Potentials of Irrigated Agriculture in Improvement of Food Security in Southern Sudan
Issam A.W. Mohamed
Al-Neelain University - Department of Economics
March 23, 2011
Journal of Development Economics, Vol. 3, No. 68, April 2011
Southern Sudan population has chosen secession in January 2011 referendum and independence shall be declared next July. However, its food production capabilities are still hindered by weak or nonexistent infrastructure, meager labor-force and effects of long civil war that hampered development and destroyed agricultural schemes. The current paper reviews possible improvements of food production and security in the south as a cornerstone for future development in the future state. Introduction of specific crops is feasible to improve parameters of future economic sectors development. Maize is suggested as a staple crop to support traditional farmers. The provision of extension and plant protection services need to be strengthened in areas where maize is being cultivated. Moreover, management must be streamlined to cope up with the expected activities during the first expansion phase. Extensive training of all the categories working in agricultural development is the top priority. In order to improve productivity, high yielding crops varieties have to be released for cultivation in other ecological zones where research has shown that the conditions are suitable for maize production. The production relationships are invisible. Therefore, farmers have to be employed for production of the maize seeds by recognized research institutions in Southern Sudan. The current issue on land rights, land ownership have to be settled once and for all which may in turn encourage the investors to come to Southern Sudan. Most important is the improvement of the available credit to small-scale farmers as they are limited without government guarantee.
Traditional farmers and small farmers in the semi-mechanized sector are risky clients for credit because of their unpredictable environment, low and fluctuating yields remote location and inadequate structures for making and support services. Nevertheless, small farmers would have substantial potential if it is were possible to increase average farm size, improved technology, access to credit provide better infrastructure such as roads and domestic water supply.
Keywords: Secession, Southern Sudan, Food Security, MaizeAccepted Paper Series
Date posted: March 28, 2011 ; Last revised: April 19, 2011
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