yinthiou suffered a lot from food shortages since the closure of the Sudan- South Sudan border.

“Our people are suffering as they lack many things. Many of the youth and women cannot afford to get food and end up deserting their houses and fleeing as refugees,” Chief Aguer said.

He said thousands of citizens had fled the town into Sudan in search of food and other basic needs since conflict started in South Sudan five years ago.

Local authorities say nearly 5,000 people have fled the area since conflict started followed by the closure of the border but some 2,000 people have returned back since January this year.

Chief Aguer said strengthening the economic capacities of women and youth in the area would be the only key step to building resilience in the community.

He accused most NGOs and humanitarian agencies of neglecting the area.

“Many of my people fled and are returning back home. They left because there was no food, some came back hoping things would improve and nothing is forthcoming,” he stated.

The local chief appealed to the government and relief aid agencies to deliver food to the area as soon as possible to aid the already dire situation.

Abuk Dut, one of the beneficiaries also appealed for immediate delivery of food and non-food items to the returnees.

“I am lucky to be among beneficiaries who received seeds. But if I have seeds and no food to eat, the planting work will not be done,” she said.

Aduk said her situation with children is so critical due to lack of food and that she needed to be helped.

She said there is need to distribute food to the local population if they are to focus on farming activities.

“It is not that we don’t work. Many of us work hard, but if there is no food, we will lack the energy to work,” Aduk said.

She thanked the organization, Empower Youth Africa, NRC and EU for supporting the vulnerable community with seeds.

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