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Revenues from oil should support agricultural sector: Kiir

December 30, 2019 (JUBA) – The South Sudanese President Salva Kiir on Sunday said money obtained from oil sales would be used to fund the agricultural sector in order to boost the country’s economy.

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South Sudan President Salva Kiir at the launch of the new harvest season in Luri county, Dec. 29, 2019 (PPU)

Kiir made the remarks while speaking to reporters at the start of the harvest season at his farm in Luri, located west of the capital, Juba.

The South Sudanese leader was accompanied by first lady, Mary Ayen Mayardit and the first vice president, General Taban Deng Gai.

“We want to use oil money in agriculture so that we produce enough food for people of South Sudan, the surplus can go to the market. This is the only thing we can do to come out of poverty”, said Kiir.

“The oil money should not just be consumed without anything being done with it, he added.

Revenues from sales of crude oil accounts for 98 percent of South Sudan’s budget.

The president further encouraged South Sudanese citizens to embark on agriculture.

According to the presidential press unit, Kiir witnessed harvest of beans, groundnuts, sorghum, maize and rice produced by Luri Farm Ltd. and Freedom Farm Limited.

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, Kiir announced a goal to achieve food self-sufficiency in the country. The agriculture ministry also launched the national effort for agricultural transformation, and identified agricultural opportunities for foreign investors and agribusinesses.