SPLA reclaims vast tract for farming

14 Jun 2012

SPLA reclaims vast tract for farming

11 June 2012 - With severe food shortages and malnutrition a growing concern, UNMISS has assisted the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) in reclaiming thousands of kilometres of farmland near Wau.

Located about six kilometres from Wau town, the SPLA reclaimed a 30,000 square kilometer (45-acre) plot of arable land with support from the UNMISS Chinese engineering company.

The project taps into the country's immense potential for agriculture, responding to calls by Southern Sudanese officials for people to return to farming.

"South Sudan has a fertile and vast expanse of land," said UNMISS Engineering CommanderLt. Col. Wang Zhonghua.

"This project ... will be our little contribution to improving the lives of the ordinary South Sudanese," Commander Wang said.

The reclaimed farmland is expected to help improve SPLA soldiers' diets, serve as a model of land reclamation, offer job opportunities and teach people farming skills as well as habits.

"This project, which has been facilitated by UNMISS, will encourage and instill in us the spirit of self-reliance," said SPLA Brigadier Commander Stephen Gawar.

The reclamation project is an initiative of the Production Unit of SPLA Division Five.

The land will be used to cultivate vegetables and other food crops for SPLA soldiers.