Farmers in Yei River County of Central Equatoria State in South Sudan are complaining about the prolonged period of sunshine which is affecting their crop plantation.
One of the farmers Phillip Sabote who specializes in legumes is worried that if the sunshine continues for the next one month, it will damage his two and half hectare of crops in the garden.
He wonders what the cause of the climatic changes might be.
Phillip thinks that deforestation could be a contributing factor to drought which is currently affecting the agricultural sector in the area.
“I am so worried that the continued period without rainfall will affect us badly. I have two and half hectors of beans but since rain is not consistent, it will seriously affect its germination. Am anticipating that the cutting down of trees in big numbers is contributing to this. I advise those who always cut down trees to stop and let the government take serious measures against them, “advises Sabote.
Another famer Wani John who also cultivated one and half hectares of maize complains that late and inconsistent rainfall will contribute to poor yield.
The farmer believes that if the drought continues like this for the next few months this year, the people of Yei might experience serious hunger due to poor yields.
“I have cultivated one and half hectares of maize but because of lack of rainfall, it is not growing well. Usually rain begins early here at least by March we should have started cultivation but this Year, things are different. it started to rain late and inconsistent as well.so it is a big challenge that we are facing now. If it continues for long, it is going to contribute to hunger because most of the people who cultivated are complaining of rain. We believe the drought is partly due to climate change coupled with man-made practices of tree cutting”, He explains.
The famers call on the government to regulate cutting down of trees and encourage re-afforestation to replace the ones which were cut down.
Meanwhile Edmond Taban Gogo Central Equatoria state Director General in the directorate of horticulture in the ministry of agriculture forestry and environment says the soil in Yei is very fertile and good for agriculture.
He adds that agriculturalists in Yei produce food for both consumption and income generation.
Edmond regrets that the unreliable rainfall will cost the farmers a lot because they will not harvest enough despite having cultivated on large scale.
The Director General attributes the sporadic rainfall to climate change which was predicted early by the Climatologists.
Mr. Gogo mentions that the current drought is associated with some man-made practices like massive cutting down of trees which is widely practiced in the area.
“Yei is ever being known as agriculture producing region and most of its people are agriculturalists since it is one of the activity they are addicted to, but this year the delay in rainfall is contributing to low production. Many people are involved in massive falling down of trees which as a result contributes to such issues. For us to overcome this challenge, we need to discourage deforestation and encourage re-afforestation to replace the trees that have been cut down and the improve the atmosphere”, the Director advises.
The greater Yei county is known for its fertile soil which is favorable to agriculture, but the 2016 crisis has affected the area badly where many people flew to the neighboring countries for safety.
Most of the rural areas has become inaccessible and many farmers were displaced.