By Akol Madut Ngong
The Vice President for Economic Cluster, Dr. James Wani Igga Wednesday said there should be increase in agricultural production and productivity.
Dr. Igga was speaking during the launching of two projects under the auspices of the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security and the World Bank as a partner.
The projects included Resilience Agricultural Livelihood and Emergency Locust Response.
He said the selected enterprises and farmers in South Sudan must adhere to the agricultural development value chain identified as production, transportation, storage, processing, as well as marketing and distribution.
“In order to increase agricultural production and productivity in the next five years, the RTGoNU needs to focus on strengthening research, identifying and building key human resource capacity; technology adaptation at the farm level including modern irrigation technologies, enhancing extension services, promoting sustainable land use and soil management,” Dr. Igga explained.
“Analysis of soils and fertilizers for specific crops should be extended to cover the whole country, leading to differentiated programme for agricultural research, input and irrigation for priority crops,” he added.
“However, Dr.Igga said the sustainability of this management system remains an important concern and these are the lessons for South Sudan as well as the East African regions during the last two years.
“Agriculture has become central to South Sudan’s economic growth and poverty reduction,” it is a major source of raw materials for the manufacturing sectors.
A market for agricultural output and a source of sample for investment of agriculture.
“The Government’s strategic investment for modernization of this sector will transform it into a spring board for socio-economic transformation,” he stated.
“Through gender responsive mechanization, commercialization and provision of infrastructure to facilitate marketing, production and productivity will increase leading to increased competitiveness and profitability of the sectors,” Dr. Igga added.
This will lay foundation for establishment and expansion of agro-processing and consequently light manufacturing industries.
“As the commercialization and mechanization of agriculture picks pace, the human resources working in the sector will transfer to the manufacturing and services sectors with better wages, thus accelerating the pace of economic growth and transformation” he added.
The prevention strategies have been shown to be effective where they have been applied, advancement in locust biology since 1921, this advancement created opportunities for preventive management involving regular monitoring which the ministry would be asked to send to the areas affected by the locust. “If we put agriculture as number one priority of South Sudan, food is number one in South Sudan” said Dr. Igga.
Together, “we must give the financial capacity to the Ministry of Agriculture,” I urge our relevant partners to take the Ministry of Agriculture as serious as taking education and health but health and education are affected by lack of food.