The 1000 tractors recently acquired by the Government South Sudan under suspicious and shady circumstances, appear to be heading straight to the ‘tractor graveyards’ of South Sudan after the National Ministry of Agriculture announced it does not have the necessary funds to start distribution of the tractors.
The tractors were bought under a government initiative to move away from the country’s reliance on oil and promote cultivation to feed the population. It appears they will not be put to use this planting season.
According to the Minister, around 40 million South Sudanese pounds is needed to build and run 22 mechanical centres across the countries before all 1000 tractors could be distributed to the 10 states of South Sudan.
Meanwhile, in a totally unrelated development, the organizers of the Independence Day celebrations scheduled to be held across the country on 9 July 2015 are said to be requesting an additional 60 million SSP on top of the 139 million SSP that was already approved for the one day I-am-not-sure-it-is-entirely-necessary extravaganza.
The VIP event will be attended by key African leaders, the Information Minister #MakueiSaid that Jacob Zuma and Robert Mugabe “have accepted their invitations and have expressed their willingness to attend”.
Currently in South Sudan is trading on the street for 1000 SSP = $100. In comparison in July 2014 the rate of exchange was 420 SSP = $100
Back to our tractors story, many believe that from the day those tractors were handed to Government South Sudan, they were doomed – like many others before them – to rot and decay.