Northern Bahr el Gazal form Agricultural co-operative to help fight hunger

Northern Bahr el Gazal form Agricultural co-operative to help fight hunger
Maize ready for harvesting. [Photo: Courtesy]

The Northern Bahr el Ghazal State has rolled out agricultural programs through co-operative farming to tackle hunger in the state.

Speaking exclusively to The City Review, the acting state governor, Tong Lual Ayat, said they have formed cooperative farming groups to spearhead the project. 

He said there is also free training for farmers to boost food production.

“We believe that next year we shall eradicate hunger, and that is why we are embarking on developmental projects so that we can be able to eliminate hunger,” Ayat said.

On Thursday, the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Peter Mayen, announced that up to 8.9 million people in South Sudan are facing food insecurity.

He attributed the current food insecurity to inter-communal conflicts, climate change, and internal displacement.

Talking about projects being implemented to boost food production in the state, Ayat mentioned the Aweil Rice Scheme farm, adding they are also working with FAO to support the farmers.

“We are trying to support at least 80 to 90 per cent of the farmers who are in the state,” he said

Appeal for support

However, the official appealed to the Troika countries to support the implementation of the revitalised peace agreement.

“We are appealing to the donors and the Troika countries to support us to implement the agreement.” The donors did not show up. The projects such as agriculture, and microfinance are pending and we are waiting for the donors, ” Ayat stated. 

He said that it is important for the donors to support the country so that the state can participate in the implementation of the agreement.

Ayat revealed that the civil servants in the state have gone without salaries for five months and that the inflation and unstable market prices have taken a toll on them.

“To control the prices, we need to make sure that hard currency is available in the market.” 

Most of the goods sold in the markets in Aweil are imported from Khartoum. But with the ongoing global crisis, the prices of goods in Northern Bahl Ghazal state have shot up.

 “We have been depending on the goods being brought from Uganda through Juba, but they are very expensive. Three days ago, a sack of dura was at SSP 30,000 but now it has gone down to SSP 25,000 and I believe that very soon it will drop to SSP 7000,” Ayat said.