The South Sudan National Bureau of Standards (SSNBS) has called on local farmers to increase production in the upcoming season in order to mitigate risks on food imported from neighboring countries.
“I am encouraging farmers to produce more food that doesn’t need to be preserved for days or months but to be consumed immediately, let us farm as much as possible and consume our own food that will reduce risk to ourselves from unknown territory because when they spray something, we will not know what it is exactly,” Mary Gordon Muortat, Chief Executive Officer of SSNBS said recently during workshop on food safety in Juba.
She also encouraged SSNBS staff to partner with private organizations to create public awareness on food safety.
“It’s easy to have standards but how to implement is difficult, we have to create awareness to make sure standards are implemented, we don’t want to lose our lives,”. She said.
South Sudan imports nearly 90 percent of it’s total food from Uganda, Kenya and Sudan.
Despite having vast arable land, only 6 percent of land in South Sudan is under use, according to the United Nations.
Nicholas Kreandi, Head of Food Security and Nutrition of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in South Sudan , said that they are supporting the SSNBS to look into issues related to food safety and food insecurity in South Sudan.
“You can have all the food in the world but if the food is not safe to be consumed then you are still food insecure, so the SSNBS must ensure that people are getting food which is safe for them to consume. This is not only limited to food but also on seeds,” Kreandi said.
He said SSNBS should work to achieve 2030 agenda for sustainable development under SGD2 that aims to eradicate hunger.
Majak Deng, the Director General of Administration and Finance at SSNBS, said that they remain committed to achieve food safety in the country.
“Even if we don’t have money, we will do something to make sure food safety is realized in South Sudan,” Deng said.