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YEI - 22 May 2020

COVID-19: Yei farmers urged to focus on agriculture

A farmer on his farm in Yei River County (Radio Tamazuj)
A farmer on his farm in Yei River County (Radio Tamazuj)

A local official in Yei River County of Central Equatoria State has urged farmers to utilize the COVID-19 lockdown period and focus on agriculture to fight food insecurity.

Speaking to Radio Tamazuj on Thursday, Dudu Emelia Kenyi, the assistant commissioner for agriculture said local residents and farmers should observe health guidelines and make use of the rainy season.

“We need to respect the COVID-19 preventive measures and above all be in farms to fight hunger. I encourage farmers and the population to take agriculture as important because if you go to markets now, people are struggling for food commodities,” she said.

Dudu urged farmers to use the first crop cultivation season to plant maize, groundnuts, legumes and vegetables.

She, however, said although local farmers find it hard to access seeds and farm tools, the government is working in partnership with non-governmental organisations to address challenges.

“Farmers should not give up, we are coordinating with NGOs to deliver quality seeds to reduce food insecurity in Yei,” said Dudu.

The local official said Yei River County is one of the areas known as the food basket for South Sudan. 

 Despite the huge agricultural potential South Sudan possesses, only about 5 percent of its arable land is reportedly cultivated.