29th October 2020
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Invest in agriculture to avert hunger — FAO

Author: Jale Richard, Okot Emmanuel | Published: Saturday, October 17, 2020

Local producers display their produce in Wau on October 17, 2020. Photo: Charles Andrea

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations is appealing to the government to invest in agriculture to avert food insecurity.

FAO’s country director, Mesack Malo made the call yesterday as the country commemorated World Food Day.

In South Sudan, the day is marked amidst harsh economic and humanitarian conditions made worse by years of conflict and the current unprecedented floods.

The UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs says some 800,000 people have been affected by flash floods across the country since July.

Experts say as the economy is experiencing hyperinflation, flood-victims in 37 out of the 78 counties require urgent life-saving assistance.

According to UN agencies and the government, there were already 6.5 million people in South Sudan who are food insecure.

But the country depends almost entirely on the international community to feed its hungry population.

This, according to food security experts is due to the lack of peace and inadequate investment in agriculture.

According to FAO, just less than 3 percent of the country’s resources are currently invested in agriculture despite the huge potential.

The FAO country representative, said investment in agriculture would help the country produce enough food for its starving population.

“We need to invest a substantial amount of our resources to agriculture and food security,” FAO Country Representative, Mesack Malo told Eye Radio in an interview on Friday.

“I want to tell the people of South Sudan that we are in a country that God has blessed us with a lot of lands, a lot of water and some people understand agriculture. Let us come together to ensure that this country exits quickly from food aid.”

The FAO country representatibve also said the government should consolidate peace so that farming coomunities that were uprooted by the civil war could return to roduce more food.

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