The undersecretary in South Sudan’s Ministry of Trade, Industry and East Africa Community Affairs, Mou Mou Athian said the project, launched on Friday, is will boost food and nutritional security among communities displaced by civil strife.
“Our people are going to be trained in agro-processing and entrepreneurship, development skills. Skills is the word here and whatever the skills we will get then we would have benefited from this nice project,” said Athian.
He said the government will provide guidance for the establishment of basic agro-processing facilities in the country for the project to benefit citizens, adding that officials will be involved in evaluating and monitoring the execution of the project.
The secretary-general of South Sudan Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture, Simon Akuei Deng, said the project will promote the production of oil from sesame and groundnuts.
“This project is up to 2020 and it is expected to create value chain that will create employment as well as to fight poverty. We also expect the project to increase the oilseeds production,” said Deng.
He added that the oil seeds crops could be engines of economic growth, adding that they make a significant contribution to employment of the youth.
On his part, UNIDO’s national project coordinator, Kuorwel Kuai Kuorwel said the project will enable private-public sector to support value chain development in the country.
“The project aims to support agro value chain development to create employment and income opportunities for internally displaced people and their host communities,” said Kuorwel.
“It will provide skills and entrepreneurship training and will establish the basic soft and hard facilities for agro-processing in Juba and its adjacent satellite towns, which have attracted growing investments in reconstruction,” he added.
Despite the huge agricultural potential South Sudan possesses, only about 5 percent of the country’s arable land is reportedly cultivated.