About 42 extension workers have received critical farming skills after undergoing one week training in Juba by International Trade Centre (ITC).
Jane Gordon Sworo, the Executive Director for South Sudan Women Entrepreneurs Association who was part of the training on Friday told The Juba Echo in an interview that the farming skills will enable farmers improve their production of fruits and vegetables.
“This capacity building is a creation of space whereby we can do better in production of different types of fruits and vegetables, we are going to benefit because it is now focusing on agriculture,” Sworo said at the end of the training at Crown Hotel in Juba.
“We have some weaknesses in production, giving knowledge to the farmers. We are going to do it better, we are going to cultivate and do farming better in seeds, vegetables and fruits production,” she added.
The capacity building workshop for South Sudan agriculture extension officers funded by the European Union is aimed at promoting fruits and vegetables value chain in job creation and trade development.
Alex Fuokpio Angelo, the agriculture extension officer at the ministry of cooperative and rural development in Western Equatoria State, said that the skills acquired will help farmers to move from subsistence to commercial farming.
“Our farmers are going to know how to work, if the land is not fertile they can also fertilize the land and work as a group so that they produce enough vegetables and fruits,” Angelo said.
“What the farmers were doing before was to produce for their homes, but this time they are going to produce for business, we are going to have entrepreneurs who will do farming as a business,” he added.
Tunda Emmanuel Jerry, the Coordinator of Seed Trade Association of South Sudan, said the capacity building will create impact in the community, noting that farming will reduce on food imports.
“The capacity building will have ripple effects in the community in that the extension workers will in turn transfer whatever skills acquired from the training to the community down there to increase their production,” said Jerry.
Nicholas Mudungwe, the training facilitator for International Trade Centre, said they are working to develop the capacity of small and medium enterprises across the country.
“We work to develop small to medium enterprises value chain here in South Sudan, we are working with fruits and vegetable farmers, the objective is to enhance the productivity, competitiveness of the farmers so that they produce quality fruits and vegetables sold to formal markets, increase earnings and create jobs which ultimately contribute to development of the country,” Mudungwe said.
The ITC is a multilateral agency which has a joint mandate with the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the United Nations through the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).
The ITC is involved in projects providing trade-related technical assistance in countries all over the world.