Politician condemns Igga’s request for farming tools from NGOs

By Bida Elly David

A national Politician has criticised the request made earlier by the Vice President for Economic Cluster requesting Food and Agricultural Organisation to provide farming tools not ready food to the citizens in the country.

Last week, the Vice President for Economic Cluster during the inauguration of the new office for FAO requested provision of agricultural tools to boost agricultural activities in the country. He said that too much dependence would contribute to total laziness.

Speaking to No.1 Citizen Daily Newspaper yesterday, Hon. Ajiek Taban Basilio, the chairperson for African Independent Party defined Vice President’s request as null and void since most fertile land and forests have been surrounded by rebels and crooks imposing threats to farmers.

“I strongly disagree with the suggestion of the Vice President for Economic Cluster urging organisations to provide citizens with tools not ready food. To me organisations should provide ready food not farming tools. It is very unfortunate for the Vice President, some body of high profile to tell all the Non-Governmental Organisations dealing with food security not provide ready food to the country in such situation. Farmers in South Sudan do not go and farm simply because some people roam with guns in the forests and even in the farms owned by few individual who manage them. Farmers are not protected thus they   move to the town seeking for work to be done apart from farming’’ he said.

He said that even the providers (humanitarian organisations) demand protection upon departure to monitor and evaluate whether their donated tool are in usage.

“Even the Organisations requested by the Vice President to provide the farming tools need to go for monitoring and evaluation to assess whether the tools are being put in use or not . In this process, the very NGOs Vice President was requesting for the provision will not have protection due to the insecurity where everybody holds guns especially the cattle keepers and the rebels in the bushes. The forest is totally controlled by armed groups and that is one of the reasons as to why the country is suffering from hunger because no much protection within the country thus they are blocked from their jobs’’ he said.

Furthermore, Ajiek pointed out lack of loans to farmers by the Agricultural Bank of South Sudan being one of the factors that discouraged farming in the country.

“The agricultural bank of South Sudan does not even give them loans. It is very unfortunate for a Vice President and the head of Economic Cluster in the country to tell organisations dealing with agriculture and food security not to provide ready food to the people who are suffering. Even the world community are aware that South Sudan is facing economic crisis with its complexity’’ he pointed.

At the same scenario, he also described natural and man-made disasters being hindering elements against agricultural activities in South Sudan.

 “Our country is suffering from different disasters such as man-made and natural disasters that made every body scared to go and get food from the forest. Man-made disaster such as the fights among people and natural disaster such as too much flooding has affecting most farming since it is not easy to dig due to much water. When you are requesting NGOs to give tools, there must be assurance that the forest is free from natural disasters to set farming activities on the move’’ he said.

He called on the Vice President for economic cluster to immediately withdraw his statement with immediate effect.   

“Vice President has to withdraw from his statement. As we talk now, the vice president does not know the total number of farmers available in the whole Country within the ten states and the three administrative areas and the agricultural bank has been put there as a picture. The vice president should have told all the NGOs to provide ready food due to the insecurity that has blocked farming Country wise’’ he said.

He finally urged government to come up with logical measures to promote agricultural activities.

“I am calling on the government to stabilize security in the bushes before requesting for farming tools. They should create awareness to the citizens to boost domestic production and by this, things will move forwards’’.     

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