Editorial

TIME TO GO BACK TO THE LAND

Odongo Odoyo

Topical Commentary


With Odongo Odoyo

The day started well and full of promises because President Salva Kiir Mayardit had now tasked eight governors and three administrators to go and serve the citizens of this country in their respective localities. This had been long overdue since the formation of the new cabinet. But as the adage goes “better late than never”, this has come to pass and what lay ahead and what the general public is expecting from the new appointees is nothing less than work and work for the development of this country. I am one person who walks with his head high because I believe in truth and honesty. I also believe that a spade is a spade not a big spoon. This is why when l met Dr. Jacob K. Lupai, the man who has read and read. He has researched and researched in the agricultural field both locally and internationally. We started talking about food insecurity. Although I must admit that I am far from this field, I however, have some basics required and would even take it upon some institute graduates.  In fact we are all farmers but the extent of each individual kind of farming or knowledge is what matters. Dr. Lupai was full of praises how the vast part of this country is fertile and if properly utilized can be the “food basket” of the region instead of being vice-versa. His concern however was that nobody wanted to pay attention on this fact and many people wanted to be in or appointed in political seats. I did not comment but his take that the outstanding issues on the appointment of governors had been resolved and now these new team could go out there and ensure that with the current rainy season, farmers even those tilling their backyard had something for their families when harvesting time comes. He told me that there is no need to wait to have so big farms to be called a good farmer. Kitchen gardens have been known to do just fairly well and in our situation life must start from somewhere to success. It is this somewhere which people are ignoring and trying to get excuses. With states administration in place now field agricultural officers should be made to wake up and do their field work in consultation with their superior. Dr. Lupai was of the strongest opinion that if this rainy season was properly utilized, at least there would be a change although so many activities had been disrupted by the emergence of Coronavirus which had forced a number of countries onto lockdown. For Dr. Lupai, going hungry or having no food in stock should live in the past if indeed this country had large fertile chunk of land which was not being properly used for food production. A change of heart and attitude towards farming is important. Not only white collar job pays. People should not sit idle and wait for manners from heaven. It is time to take agriculture as a business. It can work because it has been witnessed in the neighbouring countries.

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