Palotaka farmers call for support
By: Kabaka Quintos
Farmers in Palotaka of Obbo Payam in Ayachi county Torit State are calling on the government to improve agricultural activities in the area.
They said introduction of mechanized farming and ox plough would combat the looming hunger which often drives many to refugee camps.
Speaking to Juba Monitor yesterday, Moi Joseph in Palotaka said the land in Obbo is very fertile for crop production.
He said lack of advanced agricultural mechanization was making cultivation of portion of land very difficult in the area.
He explained that farmers in Obbo were practicing traditional method of farming which often results to low harvest.
“Cultivation here we see is on small scale that is why we are not having big farms due to little knowledge. If we could be given more skills it could be better, we want more skills, currently we are using traditional tools for farming like hand hoes. That is what helps us here we could not borrow from somebody but we struggle with our children which help pay their tuition fees,” Joseph told Juba Monitor.
Mrs. Rebecca Alobo, a member of Palotaka farmers’ cooperative said cultivation in Palotaka is key to education of their children and livelihoods.
She added that upon returning from Camp this year, it was hard to supply goods to main markets due to bad roads connecting Palotaka to other towns in the state and Juba city.
Alobo said they use hands to grow crops despite the fact that Oxen were available but due to limited skills they could prosper in agriculture.
“We farmers of Palotaka are cultivating well with the community the only thing we are facing is only digging using hands, we were given some cows by Caritas Luxembourg in group, that is what help us but still is not enough,” the female farmer said.
Another farmer Anne Aluhu Paulino who supplies seeds from her small farm in Palotaka advised people to prioritize farming.
She said farming can reduce cases of theft and robbery against innocent civilians.
Aluhu said her farm generates 300,000 SSP annually and is able to raise the standard of her family.
She explains that “when we started digging we didn’t know how to grow crops by line, but due to the little knowledge we got, I managed to use it, now I can see there are changes in food production.”
“I am seed supplier, I was given 47kgs of groundnut seeds now I manage to cultivate which has help me get 300,000 South Sudanese pounds yearly and established a ware house for storing farm produce I harvest every season,” Ms. Aluhu said.
“I call on people to commit themselves on cultivation to take hunger out of Eastern Equatoria and if we eat well we shall not be affected by malnutrition and cases of robbery and theft will stop,” she advices.
Palotaka farmers emphasized on the need to cultivate maize, beans and cassava, groundnuts and sorghum to kick hunger out of Torit state and Eastern Equatoria at large.