Farmers trapped with low yields due to skills gap

Farmers trapped with low yields due to skills gap
Edwin Chemoiywo IIRR Country Representative speaks in Juba at consultative workshop in Juba. [Photo: courtesy]

The Country Representative of International Institute of Rural Reconstruction (IIRR) in South Sudan, Edwin Chemoiywo, said farmers are trapped in annual circles of hunger and are unable to grow enough food to feed their families.

He said more than 3.4 billion people who live in rural areas, among them small-scale farmers, fishermen, pastoralists and forestry are adversely affected due to inadequate skills of production.

“What surprises me is that most of the time, people around the world are actually farmers, they own the land but they have no money,” lamented Chemoiywo as he addressed a one-day technical consultation workshop to review gender-sensitive training material on climate change agriculture.

He noted that South Sudan has vast fertile land, but farmers have been clipped back by rudimentary farming practises that do not yield results.

“There is little resilience to climate shocks such as droughts and locust invasions,” said Chemoiywo.

He stated that having sufficient affordable and nutritious food is a basic human right, and that is why IIRR supports smallholder farmers and agro-business groups in Central and Eastern Equatoria states through small-climate agricultural practices.

“We strongly believe in the power of rural communities, especially women and youth, to improve their livelihoods, adapt and mitigate the effects of climate change,” he said.

According to him, the organisation engages women in new agrotechnology and also encourages them to safeguard farming traditions.

He said, “We are passionate about facilitating partnerships between farmers and agri-business authorities and the markets. We support value chain developments.”