Insecurity halts agricultural productivity

Lily Albino Akol, deputy Minister of Agriculture and Food Security (Courtesy photo)

By Adia Jildo

The Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Lily Albino Akol Akol has underscored that South Sudan’s food security has been hampered by insecurity as the country’s food baskets areas suffer record high insecurity

The country’s Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Food Security made the statement during the launch of country Economic Memorandum report by the World Bank.

South Sudan security situation is expected to change from bad to worse with over 1.7 million people at the brim of famine as World Food Programme cut food assistance to the country hunger stricken population amidst resource constraints due to the Russia-Ukraine war and other catastrophe happening around the world such as floods and droughts.

Lily said food production has reduced in recent years due to persistent insecurities experienced in the country’s food baskets that were supplying their surplus produce to the capital Juba.

“When we used to do security reports, Western Equatoria, Eastern Equatoria, places like Magwi and Central Equatoria were producing food that the surplus were brought to Juba but this has shifted due to persistent insecurity,” she said.

“If there is any sector directly affected by conflict and insecurity it’s agriculture because during wars, there is no farming that takes place,” she said.

Lily added that war and poor infrastructure has prevented many investors to invest in South Sudan.

 She called on the government to promote peace and stability in the country to enable productivity of agricultural produce.

“Contribution of agricultural production is going down because of persistent insecurity. As the government, we must work for peace and stability” she urged.

In a media briefing on 10th June 2022, the World Bank Country Director for South Sudan, Firas Raad said the presence of violence and conflicts hinders agricultural production hence lagging development.

“Without security, it’s extremely difficult to promote long term development. When there is a security breakdown, then process gets delayed,” the World Bank Country Director asserted.

He urged the country’s stakeholders to maintain the cost to implement peace for the development of South Sudan. “When there is conflict, there is no development that we can see happening” Firas underlined.

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