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Late rains delay farmers from planting in Jonglei state

June 7, 2016 (BOR) - Thousands of farmers in South Sudan’s Jonglei state are worried that delays in rainfall could disrupt planting seasons as June enters its second week.

Tractors to be sent to Baidit payam in Jonglei state February 27, 2016 (ST)

Most farmers plough their land in April and May, but did not plant seeds as planned due to lack of enough rains.

Paul Angeth Malual, a farmer in Bor, says he expects rains by the second week of June to enable him plant sorghum, which is resistant to drought and flood once they germinate.

“I used my tractor to plough the land since May, with the hope of planting seeds in the third week of May, but no rains as expected. This time, many of us are still optimistic that may be we will have rains by the second week of this month, and that will be a good time to plant,” he said.

Many farmers described the irregular rains patterns as another crisis in waiting, in anticipation of hunger in 2017.

Jonglei had heavily invested in agriculture, including the government that has cultivated more than 1,000 hectares of land at Akuur, in Mathiang Boma of Baidit payam in Bor.

Very many farmers in Boma and Eastern Bieh states have reportedly not yet sown their seeds due to little or no rainfall.

The state minister of agriculture, Mayen Ngor, said farmers will have good harvest if things go well in June.

Mayen Bol, a worker employed by Israelis, said they lost several kilos of seeds when they attempted to plant in May.

“I am one of the supervisors managing a small number of workers in the farmer. We planted some ground nut seeds in part of the farmer but there was no enough rain for it to germinate,” Bol told Sudan Tribune in Bor on Tuesday.

“This is a great set back in our project. So chances of us not having a good harvest this time are high,” he added.

(ST)