By Bida Elly David
South Sudan national Parliament on Wednesday grilled National minister of agriculture over lack of agricultural investments to curb food insecurity in the country.
The August House had summoned Hon. Josephine Lagu Yanga, along with other ministers to answer queries about the country’s economic crises.
The parliamentarians claimed that ministers use donations from the World Bank and African Development Bank to serve their own interests without considering the nation, particularly farmers.
Similarly, the lawmakers noted that agricultural machinery, which were expected to be donated to farmers have been corrupted several times by officials of the ministry, leaving the beneficiaries with no option.
In her defense, Hon. Lagu denied the accusation of mismanagement and diversion of funds for individual benefits, saying they shouldn’t be blamed.
She explained that the ministry, remains with a little over 15% of all the donations to implement its national projects, while 85% of the goes for operational costs by third parties.
Hon. Lagu further claimed that the government does not have the power to control the implementing agencies, which impedes the progress of agricultural services in the country.
She cautioned the parliament against blaming the ministry for having failed the country with its high level of food insecurity.
“The money from the World Bank and other partners does not come to the ministry of agriculture and food security. It is the ministry of finance and planning that deals with external financing,” Hon. Lagu told legislators.
She stressed that her ministry has not been responsible for implementation of most livelihood projects countrywide, saying a third party executes most of the projects on behalf of partners but not the ministry.
The minister explained that the World Bank gives money to Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) which subcontracts a third party such as UNOPS.
“Every entity takes a big chunk of the money for operation costs,” she noted.