National, News, Northern Bahr el-ghazal

Defiant traders resist calls to close shops for farming

By Hou Akot Hou


Local traders in Northern Bahr El Ghazal state are disregarding orders from authorities that require them to remain in the farm until 12:00 PM for cultivation.

The directive aims to address food insecurity in the state, but many traders argue it unfairly impacts their livelihoods.

Dut James, a local trader in Nyamlel, Aweil West County, says the order is problematic as he has other means of farming his land.

He explains that some farmers come to his shop to purchase tea and other supplies to support their farming, and being forced to close would lead to losses.

“The order is not necessary. We have local people whom we put in the farms, and we make such money to give to those who are working on our behalf. It is an unprecedented move from the government,” James argues.

Another trader, Garang Bol Lual, agrees, stating that the government has other methods, such as using tractors, to support agricultural activities.

He believes the forced shop closures will have a negative impact on businesses.

“What the government is doing could bring down their businesses, and the other problem is the lack of adequate rainfall. How can you make people’s businesses remain closed for long hours and not compensate them for the lost earnings? This is implausible,” Bol said.

Attempts to reach officials from the Ministry of Agriculture for comment were unsuccessful.

Similar directives have been issued in Twic County, Warrap State, where local courts have been temporarily shut down by Governor Kuol Muor Muor to allow farmers to focus on their agricultural activities before the resumption of court cases in August.



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