This article was last updated on May 27, 2022
Awel Kudum Awel, 51, said there was not enough rain for him to cultivate all types of crops he would have wanted to plan this year. Speaking to Gurtong earlier this week, Awel Kudum said he sold tomatoes, okra and other vegetables in the past for cash in Bor to supplement his income.
He said that “okra, kudura and tomatoes were planted but are not doing well.” But he still manages to sellsome vegetables even though both quality and the price are not so great. Compared to last year when he was able to earn up 1,000 South Sudanese Pounds per week, he now earns only £S60 per week.
“Last year, I used to get up to 5,000 pounds from my farm in a month. But now, the market has dropped, and the drought has made these plants weak. This makes it difficult for me to pay my children’s school fees in Uganda, medication and the house I rent in Kaboko.”
Awel, who with his family is residing in Paliet, a village within Bor town, says he has limited access to water for irrigation, so even though in dry season he still has some vegetables to sell.
“I planted them again in July, my hope is that I will get a little harvest at the end of the year. I used water from the seasonal river for irrigation to improve the farm but the distance of the farm from the water source and its size made it difficult for me to irrigate it the whole field,” he said.
Awel said during the crisis, he went across the river to Mingkaman where thousands of people from Jonglei are displaced. He said farming is the only occupation which can reduce poverty and hunger. Kudum said state the ministry of agriculture and forestry has to support agriculture to strengthen rural communities.
In June this year, the state Ministry of agriculture launched an agricultural project aimed at engaging Bor county youths in agricultural activities to reduce the problems of poverty, hunger and criminal activity in the state.
Two Months ago, the South Korean contingent of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), signed a memorandum of understanding with the state ministry of Agriculture and forestry to train the localfarmers at the Hanbit farm, a farm created for researchers in Jonglei State.
In 2013, former Governor of Jonglei State instructed the famers, particularly pastoralists and state civil population, to utilise the state resources for future generations rather than depending on support from thenational government.