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S. Sudan’s Kiir says farming will address economic hardship

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March 19, 2015 (JUBA) - South Sudan’s president, Salva Kiir has advised citizens to turn to farming in order to address the country’s economic hardship, worsened by the ongoing conflict.

“We need to look to what we can do by ourselves. I urge our people and private sector to double their efforts in tilling the land, starting from this agricultural season, and to earn our living from our land rather than depending on oil and importation of food from the neighbouring countries,” Kiir told a public rally organised in the capital, Juba on Wednesday.

He said it was unlikely the economic situation would have improved immediately, had he signed a peace agreement with the armed opposition leader rebel, Riek Machar.

“The oil prices are likely to remain low for some years to come, as the supply of oil in the world is high and demand is low. This leaves us with few options for addressing this economic hardship”, said Kiir.

He said his government bought 1,000 trucks to plough several hectares of farmland.

Currently, only about 4% of South Sudan’s arable land is reportedly utilised for agriculture, yet over 70% of the country’s population are engaged in the sector to improve their livelihoods.

In 2013, however, the country’s agriculture and forestry ministry announced strategies for a comprehensive master plan, seeking to revive the largely dormant sector, as part of plans to diversify the country’s economy, which largely depends on oil revenues.

(ST)

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  • 20 March 2015 04:47, by dinkdong

    Does he (Kiir) farms? Oh, I forgot, he has millions of dollars in his bank account.

    • 20 March 2015 17:31, by Johndumo14

      Many arabs countries have no war but have less money due to low worldwide oil prices.The Un want to bring sanctions to s.sudan let go ahead,s.sudan have no oil to sell in woeld market??

  • 20 March 2015 05:40, by Emporio

    Yeah cowboy your gv’t Is depending on oil is not the people of south sudan sending people for farming in 21 century with no skills no equipment and your gang shifting money to foreign country what an idiot

  • 20 March 2015 06:06, by lino

    Agriculture is one of Dr. John master-plan to pull South Sudan from poverty, but your government placed it on dust ben Cowboy.

  • 20 March 2015 10:34, by Ambago

    We shall see whether his nomadic herdsmen will ever settle down to farm their ancestral lands.

    As for the green belt of Equatoria , we all know that the locals can no longer do any meaningful farming because of the insecurity and wasting of crops caused by the heavily armed marauding bandits of pastoralists and their cattle!

  • 20 March 2015 18:39, by Bentiu Sudan

    Mr. Kiir,

    Understand that you will not use civilians crops to hire mercenaries to help you kill your own people.



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