IFDC boss on move to support South Sudan agriculture

By William Madouk

President and Chief Executive Officer for the International Fertilizer Development Center (IFDC) has jetted to Juba with focus to support agrobusiness to produce enough food and market linkages to boost the country’s economy.

After touching down at Juba airport yesterday, the boss of IFDC, Henk van Duijn stated that South Sudan has potential of becoming a food basket for East Africa Region, advising on multisectoral work to lift agronomy and economy.

“There is a huge opportunity here in South Sudan especially at the moment when the economic development is going up,” Mr. Duijn told journalists on Wednesday.

“We really believe that boosting our work in South Sudan is important, not for us because expanding the office is one and especially to improve local economic development is what we think is the way forward,” he added.

Mr. Duijn advised farmers and entrepreneurs to embark on agriculture to provide quality products to markets, especially with plentiful River Nile water and productive soils. 

“If you look at opportunities in South Sudan from agriculture predication prospections, we have River Nile flowing through the country with a very fertile soils, South Sudan is able to produce a lot of food,” he noted.

“It’s up to the local and private sector partners to really tap that opportunity because the country is growing and number of people are growing not only in Juba but in other areas and they want to have access to good food,” boss of IFDC continued. 

According to him, building a strong economic market where consumers are directly linked to the processes will really help boost local economy nationwide.

“So, I think local private development will be the boost for the local economy in the coming years,” he stressed.

Mr. Duijn who took his new role and responsibilities on January 1, 2023, is expected to meet and strengthen ties with the government, development partners and UN agencies.

He will also meet and interact with South Sudan team, A3SEED partners, 2SCALE and RASS partners and donors.

It also includes; the Netherland Embassy in Juba, USAID mission in South Sudan, the World Bank, UN Foods and Agriculture Organization and ministry of Agriculture and Food Security.

Duijn has overseen an exceptional portfolio of programs that enable agribusinesses to enter and profit from profitable markets.

He holds a master’s degree in Land and Water Management from Wageningen University & Research.

He also has more than 30 years of agricultural and international development experience to the organization, with an emphasis on Europe, Africa, and Asia.

IFDC – is a research and development organization that has knowledge and expertise to create favorable environment for farmers to scale up their productivity. It has been active in the country since 2011.

IFDC is active in 20 countries in Africa, Asia and America – a science-backed innovation that bridges the gap between identifying and scaling sustainable soil solutions, resulting in improved food security and enriches family livelihoods.

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