Government to invest in agriculture – VP Wani Igga
The Vice President for Economic Cluster who is also the Chairman for Economic Crisis Management Committee, Dr. James Wani Igga said for the agriculture sector to develop in the country, the government must inject not less than 10 percent of the country’s annual budget into the sector.
“For the agricultural green society to take off and I really mean to take off in South Sudan, the government must inject not less than 10% percent of the annual budget in to agriculture,” Dr. Igga made the statement during the two days’ workshop organized by the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security in Collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in Juba.
According to Dr. Igga, in most Sub-Saharan countries the government always put agriculture top priority followed by health and education sectors, saying it has to be the case in South Sudan.
“If it has to be the case in our own country South Sudan, I am going to campaign for it and make sure that we put agriculture number one,” he promised.
He however, called on South Sudanese to expedite, review and reform agriculture in the country in the light of the revitalized peace agreement adding that was the only way forward for the country to be self-reliant.
However, Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Josephine Lagu Yanga said that the ministry is committed to make sure that agriculture provide employment opportunities to young people across the country.
“We want to make sure that we all cultivate. We don’t want to continue to buy vegetables from other countries. We shall use the agriculture system to ensure that people become self-sufficient,” said Josphine.
According to Josephine, the country has about 33 million hectares of arable land suitable for agriculture across six agro ecological zones but only four percent is currently cultivated, South Sudan has about 5 times areas of agricultural land per capita than Kenya, Uganda and Ethiopia , according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security officials.
The workshop was attended by several Ministers including the senior Presidential Advisor and all Secretary Generals in all States and Administrative Areas and other official delegates from NGOs.