JUBA, (Xinhua) --
South Sudanese are hoping to count on Chinese
technical support to boost its agriculture sector as the country
tries to cut over-reliance on hydrocarbons to revive a economy
battered by five years of conflict.
Sebit Charles, a
45-year-old agricultural mechanic who recently attended a
training program provided by five Chinese technicians at Kapuri
agricultural technology transfer center in Juba, said unlocking
South Sudan’s huge agricultural potentials requires investment
“I have benefited a
lot in terms of skills because now I am able to operate and
maintain the walking tractors and combined harvesters,” Sebit
told journalists during an interview on Monday. “Definitely I am
going to teach more people so that they also go and teach
He said South Sudan
needs to rely on technology to revive its agriculture, which has
suffered setback due to conflict as well as crop pests and
Sebit can now
operate several kinds of machines donated by the Chinese
government to reinvigorate the agricultural sector and help
guarantee a path to sustainable food security.
The 349 pieces of
machinery donated by the Chinese government include grain
combine harvesters, walking tractors, seeders, potato planters,
and potato harvesters.
South Sudan hopes to
be a regional food basket by implementing its five-year
agricultural policy framework and a 25-year comprehensive
agricultural master plan.
The country has vast
arable land and 38 million livestock. Currently oil and mining
dominates the economy in terms of revenues, accounting for 98
percent of the fiscal budget since the country’s independence
from Sudan in 2011.
Acuil Atak, 50, a
worker with the Aweil rice scheme run by Chinese technicians in
the northern Aweil State, said he intends to go back to his
hometown and train his colleagues on how to use some of the
“I want to train
more people in our state,” Atak said, adding that 12 others from
Aweil receiving training with the Chinese also hope to go back
and train more people in their home state.
Atak hopes to visit
China someday and learn more about its agriculture sector in the
another trainee, said local farmers have been working with
rudimentary tools to plough the land and that he hopes these
state-of-the-art machines will help improve food production.
“These machines are
very good because they are easy to operate and more of these
types of machines should be brought to South Sudan,” he said.
“We need more people to train with these machines because we
need to attract many people into agriculture.”
business manager of Xuzhou Construction Machinery Group, which
conducted the training, said they are delighted to have trained
South Sudanese on operation and maintenance of these machines
and that they will continue training more people.
“This is just the
beginning. We are here still to continue training and help more
South Sudanese to acquire skills on using technology to improve
the country’s agricultural productivity,” she said.
Onyoti Adigo Nyikuac,
South Sudan’s minister of agriculture and food security, said
these machines will help many people and also support the
government’s bid to move away from the rain-fed agriculture to
He said the Kapuri
agricultural technology transfer center needs to encourage more
South Sudanese to acquire skills in research and innovation in
Juma Stephen Lugga,
Jubek state minister of agriculture, said this year, with a
revitalized agreement ushering in peace, his state is aiming to
increase food production.
“This year we want
to produce much crops under this peace. We need to maximize
these trained technicians so that more are trained,” Lugga said.