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Awerial suspends wrestling games to allow for farming

Awerial suspends wrestling games to allow for farming
Wrestling is a popular traditional sport among communities in Lakes, Jonglei, and Central Equatoria states | Credit | Courtesy

Awerial County Wrestling Association has suspended wrestling activities for three months in the area to allow residents to focus on local food production.

The order comes after the county youth leadership noted that youth engage in unorganized wrestling activities on daily basis as a way of dodging farming.

“This order to suspend wrestling activities comes after I consulted with the county authorities, who have also accepted to back this order up with intervention of police, in case there is resistance among the youth,” Bup Mading Bup, chairperson, told Mingkaman FM.

He stated that though the local populations depend on farming, most of the youth are “reluctant to help their families because of this activity”.

Some of the community members, who reacted to the order suspending wrestling to allow effective farming, agree with Bup but doubt the consistence of the leaders in the implementation of the order.

“We have accepted this idea and we will implement this at the payam and bomas level but leaders at the county seem to be enjoying this activity in Mingkaman and implementation becomes a problem,” John Ariik Maker, Puluk Payam resident.

For his part, another area resident wondered why the county authorities and the association did not spell out penalties to be meted out against those who may disobey the ban.

“I am happy for this order, but it would have been better if there were penalties against anyone who will be reluctant to farm,” said Bol Malual, Thany-Kat resident.

Cereals, primarily sorghum and maize, millet and rice are the dominant staple crops in South Sudan.
The economy of South Sudan is based on agriculture which consists of a combination of subsistence farming, livestock rearing, fishing, and wild food collection. About 85% of the households cultivate crops and around 65% own cattle, according to FAO.
However, agriculture largely remains at subsistence level with average field sizes of two feddans/acres per household, crop yields being very low: hardly one ton per feddan/acre due to use of poor quality seeds, tools and agronomic practices. The same applies to the livestock and fisheries sectors.