September 5, 2012 (RUMBEK) - The Governor of Lakes State Eng. Chol Tong Mayay has expressed full support for the establishment of a women farmers’ cooperative union, donating fifteen ox-ploughs and two scooter trailer-motorbikes for transportation of farm produce to women farmers from Panliet Yirol West County.
The Governor made the donation on Saturday after meeting a delegation of thirty-five women from Panliet Women Farmers School in Yirol West County.
Governor Chol Tong, said that he was impressed by the women’s farming efforts, telling them that farming is vital for all South Sudanese irrespective of their political, economic or social status.
About 4.7 million South Sudanese, a United Nations assessment shows, remain food insecure this year alone, with at least one million at risk of severe hunger.
The Governor acknowledged the support to the women’s farming initiatives by the French Oil Company Total and the local NGO Diar for Rehabilitation and Development Association (DRDA).
The representative of the French Oil Company Total, Thierry Labrouze said he appreciated the partnership between Total, DRDA, the local authorities, and the beneficiaries of this agricultural project, describing this developmental initiative as unique. Mr. Labrouze revealed that the French Embassy will soon be partnering with DRDA in building classrooms at the Panliet Women Farmers’ School in order to enhance the farming and adult literacy classes at the Yirol West County-based school.
The DRDA founder and Executive Director, Karak Mayik Denyok expressed appreciation to the government of Lakes State for supporting initiatives for women in the state, adding that the support in farming is empowering women to fight against hunger and poverty thereby ensuring self-sufficiency through food security in the state.
The women farmers’ delegation also held a meeting with Lakes State Minister of Rural Development Daniel Chol Koknyin, on matters related to agricultural practices. The Minister pledged to register the Farm as a cooperative, promising to lobby with the Ministry of Agriculture for seeds and farming tools to enhance the agricultural initiatives of the women farmers.
Mayik explained that “the aim of the visit was to expose Pandliet farm women cooperative society which is currently being implemented by Diar for Rehabilitation and Development Association in Yirol West Country".
Moreover, the visit aimed to provide a learning opportunity on cooperative, networking and women doing business in Lakes Stat to fight against hunger and poverty.
The cooperative movement includes savings schemes, enumerations, advocacy and negotiation training on how to apply for loans.