OPINION – Taking town to the villages was first stated by our late hero and leader, Dr. John Garang de Mabior before he met his untimely and unexpected demise in 2005. It was anchored on the philosophy to stop the migration of people from the rural areas to other areas due to lack of services.
Taking town to the people is one ideology that ensures food security in the Country, provide job opportunities to the rural people, introduce an environmentally safe agroforestry system to our people, make our people to become self reliant.
Taking town to the people means mobilizing communities before carrying any activity on the ground like agro-forestry. Then immediately the project of carrying agro forestry activity on the ground (land) will be introduced to appreciate its advantages (benefits).
Taking town to the people means acceptance by the farmers and local people in social and cultural aspects with indications on their behaviour towards the caring of the lands and the trees. This could be observed as to how local people support cutting of trees for charcoal, tree selection, among others. The processes involve the unanimous community decision that becomes personal to each community members and become more sustainable.
Taking town to the village means learning the use of the resources to improve the standards of living. This means improving capacity building of the village “small” or vulnerable farmers on how to increase Agro-forestry products that would pave way for the livelihoods generation and increased income towards sustainable development. Some avenues could be opening of the research and training centers, demonstration farmers, providing market access for exports, and knowledge-base learning management to create awareness with logistical support in Agro-forestry needs.
Taking town to the village means improving infrastructures like government offices, universities, schools and colleges, hospitals, markets, shops, etc.; and improved delivery of social services in villages.
Taking town to the villages is aimed at increasing food production in South Sudan to avert ultra dependence on food and its products from neighbouring countries such as Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia, and others. This is because our lands have fertile soil where plants grow and crops thrive easily on the soil.
Taking town to the villages through Agro-forestry means attention to policy makers, community landholders and government legislators. It should consider the fiduciary effects on the abuses of vast land cover that South Sudan became a haven for all.
Taking town to the people is taking shape as a nation whereby, we cannot keep depending on other countries as our sources of food products.
Developmental processes dictate that there is an urgent need to review on the timber regulation with full implementation along with the rule of law such as cutting of trees, burning crops; farm diversification for increased income and better livelihoods; market access both in structure and information; and feeder roads connecting villages to towns.
Taking town to the villages in the Republic of South Sudan had been entirely dependent on food aid from various relief organizations during the two decades of civil war with support from our gallant SPLA soldiers, and the various governments in Juba.
Cde Salva Kiir Oyee.
South Sudan Oyee
The author is the SPLM Student league Secretary for information and communication at S.I.U.C.
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