National, News

Gov’t hints on Agricultural schemes to address food insecurity

By Bida Elly David


National Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security has set a benchmark to fight food insecurity over the derailing economy by reviving national agricultural schemes.

On Friday, the vice president for the economic cluster, Dr. James Wani Igga, met with the leadership of the Ministry of Agriculture, led by Minister Josephine Lagu and her deputy, Lily Albino Akol, including the undersecretary and the director general of the ministry.

The meeting centered on the reviving of the national agricultural schemes to diversify the oil-dependent economy, which is ailing due to the disruption of oil flow to the international market caused by the fighting in Sudan.

South Sudan battles the worst economic crisis ever as citizens suffer acute starvation, with prices of commodities skyrocketing on a daily basis.

The country still heavily depends on imported goods, while little attention has been paid to local food production, though the agricultural sector has been frantically sung as the backbone of the economy, which is currently 90% dependent on oil revenues.

The office of the vice president for economic culture disclosed in a statement that Agriculture Minister Josephine Lagu and her team briefed VP Igga on their plan to execute agricultural projects to curb hunger across the country.

One of the plans, according to the minister, is to revive the old agricultural scheme for cultivating specific food and cash crops across the country to stabilize the economy by fighting food insecurity.

Minister Lagu highlighted the national agricultural schemes for the cultivation of rice, sorghum, maize, potatoes, groundnuts, Semsem, sugar cane, and cotton, among others.

She noted that the successful revival of the national projects will enable them to mitigate the ongoing economic catastrophe the country is facing.

However, the minister did not clarify when the mega-project would once again come to life, only saying it would be done in phases.

On the implementation source of the project, Lagu noted that the government will soon inject oil money into the procurement of agricultural materials.

“The government plans to inject the oil revenue many times to generate and mechanize agriculture. The national agricultural schemes will be for both food and cash crops,” Mrs. Lagu was quoted as saying.

Furthermore, she emphasized that the agricultural schemes would be revitalized according to the agro-ecological seasons.

The project shall serve as a long-term initiative to address the looming hunger and food insecurity across the country.

Last month, the national minister of finance, Awow Daniel Chuang, said during a press conference that the government had set a platform to shift into improving the agricultural sector by procuring tools to supply farmers in order to fight food insecurity, but that has yet to materialize.

Three months ago, the Ministry of Trade, in collaboration with the Ministry of finance and Planning, promised to import assorted food items to cushion the high market prices that are forcing households to dig deeper into their pockets to put food on the table.

Eng. Awow, who expressed worry about the looming hunger, earlier said the initial consignment of subside-assorted food items had already reached Nimule, holding citizens hopes high; unfortunately, the consignment seemed to have not reached the starving citizens.



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