Jobless, the South Sudanese Turns to Piggery, Now Lives like a Minister

South Sudanese Noro Samuel Abel could only turn to rearing pigs after he failed to get a white-collar job and now with it, has positioned his financial muscles among the elites of Western Equatoria State.
Noro Samuel Abel shows off a high yield of Water Lemons from his farm

By Simon Deng

South Sudanese Noro Samuel Abel could only turn to rearing pigs after he failed to get a white-collar job and now with it, has positioned his financial muscles among the elites of Western Equatoria State.

Financially handicapped, having attained only a senior 4 certificate, the 31 year old father of two decided to venture into piggery in 2016, and seven years on, he can boast of his children studying in one of the region’s prestigious schools, Our Lady Primary School in Reminze Payam.

“My enterprise is Noro Piggery and Noro Vegetable,” Abel proudly tells The Dawn in an interview.

“The business is about piggery blended with vegetable farming and what made me start this business is because I could not get a white-collar job after I completed my senior 4 in 2014,” he said.

“I was not married. I was just sitting without doing anything after completing high school and I visited many offices to find a job but all in vain. I said it is better for me to try to do something. I cannot wait for a white collar job.”

The piggery and his vegetable farming have propelled Abel into a motivating economic progress, vowing never to look back.

“Before embarking on this business, I was doing some manual work for other people and I managed to buy two pigs with the meagre earning,” Abel said.

“I was thinking of what can help me get married or pay school fees for my children. I have to find money to inject into this business. In 2018, I took a small loan of 300,000 SSP from Orufi, a micro-finance enterprise,” he said.

In the piggery, the biggest in Yambio, Abel currently has 219 pigs with 167 ready for sale.

“It takes 6 to 7 months for a piglet to be ready for food. I am selling them frequently,” he said.

“I started with two pigs in a house measuring 5 meters by 4 meters, now increased to 40 meters by 30 meters.”

Some of Noro Samuel Abel’s pigs

Abel’s vegetable is yet on a small scale with 3 feddans of water melon and half a feddan of cabbage but believes it will pick up quite easily.

“Yambio is a fertile area with vegetables. Even though you farm on a small scale, you can get a lot of money,” he said.

“If I plant one feddan of water melon, I can produce 1000-3000 water melon in that one feddan and as for me, I plant water melon and cabbage.”

For a fertile agriculture land like that of South Sudan, coupling livestock and agriculture production enhances much more financial gains, especially to the rural folks.

In China, the world’s biggest producer of rice, the livestock sector has even made a great contribution to ensuring food security and has become a pillar of the rural economy.

Farmers and communities in those rural areas continue keeping animals and birds to enhance the money fetched from agriculture.

According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) , currently, China ranks first in the world in terms of the production of cereals, cotton, fruit, vegetables, meat, poultry, eggs and fishery products.

Abel employs 8 workers paying some on a monthly basis and others in wages for accomplished task.

With South Sudan enjoying relative peace after years of conflict, he believes it will elevate his financial development further.

“The peace agreement currently under implementation has changed my life. I am doing real work here. If you give me a job of 300 dollars or 500 dollars, I will not pick up that work,” he said.

The peace agreement he mentions has pacified the country from a violent conflict which began in 2013 and left thousands of people dead and displaced millions others.

It slowed development and led to economic chaos in South Sudan. But as it is being implemented in Juba, people in the country now have the freedom to go about their own businesses without any fear.

“I get a lot of money through my business. The money I get in three months from piggery and vegetables is big money. If you come to Yambio and see my house, you can say, this person is working with the organization or with UN,” Abel said.

“I have two children, they are all in the place where other ministers are taking their children in Reminze and I have also send my wife to school. She is now studying in one of the University here in Yambio.”

A big mature pig sells at 120,000 SSP in Yambio and his vegetables can earn Abel between 800,000 SSP and 1.5 million SSP monthly.

“As part of my future plan, I need to expand this business and grow it into a big company to recruit more youths,” Abel said.

“Most of the youths are sitting idly. I need to help the youths- few of them have got jobs and I am training some of them in pig rearing and vegetable farming,” he said.

“What I am telling the youth of South Sudan and the youth of Yambio- let us not wait for white collar jobs. You just start with something small. Even though there are challenges, you can overcome the challenges-you continue to do it until you succeed. The contribution of everyone is needed, with 5 to 10 people we can change the country.”

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