OpEd, Politics

Agriculture Sector Development; a Key to Mitigating Dollar Crisis in South Sudan

By Peter Gai Panchol

I firmly believe that developing South Sudan’s agricultural sector is critical to promoting sustainable development and food security in the country.

South Sudan is currently facing a severe dollar crisis that has brought significant economic challenges to the country. To mitigate the negative impact of this crisis, the South Sudanese government has to ramp up efforts to develop the agricultural sector by strengthening the agricultural extension system, encouraging value addition, and promoting innovations that will help propel agricultural development.

With agriculture serving as the backbone of South Sudan’s economy, where up to 80% of its population is involved, developing the sector is indispensable in promoting sustainable socio-economic growth in the country. However, despite its potential, the agricultural industry remains underdeveloped and inefficient, which hinders efforts to meet local demand and generate foreign exchange.

Therefore, to promote further agricultural development in the country, a focus on value addition is essential. Lack of value addition often manifests in uncompetitive produce in both the local and international markets, which ultimately hinders overall agricultural sector growth. Encouraging value addition practices will enable farmers to add value to their products and make them more competitive in the market, thereby boosting their income and ultimately the sector’s growth.

Additionally, enabling stakeholders in the agricultural value chain to access information on up-to-date agricultural practices, inputs, and equipment is essential for the sector’s development. Strengthening the agricultural extension system by linking farmers with key players in the value chain and facilitating access to agricultural inputs will promote sustainable production and productivity, improving food security in the country.

Moreover, promoting the integration of modern agricultural technologies, including modern farming equipment and irrigation systems, is crucial for enhancing agricultural production and efficiency. These technologies will help South Sudan increase agricultural productivity, meet local demand, and generate sufficient foreign exchange required to boost economic growth and development, specifically in agriculture.

Further, stakeholder collaborations are vital in facilitating agricultural development in South Sudan. The national government, NGOs, and well-wishers should form partnerships with agricultural players to promote sustainable agricultural development. Universities, locally and internationally, play a vital role in promoting agricultural development in research and innovation. There is a need for universities which do not yet offer agricultural extension courses, to initiate practical courses that guide students, researchers and farmers on best practices to increase agricultural productivity and meet the local demands.

Lastly, the South Sudanese Ministry of Agriculture should spearhead the campaign by drafting reasonable policies that will act as guidelines for agriculture’s easy progress. The agricultural sector’s budget should be significant from the national government since it is the backbone of the country.

In conclusion, developing South Sudan’s agricultural sector is vital to mitigate the current dollar crisis, create jobs, promote sustainable development, and boost food security in the country. To achieve this, there is a need to focus on value addition, strengthen the agricultural extension system, promote modern agricultural technologies, encourage stakeholder collaborations, and allocate reasonable budgets towards agriculture’s development.

The author is a student at Makerere University. He’s currently pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Agricultural and Rural Innovation. For more information or inquiries, he’s reachable via this email: ghaipanchol51@gmail.com, Cell: +256(0)775430633


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