Juba, South Sudan,
June 24, 2021 – The World Bank has granted US$113.2 million to the government of South Sudan to boost agriculture activities nationwide. World Bank says the financing was to address the acute food insecurity and for emergency responses to the desert locust crisis.
Speaking during the signing ceremony of the Memorandum of Understanding between the World Bank and Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, the institution’s Country Director for South Sudan, Ethiopia, Eritrea, and Sudan, Ousmane Dione said the fund should be used correctly so that it can give confidence to donors.
“It is a matter of responsibility. We can do more if we work together for the people of this nation. If the project is done successfully it will give confidence to donors will put everything back for South Sudan,” Dione told journalists Thursday.
The director added that “I want them to be active and as quick as possible. Authority should be taking responsibility for the benefit of its citizens. This can happen when there is peace and stability,” he added.
The country director revealed that donation is the beginning of the activities in the agriculture sector. He said: “This fund is very important and more need to be done. I believe citizens deserve to receive and export the agriculture products.”
The Resilient Agriculture Livelihood Project provides a grant of US$62.5 million that will support investment in training for farmers to help them manage their organizations The fund will also allow them (farmers) to adopt new technology, use climate-smart agriculture practice to boost their production.
The Emergency Locust Respond Project with a grant of 53.7 million will support response to desert locust by restoring livelihood for the poorest and strengthening the country’s preparedness to fight hunger.
The Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Josephine Lagu Yanga welcomed the initiative. She said the Ministry of Agriculture will commit to delivering better services to the citizens.
“The World Bank and government joint hand to give support to the population. This will help to increase agriculture production to restore rural livelihoods,” she said.
Josephine said South Sudan is rich in natural resources, especially in the area of land and minerals but floods and insecurity have agriculture potential in affected areas like Jonglei.
South Sudan is one of the countries in the world facing struggling to find a lasting and sustainable solution to combat food insecurity. Multiple donations from UN agencies have done very little to solve the problem.
The South Sudan agriculture sector was thrown in jeopardy wars broke out in 2013 and 2016, causing insecurity and making it difficult for farmers to go to the field and cultivate.
The country also lacks a research center focusing on the agricultural sector. This has created unease for farmers to obtain relevant information on agriculture.