South Sudan minister calls for modern technology in agriculture

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South Sudan Minister of Agriculture Beda Machar Deng says there is need for African countries to use modern technology in promoting agriculture development in the continent.


Mr. Deng noted that agriculture development was not only about farming inputs but also about various agricultural practices.


He said there was need to learn more about agriculture and build on the farming methods that were used by the older generation.


He said it was necessary for African farmers to embrace modern technology in order to produce more food not only for their countries but for the world at large.


Mr. Deng further said through developing agricultural practices, food security would be attained in Africa thereby alleviating poverty in households.


He said this in Mumbwa yesterday when the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) launched the electronic voucher input distribution system under the Conservation Agriculture Scaling Up (CASU) project.


The e-vulture system uses mobile phone technology to allow registration of farmers and electronic payments to registered local retail agents for providing farming inputs to beneficiaries using secured pin numbers.


And Mr. Deng noted that Zambia has huge tracts of fertile land and urged the country to utilize it effectively.


Meanwhile, Mumbwa District Commissioner Sunday Shamabanse applauded government for distributing the farming inputs to farmers in the area at an early stage.


Mr. Shamabanse disclosed that the district has already commenced the distribution of inputs under the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP).


He said in the current season Mumbwa targeted to assist about 16,200 farmers adding that most of them had received their maize seed and basal dressing fertilizer.


And Mr. Shamabanse revealed that Mumbwa district has a target of 16,693 and 1,623 metric tonnes of basal and urea fertilizer respectively.


He said all the D-compound fertilizer had been received and that a balance of 500 metric tonnes of top dressing fertilizer was yet to be received from Lusaka.


Mr. Shamabanse thanked the European Union through FAO for supporting the farmers.


He noted that the efforts made would help alleviate some of the challenges which the farmers were facing.