Kajo Keji: The food basket now getting back on its feet

Kajo Keji: The food basket now getting back on its feet

The leadership of Kajo Keji County in Central Equatoria State is banking on peace and returning war victims to redeem the region’s lost agricultural glory.

Robert Pitia who is the Central Equatoria State Chamber of Commerce Chairperson told The City Review that they cannot wait to see vibrant agricultural activity in the county, which for decades has been the country’s food basket.

“We ask the county commissioner to guarantee peace and security in the county so that any development can be a success.” There is no investment without peace and security. War comes with destruction, but we can rebuild. “Once we have peace and farming is possible, many people will return,” he says.

After years of conflicts, the fertile county of Kajo Keji now has all it takes to make its contribution to food production in the country.

He said, among the items, they plan to grow on the farms are maize, beans, simsim, tomatoes, and other crops which can grow in  Kajo Keji.

“The farming activity will be of importance to the community and Juba, as food will be present, employment and this will reduce the food insecurity we are facing in the country,” Robert noted.

Robert believes that Kajo Keji being an agricultural potential county in Central Equatoria State is set to provide food for the rest of Juba.

“Currently most foods consumed in Juba are brought from the neighbouring countries yet South Sudan is an agriculture country, we must make South Sudan food secure through agriculture because most of our lands are virgin,” he said.

James Donga, a Chief of Beliak Boma, said that a good number of people who have started coming back home are staring at hunger.

“Because I do farming, many people who come back see the nice cassava I planted, and they get tempted to return.” For now, there is a good number of people back and the nearby schools have started enrolling pupils but the only challenge is hunger,” he noted.

James Yuga, a returnee and a resident of Lokojo Boma, says due to the inadequate food rations given to them in the refugee camps in Uganda, he decided to come back since he has vast land. He also called on the government to provide them with farming equipment and seeds. 

“Ever since I came from the camp my life has been difficult. I am sick and yet I have a family of five. Food is not enough,” he says.

Sour relationships between pastoralists and farming communities in Kajo Keji have been one of the reasons for conflicts that end up disrupting peace and thus agricultural productivity in the county.