Home | News    Saturday 15 May 2010

South Sudan exempts from taxation all food commodities as hunger is looming


May 14, 2010 (JUBA) — The semi-autonomous government of Southern Sudan has resolved to exempt from taxes all food commodities as one of immediate measures taken in response to the looming hunger in the region.

The decision was taken on Friday in the Council of Ministers’ meeting chaired by the Vice President-designate, Dr. Riek Machar Teny.

About 80% of population in Southern Sudan is currently said to be at risk of hunger resulting from food deficit as the region’s 8 million or more people are in need of 225 metric tones of food to fill the gap, according to an assessment reported by the ministry of Agriculture and Forestry.

The huge food deficit was also due to poor harvest last year and unpromising yields this year, coupled with lack of food strategic reserves. The caretaker minister of Agriculture and Forestry, Dr. Samson Kwaje, presented a memo alerting the Council about the magnitude of the situation.

The chunks of the food commodities consumed on daily basis in the urban settlements are imported from the neighboring countries such as Uganda and Kenya and also from northern Sudan.

Market prices are usually high while these consumables do not reach wider markets in rural areas. "The urban communities have better access to food through markets. However, the situation has not improved especially for most rural pastoral and agricultural communities," the assessment report has indicated.

This is mainly because of merchants compensating for their losses incurred due to ferrying and high taxes imposed on the food items at border points in addition to some other multiple inter and intra-state taxes when inside Southern Sudan.

According to the resolution, foreign and local merchants dealing with locally produced and imported food should not be taxed when importing from outside Southern Sudan and/or transporting them to various markets across the region.

This is to make food available in all the markets with affordable prices to the population, explained the government’s spokesperson, Paul Mayom Akech, in a press statement shortly after the meeting.

The estimated food locally produced in the states could only feed between 2% to 15% of their respective populations, leaving the rest vulnerable to acute hunger.

The ministry of Finance and Economic Planning was therefore directed by the Council of Ministers for immediate implementation of the resolution in coordination with all the relevant institutions of the state governments.

Mayom further explained that merchants who are importing food commodities to Southern Sudan are therefore encouraged to increase importation and should also begin to drop market prices as soon as the resolution comes into effect through the ministry of finance.

Market prices for food commodities are expected to be monitored for conformity by the relevant institutions after the resolution comes into effect on the ground.
Mayom, who is currently the caretaker minister of Information and Broadcasting, said the market prices must drop because merchants would now mainly worry about their spending on transporting food commodities to the markets and not about the taxes any more.

Another resolution reducing taxes levied on livestock and fisheries, destined for markets, was also passed by the cabinet.

The Council also resolved to avail 70 million Sudanese pounds to the ministry of Agriculture and Forestry in order to respond to the situation. Mayom added that the government has also appealed to the international community to help raise another 35 million, in order to make a total of 35 million.

Meanwhile the Southern Sudan Food Security Council, a body formed earlier to monitor the food security situation, is directed by the cabinet to devise long term solutions through development of mechanized farming and other methods.


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  • 15 May 2010 04:46, by Dinka Boy

    Dear South Sudanese,

    The market can not exist without the involvement of government policies that regulate the business other the marketers will make their impulse business manipulation always base on situation.

    I agree that the business people should not be highly tax for their goods because that will help them not to increase their prices to compensate their heavy taxes imposed on them during their transportation. This should also include the non- consumable goods so that the business people will distribute widely in the South’s regions.

    Some business people will not go to some areas because of insecurity. There are some who just depend on looting and stealing andt this hinder development.

    repondre message

    • 15 May 2010 07:05, by Gatwech

      Bravo Council of Ministers and wise leadership!

      Save the lives of people through such measures. I believe more merchants will now be interested to do business with food commodities in all parts of South Sudan.

      repondre message

    • 19 January 2013 09:32, by golfmangs

      I am about to complete a university thesis on this topic and your post has helped me with the facts and figures I needed to accomplish it. Cheers!

      repondre message

  • 15 May 2010 04:51, by jur_likang_a_ likan’g

    Kwaje, what are your plans for agriculture in South Sudan? Please mechanise agriculture in South Sudan in general and Greater Equatoria and Western Bahr Ghazal in particular. It is rediculous to read in the press that agricultural projects are being implemented in Jonglei a region that can do better in animal husbandry. Let Goss not act like the late Joseph Gararang who recommended to the government of Nimeiri to construct a canning factory in Wau instead of Maridi or Yambio were the fruits are. Decisions should be based on patriotism and not sectariasm. Equatoria farmers can feed South Sudan if proper implements for it are given to them. So do your job properly otherwise you are under watch.

    repondre message

  • 15 May 2010 04:59, by AUGUSTINO DENG

    By the way, how do the Southern Sudanese leaders feel when they heard that hunger is still hovering on the Southern Sudanese Civilians? Is this really the time for the Southern Sudanese people still suffering again from Hunger? CPA is useless and the only people who are gaining the benefits of CPA are the Southern Sudanese leaders not the Southern Civilians.

