South Sudan starts farmers loan scheme for food production

South Sudan’s ministry of agriculture and food security has pledged to inject about five million dollars to the country’s agricultural bank.

The offer is a short and medium term loans to farmers across the country, according to an official.

Rual Makuei-Thiang, Managing Director of the Agricultural Bank, said the scheme was part of the Comprehensive Agriculture Master Plan launched early this year to eradicate hunger in the country through financing agribusiness.

He added that the project was a government-led strategy to cultivate one million hectares of land by end of the agriculture season in 2018.

We are helping our country so that instead of it being a food-importing country, we want to become an exporting country. This is our plan as a bank to encourage people to cultivate,’’ Makuei-Thiang said.

A report by the UN and government released on June 21 warned that food insecurity had deteriorated in the country as the number of people struggling to get food increased from 4.9 million in February to six million.

The report said that this was the highest level of food insecurity ever experienced in the country.

Makuei-Thiang said to abate the situation, the bank had already invested some money to be disbursed as short term loans to supply 672000 litres of fuel to farmers across the country.

He said that the remaining funds would be provided before end of the 2018 Agriculture season.

He said that the scheme would be managed by a select committee involving state ministers of agriculture, cooperatives, agricultural bank and farmers union.

The current economic and food crisis can only be improved through crop production. We can do it if we make agriculture as a priority because this country is gifted with resources. We are challenged on how we can put these resources on table for people to eat,” Makuei-Thiang said.

 

 

Mazino Dickson