Peasant farmers in Yei River County of Central Equatoria State are encouraging fellow farmers to speed up the process of land preparation for plantation to avoid poor harvest.
One of the farmers Abayi David said more people should embark on agriculture to improve the country’s economic situation.
He believes in agriculture as strongest back born of any nation adding that agriculture should be prioritize in South Sudan school curriculum.
“Agriculture is the back born of a country even though it is not being considered in the South Sudan curriculum. Otherwise people must fully embark on agriculture. With agriculture you cannot wait for food aid/assistance from foreign nations, but you can progress alone. Am urging everyone to fully invest in agriculture and avoid loitering in town,” the farmer advises.
Another farmer Patrick Osman called for support to famers in terms of tools and seeds to cultivate enough food for the country.
He called on the government to provide conducive environment for agriculturalists to carry on with their farming activities outside town.
Patrick also agrees that agriculture is the back born of a country and calls on the youths to avoid idleness but involve in agriculture to generate income for them.
“I am calling for support for farmers. We have a lot of interest in doing agriculture, but we lack support. Most of us have started preparations of the land for the first cultivation season.so we need tools and seeds to be provided on time so that we can produce enough food for consumption and supply the rest to some of the neighboring counties and Juba. People of Yei are best known by agricultural production, but it has been affected by the crisis which started in 2016 but we hope for the best. We call on our government to provide us a conducive environment for us to go on with our activities especially in the rural areas where there is plenty of land for cultivation,” Osman stressed.
Project manager of organic farming advisory organization Safari Emmanuel believes that early preparations enable farmers to plan timely.
He reveals that the first rain always comes with nitrogen that is important for the healthy crops and early preparation and plantation helps crops to escape most of the diseases which affects crops due to late plantation.
“The season has already started, and it is very important for the farmers to start preparing their lands because we always believe that the first rain comes with nitrogen which is very important for our crops. we always encourage farmers to start early land preparations so that their crops are not affected with pest and diseases because there are higher chances that early preparation will help crops escape most of the pest and diseases that affect our plants,” the manager explained.
Safari mentioned that climatic changes affects farming, but farmers should be flexible with situation and weather changes.
“There are challenges that are affecting farmers. One of the challenges is climatic changes because you cannot predict weather. Sometimes you may think that it is not the wrong time to plant but suddenly things change, we always encourage farmers to diversify farming including raring chicken. So that if one of the things fails, you will harvest from the other centers in the farm. So challenges are there, another challenge includes pest and diseases especially the fall army worms which affects maize from the beginning of the season that is why it is better for the farmers to start planting early so that some of these problems are minimized,” he added.
Last week, citizens in Yei were expressing their worries about the delay of rainfall which they thought may later result to serious hunger.