Citizens challenged to champion food production ideas

Citizens challenged to champion food production ideas
FAO Country Director Meshack Malo (L) and Isaiah Chol Aruai, Chairperson of National Bureau of Statistics at the launch of the Integrated Security Phase Classification in Juba on 18/12/2020 (photo credit: Sheila Ponnie/The City Review)

The United Nations agencies supporting agriculture have asked the government and citizens to create more ideas to improve agriculture following the launch of the food system.

Food systems refer to activities in food production that include food processing, food combination, aggregation, and trading.

Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Country Director, Meshack Malo, said that South Sudanese youth, with support from the government, should come up with new ideas to improve agriculture productivity to eradicate hunger in the country.

He said South Sudan has vast and fertile land that can make the country rely on its agricultural products if the youth come up with more technology.

“The fertile land you have in this country can produce food. We want to see innovation and technology in agriculture. You have to make sure that you have something to pitch. We are ready to support you, ” said Malo.

 “When you have ideas, pitch them up because there is a lot of work in the agriculture sector that needs joining hands,” he added.

The Country Representative of the World Food Programme, Matthew Hollingsworth, said that the United Nations agencies supporting South Sudan were eager to support ideas generated by young people.

He said the conflict has frustrated young people who want better lives and peace so that they can do their activities to cope with other African countries.

“We want young men and women to create and give ideas because this country can change from what is coming from you,” he said.

“We must find a way for technology that can improve food systems. The land and the people are the resources.”

The Undersecretary of the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, Dr John Kanisio, said that in South Sudan, food systems are not working well because of untapped potential.

“In our case, we are not producing enough because we only used four [4] per cent of our land for agriculture. Our food systems have been broken into ill,” he said.

Last week, UN agencies endorsed ways of improving food security within the country through an initiative dubbed “Ignite Food Systems Challenge”.

With the support of the USAID Bureau of Humanitarian Assistance (BHA), and the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security (MAFS), WFP and UNDP repeated calls for new ideas to end hunger, improve food security, and strengthen food systems.

The Ignite Food Systems Challenge that will be applied for online will support South Sudanese entrepreneurs. The youth are required to pitch their businesses for financial and technical support through the challenge.