S. Sudan can feed its citizens if the gov’t can provide basic infrastructure: Tonnes of Farm Produce rot away in Katire and Gilo as desperate farmers decry poor roads
Tonnes of Farm produce rot away in various parts of the country due to lack of good road network. Some are been submerged by flooding, while some South Sudanese can’t even farm any longer because of incessant communal conflicts.
The most recent of this self-inflicted predicament is the tonnes of Farm Produce that is rotting away in Katire and Gilo. This was revealed during a tour to the agricultural rich highlands by the Eastern Equatoria state governor.
The average annual rainfall is reported to range from 1,494 mm in Katire to 2,261 mm in Gilo. These conditions are suitable for high-volume production of grains and specialist production of high-value horticultural crops if market systems are developed to meet growing urban demand.
Farmers have little or no access to formal extension services or technical assistance, Most importantly, the region has very poor roads, communication systems, and other infrastructure. These are major problems for commercialization and why South Sudan depends on its neighboring country for its needs.
Lobong found that hundreds of farmers watching helplessly as their crops waste away owing to the lack of roads to carry the food to the market. The governor asked the National Government to assist repair the Torit-Katire- Gilo route, a step he claimed would prevent food from decaying in the fields.
According to the report seen by NCMP, both perishable and non-perishable food products were constantly left to decay in fields, since the farmers could not transport them to marketplaces during bumper harvest and wet seasons. The farmers are not also maximizing the available land yet, because of other challenges within the food production system in the community.
The reliance of South Sudan on its regional country needs to be gradually eliminated, and there is an urgent need for the country to look inwards and maximize its richness in agriculture.
Truck drivers’ strike at Elegu border post on the Uganda-South Sudan border has entered the second week, and this has affected the market price of goods negatively. There is agitation in Juba now that the country may soon run short of supplies.