National Conversation South Sudan, a local NGO is supporting farmers in Ruweng and Fangak in a bid to improve value addition to food products for export.
Deng Ayok, the Chief Executive Officer for National Conversation South Sudan, said they plan to expand their support to farmers in Pibor Administrative Area with the aim of exporting processed products in the East African market and beyond.
“Over 90 percent of our food commodities are imported, so we are trying to get into food commodity industry as much as we can, and we will be supplying most of the supermarkets, shops as well as in future exporting within the region,” said Ayok during press conference held in Juba on Wednesday.
Ayok met with authorities of South Sudan National Bureau of standards who cleared their products for meeting quality standards.
He said they are currently working in partnership with about 26 farmers, cooperative organizations the country to fulfill their goal of exporting food products.
“We process, preserve, pack food, level them and brand them for our local markets with a goal of competing with other products in our markets, and in the near future we will have full certification of all the products,” said Ayok.
Catherine Kapukelan, the Managing Director for Nile Valley Food partnering with National Conversation South Sudan, said their organization trains women and young farmers across South Sudan.
“We are going to introduce new items, we also have training for women, I want to encourage the women out there, please come forward and work with us because we want to empower all the women and young farmers out there,” said Kapukelan.
Mary Gordon Muortat, the Chief Executive Officer for South Sudan National Bureau of Standards, said South Sudan has varieties of locally produced food products.
”We have our own locally produced products being marketed according to standards, products like tomato paste, banana, avocado,” said Muortat.
Nation Conversation South Sudan was founded by Mabior Garang Mabior, initially as political forum that brings youth together in South Sudan to discuss social, economic and political issues but in 2021 it shifted focus on supporting agriculture in the country.