JUBA, March 27, 2023 – The Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security (MAFS), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) are calling for greater investment in the agriculture and social protection sectors in order to increase the food security, nutrition and income of South Sudanese people, improve livelihoods of rural communities and contribute to the enhancement of the national economy of South Sudan.

This call comes on the occasion of a visit to South Sudan by the World Bank Vice President for Eastern and Southern Africa, Victoria Kwakwa.

The World Bank Vice President, Honourable Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Josephine Joseph Lagu, Honourable Minister of Livestock and Fisheries, Onyoti Adigo Nyikwec, and Honourable Minister of Finance Dier Tong, have wrapped up a trip to Bor, Jonglei State, where they visited projects currently funded by the World Bank and witnessed opportunities for potential future investment.

The Resilient Agricultural Livelihoods Project (RALP) implemented by FAO aims to strengthen the capacity of farmers and their organizations, improve household food production and productivity, strengthen the natural resource base, and enhance adaptive capacity to climate risks, with the ultimate goal of improved food and nutrition security.

Meanwhile, the Emergency Locust Response Project (ELRP) implemented by FAO and UNOPS responds to the threat to livelihoods and food security posed by locusts and other pests in the most affected areas of the country, while strengthening preparedness and early warning systems. The project aims to build the resilience of farmers, pastoralists and the most vulnerable households through interventions in the dry season as well as the main growing season.

During the trip to Bor, the delegation visited a RALP-supported group producing vegetables for market. The group has already harvested and sold their first batch of tomatoes and okra.

Under ELRP, the visiting delegation to Bor witnessed a Labour-Intensive Public Works (LIPW) initiative and a cash payment site where participants received cash. 

While in Bor, the delegation also had the opportunity to explore opportunities for up-scaling of investment in the sector, visiting a fishing village and dry fish export market, and interacting with a group of women who have formed a successful enterprise, processing and selling milk and milk products.

“The Ministry of Agriculture and Food security remains committed to mobilizing national and international support to invest in agriculture sector development. To this effect, the government has declared a country-wide war against hunger and poverty. However, this war can only be fought and won through collective efforts in supporting agricultural transformation through dedicated development partners like the World Bank,” saidHonourable Josephine Joseph Lagu, the National Minister of Agriculture and Food Security.

“The coming of the Vice President to see the progress of the World Bank projects in Bor is an indication of the Bank’s commitment to supporting the people of this country. The Government of South Sudan will continue to work with partners to ensure that the lives of the people of this country are uplifted” said Honourable Dier Tong Ngor, Minister of Finance and Planning.

“South Sudan is gifted with so many resources but there’s lack of capacity to move from subsistence farming to commercialized production. We need development partners to build the capacity of communities in order for the impact of projects to be realized,” said Honourable Onyoti Adigo Nyikech, Minister of Livestock and Fisheries.

“The Government of Jonglei State would like to assure all development partners working in the state that we shall provide them with all the support they need to ensure that services reach all our vulnerable communities,” said Honourable Denay Jock Chajor, Governor of Jonglei State.

“The visit of the World Bank Vice President, Victoria Kwakwa, to South Sudan is an opportunity to showcase progress being made to develop the agriculture, livestock, fisheries, and natural resources sectors in South Sudan. In Bor, we saw inspiring examples of small agricultural enterprises which are improving the livelihoods of participants,” said Meshack Malo, FAO Representative in South Sudan.

“Support from the WB and Government of South Sudan through the ELRP came at the right, as communities are faced with triple shocks of the Coronavirus disease 2019, adverse climate events, and locust outbreak. Thus the cash transfers, and access to income generating opportunities will strengthen the communities’ livelihoods opportunities for improved economic welfare, said Leslie Mhara, UNOPS South Sudan Country Manager (OiC)

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For more information, contact:

Janet Maya Logo, Communications Officer, Project Coordination Unit at the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, logoneneh@gmail.com, +211 926 592 713, Tanya Birkbeck, Head of Communications, FAO, tanya.birkbeck@fao.org, +211 920 490 149 and Madonna Ikulang, Deputy Project Manager, UNOPS, madonnak@unops.org , +211 916 785 515

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