World Bank injects USD 113m to transform agriculture sector

Group photo showing Vice President, James Wani Igga

By William Madouk Garang

World Bank injected yet another 113 million into the agriculture sector to fund two newly launched projects aimed at strengthening the capacity of farmers, improving agriculture productivity and restoring livelihoods and food security in the country.

The newly launched projects; Emergency Locust Response and Resilient Agricultural Livelihoods aim to carry out an emergency intervention while building resilience and economic growth in the country.

The project will provide technical training and skills to better facilitate preparedness for future shocks and crises, rehabilitate the livelihoods of vulnerable communities and empower them among others.

In 2020, swarms of desert locusts ravaging crops and grazing land across East Africa arrived to southern Magwi county of South Sudan and invaded already reeling from widespread hunger and years of civil war.

The launching event was officiated by Vice President for Economic Cluster, Dr. James Wani Igga, and attended by World Bank representatives, UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Deputy Minister of Finance, Agok Makur, minister of Agriculture and Food Security among other dignitaries. 

In her speech, the Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Josephine Joseph Lagu said the mission was unique because the government contributed in designing these projects to ensure service delivery and boost agriculture.

“…The ministry has worked alongside our partners to ensure that all necessary precautions that need to be taken into account, should be taken into account so that we deliver on our promises,” Lagu said.

“You heard and you have seen all the statistics since yesterday, the situation is bad but we in the ministry are ready alongside our partners to do what we can to transform agriculture in this country,” she added.

Deputy Minister of Finance, Agok Makur acknowledged World Bank and the international community’s support and cooperation adding that his docket is currently doing outmost to reform economic institutions. 

“Today is an important day for the government of South Sudan. especially, our ministry of Finance to attend the event of launching [and] of receiving of 113 million from World Bank for two important projects, as a resilience projects to the ministry of agriculture,” Makur declared.

“As you know, the ministry of finance is dealing now in the chapter concerning the reform of the economic institution,” he added.

However, Firas Raad, the World Bank Country Manager for South Sudan said projects’ effect would not emerge overnight but it’s a vision that would transform the country from humanitarian aids dependency to a development-oriented growth path.

“Why we think these projects are important; first, they combine series of interventions that will help the household and communities that were affected by shocks that came from the sky – the locust swarms to recover,

 “This regional project that we are launching does a lot of these, it helps build back the community resilience and support the development of those affected by that phenomenon and it helps prepare for future shocks,” Raad noted

“Secondly, our project to boost agriculture resilience among communities, look at distant productivity and food production at the very local level and this I think, is the beginning of the journey for the country to reclaim back itself sufficiency in food,” he assured.

World Food Programme report 2021, indicated that food insecurity in the country has reached the most extreme level with 8.3 million – 75 percent of the population are facing severe food insecurity.

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