Vice President for Economic Cluster, Dr. James Wani Igga on Tuesday called on farmers to boost food production to help reduce hunger in the country.
Dr. Wani made these remarks during the 3rd trade fair exhibition dubbed “Made in South Sudan Exhibition” held at Nyakuron Cultural Centre in Juba.
“Once we increase production for sure we are going to become exporters but we must first produce as much as we can to satisfy internal consumption,” he said.
Wani also encouraged farmers to produce sufficient food for exports in a bid to diversify the economy.
“Don’t produce only for your consumption in the family or for the local market but please you also think of a way to move away from small farming,” he said.
Wani promised that the government will create a conducive environment to promote trade in order to woo investors.
“We are not going to allow and we shall leave no stone turned to make business environment easy for our investors,” he said.
Wani said the government will tap into Gum Arabic exports to diversify the economy.
“South Sudan can produce and trade on a range of products such as Gum Arabic, it is like gold and we have plenty of these in Renk, a lot of them but is Sudan exporting it and calling it Sudan’s Gum Arabic, it is South Sudan’s Gum Arabic but we don’t control it,” he said.
More than 7.8 million people in South Sudan, two-thirds of the population are at risk of severe hunger in 2023, according to the United Nations agencies.
The UN said the cause of food insecurity and severe malnutrition among under-age children to a combination of conflict, poor macro-economic conditions, extreme climate events, and spiraling costs of food and fuel.
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, up to 95 percent of South Sudanese rely on farming, herding, or fishing.
However, agriculture in the country is largely at subsistence level, with crop yields being very low due to use of poor quality seeds, tools and agronomic practices.
Factors such as the civil war and natural disasters have disrupted development of the sector, and resulted in rippling effect that has the potential to harm the overall economy.