By Bida Elly David
Lawmakers at the National Legislative Assembly are urging livestock sector reforms in the country, citing sufficient livestock but limited economic benefits.
This concern came following a fact-finding committee’s report on livestock and fisheries in Western Bah-El-Ghazal and Warrap States.
This concern came following a report presented by a fact-finding committee for livestock and fisheries after their visit to Western Bah-El-Ghazal and Warrap States.
The Committee chairperson Nhial Bol stated that the two states have not prioritized livestock commercialization for economic development.
“The delegation observed that the Ministry of Animal Resources in Western Bahr-El-Ghazal state had not privatized the commercialization of livestock to the business community,” he said.
Nhial claims the authorities in those states haven’t adequately informed local communities about the importance of livestock trading and prestige.
The committee warns of occupying dairy farms by companies and SSPDF soldiers, posing a threat to the community.
“The delegation observed that Marial Lou Animal Health Training Centre is occupied by ARC Construction Company and SSPDF on the basis of protection of lives and properties after the eruption of communal violence,” the report partly reads.
The fact-finding committee also underlined the lack of coordination of livestock activities between the Warrap State Ministry of Animal Resources and the partners involved, especially Marial Lou, where NGOs are based.
The committee’s report stated that the animal health facilities and training institutes in the two states have totally been ruined, adding that it has risked the health of the livestock.
Mr. Nhial said his committee recommended the evacuation of the SSPDF soldiers and ARC Company from Marial Lou Livestock Training Centre.
After listening to the report, the lawmakers adopted it with the intention of enacting serious laws concerning the utilization of livestock to benefit the nation economically.
Hon. Angelo Lokenga Lotabo, a lawmaker representing Eastern Equatoria State, appreciated the committee’s report but raised concern over the lack of treatment of animals meant for consumption.
Angelo said citizens across the country are not fully safe health-wise as they eat beef without health assurance.
He said the health of the livestock determines its possibility for commercial export to other countries.
“Around South Sudan, particularly Juba, you will find a lot of diseases related to animal meat. We cannot export our meat to other countries like Kenya and Uganda without an animal health permit. Nobody will buy them,” Angelo said.
“The report is so silent about animal diseases, which are supposed to be the main target of the fact-finding or the assessment,” he added.
South Sudan lacks experts for livestock health inspections, according to MP.
For his part, Samuel Bakuri Loti, another MP representing the Torit constituency, noted that South Sudan is gifted with enough livestock but can’t tap into the investment.
He said the budget for the concerned institution has been very poor for the past few years.
“In the previous budget, when you look at the budget of the Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries, it was only 1%. If we don’t consider that, the opportunities in that sector will not be explored,” he said.
Loti said surrendering most projects and activities to non-governmental organizations is one of the weaknesses that the country has.
“These NGOs are not coming here to develop these sectors to be more sustainable. They are just here for emergencies, he said.
“The ministry has to work hard to make sure that the livestock institutions are renovated to improve the sector.”
The August House adopted the report and passed it on to the National Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries with all the recommendations.