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Machar urges local populations to intensify farming in South Sudan

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June 3, 2012 (LEER) – South Sudan’s Vice President, Riek Machar, has urged local populations to intensify farming beginning this year in response to the gap created by the shutdown of the oil production which used to provide 98% of budget for the new country.

The region since 2005 has been feeding its populations mostly from imported basic food commodities from the neighboring countries including Sudan using the revenues from the oil production.

South Sudanese officials say they were forced to shut down the oil production because Khartoum confiscated the oil passing through its pipelines to Port Sudan. Khartoum say it acted due to lack of agreement on transit fees and delay of payment of such fees by South Sudan.

The government has recently introduced austerity measures which cut down expenditure and have affected budgets of productive institutions including the ministry of agriculture.

Speaking to the local chiefs during his Saturday visit to his home county of Leer in Unity state, Machar, told the chiefs to urge their respective populations to intensify farming during this farming season.

He also encouraged them to form into groups of cooperative societies or business partners, explaining that a group of people with financial capacity can buy a tractor to expedite farming.

The region, he said, should not depend on food imports while it is endowed with arable land.

He told them that local farmers who would produce food surplus would sell off such surplus to the government or to other business people.

South Sudanese states located on the northern part of the country import their food from neighbouring Sudanese towns. But Khartoum imposed since last year an embargo preventing trade with the newly independent state which accused of supporting rebels in South Kordofan and Blue Nile.

(ST)

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  • 4 June 2012 06:38, by Lang

    If GoSS can bring peace and security to Jonglei in a less a year, they can also find a way to tackle food insecurity in the country. This is a good start.

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    • 4 June 2012 09:17, by john k

      Great news for every citizen of South Sudan, we need to have food surplus, rathar to dependent on import goods, our people are hard workers, but mr Vice president remember,the local peasants are not only need more encouragement, but also need more tractors, give them fertilizers, pesticides and seeds,let them cultivates all kind of seeds, including penut, otherwise thanks for that.

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  • 4 June 2012 19:50, by panom lualbil

    Thank you very big mr vp, 4 encouraging civilians base on growing crops. It’s true, farming and animals ranching were used to be what they make their living. However, during spla, many rebels from NUER& DINKA left in bushes, make their living base on civilian’s. And as a result, civilians evacuated their homes into town for security purpose. So you should first talk of their security too sir !

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