FAO representative hails farming, urges development in Warrap

26 May 2014

FAO representative hails farming, urges development in Warrap

26 May 2014 - Farming in Warrap State was “unique” despite many challenges it faced, the UN’s top agricultural representative in South Sudan said today in the capital Kuajok.

Food and Agriculture (FAO) Country Representative Sud Lautze was rounding up a tour with Ministry of Agriculture officials of Western Bahr El-Ghazal, Lakes, Northern Bahr El-Ghazal and Warrap states.

“We have come to Warrap today in order to understand how the preparation for the agriculture season going ahead,” Ms. Lautze said. “I am meeting with partners to hear their concerns and their ideas.”

The FAO representative, who also serves as UN Deputy Humanitarian Coordinator in the country, stressed the need to focus on both developmental and humanitarian concerns.

“It is not just humanitarian works that are ongoing right now, but we have a twin track approach where we will continue with our development projects and at the same time respond to humanitarian needs.”

Ms. Lautze also called on Warrap communities who were hosting IDPs to grant them land and farming equipment. “Help share some seeds and tools. Help them as your neighbors so they themselves can produce food.”

State Minister of Agriculture, Forestry, Tourism, Cooperative and Rural Development Majok Bol Kur lauded FAO for supporting Warrap. “The good farming activities here are because of the support we get. We received six tractors and more than 500 ox ploughs.”

But he added that the country’s current crisis had affected farming, citing a lack of tools and seeds. “Our farmers here expected to have inputs, including seeds. These in most cases come late.”

Accompanying Ms. Lautze was Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Animal Resources Lily Albino Akol, who said her ministry was focusing mainly on long-term development programmes.

“We know there are challenges,” she said. “To address these challenges, human resource development is key. This why we have asked all states to send profiles of staff for scholarships.”

Ms. Akol said she had submitted policies aimed at preserving forests to national parliament for enactment. “If this is done, Warrap will benefit greatly from her forest.”