By Hassan Arun Cosmas
The United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPs) on Wednesday launched South Sudan safety net project in Yei River County of Central Equatoria State to enhance community engagement, capacity building and dialogue for trust buildingto promote more inclusive and resilient societies.
The project aimed at providing access to temporary income opportunities to selected poor and vulnerable households and strengthening safety net delivery tools in a conflict and covid-19 sensitive manner.
Speaking during the launch, Aquilino Ladu Lege, theCentral Equatoria State acting director for agriculture extension and delivery said that the launch of the safety net project would help the vulnerable people.
“I am happy because this project is going to help those most vulnerable people in the communities. This project will support them so that they can join the rest of the members of the community and progress together with the rest,” said Ladu.
He said that lack of coordination with the state ministry of agriculture affected solving issues that were challenging the counties.
He cited untimely seed distribution as a major challenge that was affecting farming communities.
“Because of lack of coordination, we were unable to solve some of the issues which are happening in the county level. One example is, I found in my study during my tour visiting the partners in the ground, is the issue of seed distribution. Untimely seed distribution is affecting productions by farmers,” Lege noted.
Commissioner Aggrey Cyrus Kanyikwa called on the citizens and government to support the safety net project to benefit the people to be food secured.
He also called on the directorate of agriculture to train extension workers to train farmers on practical agriculture investment.
“So we need as a government to invest in extension services. Train the extension workers so that they can go and train the farmers not the director to go and train farmers. I want to hear in the next two weeks that we have recruitment process of extension workers taking place. You can’t call yourselves agriculturalist without extension workers,” said the commissioner.
The south sudan safety net project aims to address vulnerabilities and strengthen household resilience in South Sudan building on the success of its predecessor.