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Rice growing in South Sudan.

Brazilian Agricultural researchers to collaborate with the Ministry of agriculture and Green Horizon on rice growing in South Sudan.

Seeding rice at Jebel Ladu Farm

Last week Juba Monitor caught up with Dr. Jose Maria Barbat Parfitt and Mr. Germani Concenco, who are researchers working for the Brazilian federal government research firm called EMBRAPA.

During their stay in RSS, the researchers met the Federal Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, the honorable Onyoti Adigo Nyikwec, and with a team of experts from the Ministry of Agriculture. They have also visited Green Horizon farms at Jebel Ladu and Bilpam.

Embrapa is a Brazilian governmental agricultural research corporation. It works to find solutions for the many challenges facing the farmers in the field.

Dr. Parfitt said they are positive that rice will yield well in South Sudan because of the similarities in good favorable climatic conditions in both Countries.

“We grow rice in Brazil in similar climatic conditions as here in South Sudan, we are positive that rice will yield well in South Sudan,” Dr. Parfitt told Juba Monitor.

“Brazil is large in length and we have tested our rice varieties in different parts of the country with different temperatures. We (Embrapa) produced high quality rice varieties that are why we are confident and positive of the effectiveness of rice growing in South Sudan,” Dr. Parfitt said confidently.

The experienced researcher said; “South Sudan has a big potential for growing high yielding rice, adding that Embrapa has an initial overview of rice with high mechanicalized rice for high input farms (Modern Farms like Jebel Ladu Farm).”

He said that in Brazil today there are 3 million hectares of rice being grown annually. EMBRAPA, together with Brazilian farmers, developed and perfected growing techniques for rice that can help the World’s youngest nation improve its domestic rice production.

“With the help of the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security and with the right varieties and the right management, rice can be grown successfully in South Sudan since rice is also a staple food being used more and more by the people of South Sudan,” Mr. Concenco noted satisfactorily.

A one of the Pivots (Irrigation system) installed at Jebel Ladu Farm.

Green Horizon’s Managing Director, Yoash Zohar said the experts’ and government’s preliminary mandate is to improve the food security in the country, saying that South Sudan has suitable conditions for growing rice on a large scale.

“It (Embrapa Research Corporation) has agreed that the first areas for the implementation would be testing the high yielding rice varieties that could perform well under the conditions in South Sudan.”

“We think it’s an important step in enhancing food security in the country and in the near future we will be able to export rice to the neighboring countries,” MD Yoash recapped.

MD said there are two ways in which rice can be grown on large scale; first, is by using the Flood Irrigation system, where the rice fields are flooded after seeding and the field stays flooded for the rest of the growing circle. Secondly, is by using Sprinkle Irrigation system, where rice is put under Sprinkle or Centre Pivot Irrigation system.

“Both systems can be successful, they only differ in the management of the crop,” MD Yoash confirmed.

He said “Green Horizon intends to install a modern Rice Mill that will process both the rice grown by Green Horizon and those grown by small holder farmers in South Sudan. With this rice mill, the end product will be polished, which will replace some and hopefully in future most of the imported rice in South Sudan.”

MD Yoash said due to experience and knowhow that EMBRAPA’s researchers have in rice production, he is confident that rice will yield well in South Sudan.

Dr. Jose Maria Barbat Parfitt has 30 years’ experience working for the Embrapa Research Corporation, the Brazilian research corporation which conducts all agricultural researches and reports directly to Brazil’s Ministry of Agriculture.

Embrapa is an institution with a global spirit, which throughout its history has built a strong international cooperation network. They are currently present in every continent, partnering with some of the most prominent institutions and research networks in the world.

Coordinated by the Secretariat of International Affairs, Embrapa’s activities abroad also contribute to the Brazilian Government’s technical cooperation program, which aims at transferring and adapting Brazilian technologies to the tropical realities of different countries.

It also aims at the promotion of multi- and bilateral cooperation to help to reduce poverty and hunger in countries in Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean. Knowledge exchange and progress in scientific and technological research with various institutions in the world for the benefit and improvement of agriculture in those countries.



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