By Taban Henry
The South Sudan government and German International Cooperation (GIZ) on Wednesday launched three major projects on food security and agricultural development aimed to improve the livelihoods, psychosocial support and community driven rural development initiatives.
The projects are slated to be implemented by the GIZ South Sudan on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Cooperation and Development with selected communities in Western Equatoria, Central Equatoria, Eastern Equatoria and Northern Bahr el Ghazal State.
The project is expected to run till 2025. The project targets to bring together stakeholders within the selected communities.
Speaking during the launch, Tobias Buchner, the German Ambassador to South Sudan said they are launching the three projects, which are food and nutrition security and natural resource management, improved living conditions and psychosocial support as well as community driven rural development projects.
He said the projects will be implemented in Western Equatoria, Central Equatoria, Eastern Equatoria and Northern Bahr el Ghazal States respectively.
“South Sudan is confronted with many challenges in the food and agricultural sector, citing that the current agricultural production cannot feed people in this country, we all now rely on humanitarian assistance which cannot be sustainable so increasing local production does not only combat food security but also provide chances for economic development,” he said.
Buchner noted that the German government has been supporting the people of South Sudan saying the launch of the programs demonstrates their commitment in strengthening agriculture and food security in the country.
He further stated that climate change undermines people’s hopes, worst of all the ongoing war between Ukraine and Russia has cut availability of food items in the international market making food assistance difficult.
“The food and Nutrition security and Natural Resource, improving living conditions and psychosocial support and community driven rural development are among the projects to be implemented to improve the leaving conditions and increase agricultural productions in South Sudan,” he stated.
Meanwhile Martine Ude the Undersecretary Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security lauded the German cooperation for launching of the three projects saying they have been waiting for such projects to be implemented but were hampered by the 2013 and 2015 crisis.
He assured that the Ministry of Agriculture is very happy with the design and the structure of the project as well as the selection of the States and the counties to start off with.
“I hope, if there is stability this three projects will be successful because those three States are the food baskets of South Sudan, they only need improved resources to improve agricultural productivity in those areas,” he said.
Ude revealed that the country has 79 counties across the ten States and only few are selected, he therefore called on other international partners to implement the same projects in some of the counties.
“I am appealing to the other partners to learn from what the GIZ and the German Embassy have done to come out to do similar projects,” he emphasized.