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Aweil farmers start harvesting rice amid worsening humanitarian crisis

Farmers in Aweil rice scheme on Thursday started harvesting rice amid fears of acute food insecurity, as thousands of returnees and refugees flee conflict across the border with Sudan.

Tong Aken Ngor, the Governor of Northern Bahr El Ghazal state encouraged the local farmers to invest in rice farming to improve their incomes and also to eradicate hunger in the state.

The latest Integrated Food Classification Report, issued by UN agencies said 5.8 million people in South Sudan will face severe acute food insecurity from December to April 2024. It attributed the causes to localized conflicts, flooding and long dry spells.

Northern Bahr El Ghazal state is one of the areas with a number of people at risk of hunger.

Anei Deng Akok, the state minister of agriculture, said the lack of agricultural equipment and implements was hampering the capacities of farmers to increase rice production.

Akok also said that climatic shocks have contributed to the low yields this year.

Aweil rice scheme is one of the oldest agricultural projects still operational in South Sudan.’

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