    In fact, SPLM/SPLA of today is not like the SPLM/SPLA which fought for 21 years. I don’t know why the Southern Sudanese leaders forget about the future of their citizens. I hate the word "Hunger" when people said it. Where is the OIL budget being given to the Southern Sudanese Government by the Khartoum Government? Who own this budget and why the Southern Sudanese Civilians don’t get the share of this budget? I’m sorry that the SPLM/SPLA which is the figure wing and the hope of Southern Sudanese People fall on wrong side.

    "Poor people always thinks very wisely, but the richest people always think negatively or unwisely". Who are the richest of the Southern Sudanese? If the Southern Sudanese Civilians are still facing Hunger, then what is the reason why SPLM/SPLA carry up arms and fought against Khartoum Government? Instead we Southern Sudanese people claim to have our own Government, why don’t we join the Khartoum Government and get a full slave from Arabs instead of Southern Sudanese to slave themselves? SPLM/SPLA under this damn leadership will not carry victory at all. Southern Sudanese leaders always talk about the Development of Schools, Hospitals, Hotels and Roads. Why there is no anyone every talk about the Primary wants of Human being such as FOOD, WATER and SHELTERS? BY AUGUSTINO DENG.

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    • 15 May 2010 06:14, by Padiet Gagag

      If there is peace in suothsudan,there must be no hunger;meanwhile if the country is in the war there must be hunger,and drought rain could refuse to rain every things would disappear including livestocks.

      repondre message

      • 15 May 2010 09:39, by marie

        South Sudan had a semi autonomous government since 1972, but development has always been a challenge. I remember growing up in Juba in seventies, this people of acute hunger had always been there. When the steamers delay for more than a month without coming to Juba, food commodities start disappearing in the markets. Other than Khartoum, the only other sources of staple food were Yei and Nimule. PDU and ERAP were initiated to revolutionize agriculture in the South, but all the funds invested were for research without any tangible sizable farms in the South.
        Then came the 1983 war with destroyed development in place. It took us back to years prior to the adisababa agreement. The CPA was a great sigh for the Southerners. People had high hope that things would change for the best. But since the establishment of GOSS till today, agriculture has remained profession of the rural population. The government does not have any schemes in the 10 states in the South. The question that one would ask is; what is the difference between the High executive council and GOSS? Since both neglected agriculture in their agendas.

        Countries in Norht America and Europe only have a short period of Summer ..3 to 4 months, but produce enough food. How about us in Africa that have conducive weather throughout the year. It is really a pity for us to be talking of hunger.

        repondre message

  • 15 May 2010 14:47, by Hillary B.M.L,M

    They forget to cultivate by themselves, every body want to be government Employee unknowing that Money can not be eaten but could just purchase commodities.
    shame on you , what if there is no trade restriction, the result would be chaos in the Country, every rubbish will be brought in from any Country at any cost even poisoned goods will be available in the Market, no clinical and hygienic standard measurements would be there.

    repondre message

  • 15 May 2010 20:40, by babadit

    Poor planning in the government of south sudan has caused for us all these problems now, Roads that are internal with Those Agricultural areas are not open up by the government that is why there is importation of food items from outside sudan.
    Some places like Magwi county and Chukudum in Eastern Equatoria can produces food that can feed large population in the south, but since there has not been any routh that connect to the markets things are up rotting in the graden right now as i write this article.
    Agricultural activities should be encourage by the governemt in both State and the Higher level of government respectively and should be advocated for so that it is market oriented and attractive to farmers

    repondre message

    • 16 May 2010 04:18, by kalkada

      where is SPLA? spla can’t stand a side and look, SPLA do something before the situation get out of hand.

      those elites in Juba, and Salva are doing nothing, hunger and death in thousands resulting from tribal raids,lack of food and nothing been done.

      GOSS is draining from public money, and people go hungry no one of them desired to help. they stack up their bank accounts and citizens are starving. Salva step up and cut those ministers salary and help provide food and security.

      though Im supporter of spla, still I think Salva is a weak leader comparing him with the late Dr. John Garang, RIP. you are true hero.

      repondre message

      • 16 January 2013 01:34, by tom33

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  • 17 May 2010 14:46, by okucu pa lotinokwan

    Bravo,for exempting from taxation on food items,but after this when one still someone found selling food items very expensive should be taxed for it.

    repondre message

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