Jur River Farmer Santino Manut Akec (Radio Tamazuj)

Farmer pledges to feed Western Bahr el Ghazal state

A farmer in Jur River County of Western Bahr el-Ghazal has pledged to meet the demands of the entire state with local food products this year.

Santino Manut Akec made the promise based on the 2,500 acres that he has helped cultivate, during a tour of the farms by state and NGO officials on Monday.

The founder of the Rain Power Green Agriculture Cooperative Society based in Marial Bai, said they were implementing the presidential call on the farmers across the country to fight hunger.

“The president told us that we have to cultivate to fight hunger in South Sudan, and we agreed and we formed two groups, the Small Agriculture and Rain Power Agriculture Cooperative Society which I am heading,” he said.

“We get supports from agencies like FAO, whose head is here with us now and from NGOs, including Concern Worldwide, Hope Agency for Relief and Development (HARD) and Agency for Technical Cooperation and Development (ACTED),” he said.

He disclosed that last year they produced 3,700 bags of groundnuts and 1,050 bags of sorghum, some of which they sold to NGOs and in the local market.

Akec commended the state government for ensuring the security for the people to live and work without fear. He also thanked the national government for supporting farmers, particularly in Western Bahr el-Ghazal State.

“We are going well. I hope this year Rain Power has the capacity to feed Wau as you have seen,” he added.

Western Bahr el-Ghazal State Minister for Cooperatives Soro Ibrahim Soro, who led the field visit, appreciated the diligence of the Rain Power Green Agriculture Cooperative Society.

“I want to tell Rain Power congratulation because of the first farm I visited of 1,000 acres. The second one is new and is 1,500 acres,” said Soro.

Soro urged the local farmers in the state to apply for funding through the Cooperative Bank.

“We have the South Sudan Cooperative Bank that is ready to provide loans to the cooperative societies like Rain Power. Just visit them with your registration certificate from the Ministry and they will support you,” he added.

Akec reminded President Kiir of his last year’s promise to give the cooperatives at least one tractor each.

“I want to tell him to support us with one tractor to back up our hands,” he said.