Why agriculture is the centre for integrated rural development aspirations
On Saturday, a group of experts from various institutions held a discussion on integrated rural development to accelerate food production in the country.
This was a forum hosted by the Ebony Centre that brought together senior government dignitaries, including ministers from the line ministries.
Actually, the purpose of the event was to allow the experts and stakeholders to generate ideas that could be used to accelerate rural development.
The debate was very positive and encouraging and, if taken seriously by our government and ministries concerned, will help in empowering the local people in rural areas.
Agricultural development is one aspect of integrated rural development.
The functions of agriculture in the development process are vital because no development can take place without the involvement of agriculture.
However, increasing agricultural productivity cannot be attained by the physical extension of farms without the application of improved technology and better management systems.
There is a great need to empower young people because that is the driving force behind the idea of integrated rural development.
The people in the rural areas have great ideas to increase the food production of the country, but lack of support from the government and partners and poor roads have always been their major challenges.
It is very important for the government to ensure good roads are constructed to connect farming communities to the market and also allow wholesalers who would like to buy directly from the farms.
Most of the fresh foods, including fruits and vegetables, that are sold in Juba and imported from Uganda are bought from deep in the villages, hundreds of kilometres away.
This is only possible due to the accessibility of the farms and markets as well. So, we need connectivity between buyers and sellers, which could only be possible through better roads.
Of course, there are several organisations that are empowering local households across communities in the country through small-scale farming to meet the nutrition needs of the family.
But there is a need to empower our people through subsistence farming for a sustainable future and economic growth.