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MAFS, WFP sign agreement to enhance sustainable agriculture and food systems

John Ogoto Kanisio, (R) Undersecretary for agriculture and food security and Adeyinka Badejo, (Left) WFP Acting country director during the signing of MoU on Wednesday.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security (MAFS) and the World Food Programme (WFP) on Wednesday signed agreement that will see them work together to promote sustainable agriculture and food systems.

John Ogoto Kanisio, Undersecretary for Agriculture and Food Security in the ministry of agriculture and food security, said the deal that includes, enhancing early warning system and strengthening resilience and adaptation will go a long way in benefiting rural farmers who get little from their produce.

“In South Sudan our food systems as you know them they are fragmented, and if you take every single value chain you will find it very short take for example, in agriculture you find the value chain you have the farmer and the distributor whom you may not be able to identify whether is an aggregator, retailer, wholesaler or an exporter,” said Kanisio during the signing ceremony in Juba.

Kanisio noted that the agreement seeks to address such missing links in order for the country to benefit from it’s vast agricultural potential.

“We need to achieve food and nutrition security by ensuring these missing links are put together; I believe this MoU is going to be a contributor towards that,” he added

Kanisio also hailed the WFP for helping strengthen early warning system, logistics and building capacity in South Sudan.

“I believe this MoU will do much more in making people to think of World Food Programme as a partner in development, as a partner in helping South Sudan to move beyond food assistance to resilience and development,” he said.

Adeyinka Badejo, WFP Acting country director, said both parties remain committed to continue to enhance, and build upon the collaboration that exists to work towards a more food secure and prosperous South Sudan.

“For a long time, the ministry of agriculture and food security had been concerned about the humanitarian crisis, and how it was creating dependency of food assistance among the population and I made that commitment to Kanisio that WFP’s goal and priority is really to see a food secure South Sudan,” said Badejo.

She disclosed that WFP’s strategy over the coming years is aimed at scaling up resilience interventions in the country.

“We cannot ignore the humanitarian crisis that exists in the country; however, we need to work jointly with the ministry on early warning and food security analysis, so that we use this information to prioritize and effectively target humanitarian assistance to where it’s most needed and in areas where the conditions allow our goal is to scale up resilience interventions,” said Badejo.

Badejo revealed that South Sudan’s food system is in crisis, adding that it needs focused and concentrated attention.

“We see the situation today in the Horn of Africa, in Somalia they are about to declare famine and also there is a global food crisis, South Sudan could be filling the gap that is now created by Ukraine,” she said.

The agreement also entails both sides to work together on the strategic grain reserves and also generating an evidence base, doing a lot of studies and research together to see how to better improve joint interventions in the food systems.

In addition, the parties will work together on advocacy and joint research mobilization.

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