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Warrap harvest improved but famine looms for many next year

Aping Kuluel
Food shortages will prevail despite a better harvest this year, Warrap’s Ministry of Agriculture said.
22.11.2012  |  Kuajok
A display of local products at the agriculture fair in Kuajok, November 2.
A display of local products at the agriculture fair in Kuajok, November 2.

Cultivation and yields have risen this year, according to State Minister of Agriculture Majok Bol, but not enough to ensure enough food for the local population.

Almost four counties were initially affected by drought and later on floods so we still fear food gaps,” he told during an agriculture trade fair in the state capital Kuajok.

Farmers arranging their produce during the agricultural fair in Kuajok, November 2.
© The Niles | Aping Kuluel
In Warrap State, several regions were badly hit by drought in July. Subsequently in August, floods destroyed farms in lowland areas. Affected counties included Gogrial West, Gogrial East, Tonj East and Twic County.

Ayak Awet and Akot Ajook, two farmers from Gogrial East, both cultivated five feddans which suffered from the bad weather and noted that traditional farmers are likely to face serious shortages because of low crop yields.

Two feddans of the five that I cultivated were completely spoiled by weather changes, but I still harvested over 20 sacks,” Ayak said.

She added that she does not expect to face food shortages next year but is concerned for those who were worse affected by the extreme weather. I was lucky because I hired a tractor but those who used their hands are going to be threatened by famine,” she explained.

Governor Nyandeng Malek
© The Niles | Aping Kuluel
According to returnee chief Lual Yak, farmers are grappling with several challenges, including a lack of mechanised farming tools, transport, storage facilities and chemicals for pests and diseases.

He urged the government to support farmers with enough ox-ploughs and other tools to ensure large scale farming.

Governor Nyandeng Malek, meanwhile, told the farmers to stop misusing the produces.

I request all people to stop fermenting produces such as sorghum, maize and cassava for this local brew of ours. It is better you sell those produces in the market so that someone who is in need of food can buy them,” she said.