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Turkey provides agricultural support to S. Sudan

July 3, 2018 (ANKARA/JUBA) - The Turkish state development aid agency has donated 30 tons of seeds and agricultural equipment to farmers in war-torn South Sudan.

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South Sudan agriculture (Getty)

In a statement issued Monday, The Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA) said it provided 500 farmers in the capital Juba and its surroundings with peanut, maize, sorghum, tomato, and okra seeds along with several types of agricultural tools.

The Turkish envoy to South Sudan, Hasan Sevilir Asan, South Sudan Agriculture Minister Onyoti Adigo Nyikwec, the head of South Sudan Farmers Union, Mathuc Akola, and TIKA’s coordination in Juba, John Acer attended the seed distribution ceremony.

South Sudan has a wealth of untapped agricultural assets. With 30 million hectares of arable land, across six agro-ecological zones, South Sudan is capable of producing an array of agricultural products, from cereals to oil seeds, horticulture, and specialty products such as Shea butter and Gum Arabic.

But despite the huge agricultural potential it possessed, only about 5% of South Sudan’s land is cultivated, yet the country also offers abundant water resources in the Nile basin, and forestry assets are plentiful, with tens of thousands of hectares of teak and other high-value hardwoods available for sustainable harvesting.

In 2012, South Sudan President Salva Kiir announced a goal to achieve food self-sufficiency in the country. That same year, the ministry of agriculture launched the national effort for agricultural transformation, and started to identify agricultural opportunities for foreign investors and agribusinesses.

(ST)