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S. Sudan official backs food production projects financing

July 19, 2012 (JUBA) - The chair of the parliamentary committee responsible for member affairs at the National Legislative Assembly, Mark Nyipuoc strongly extends support to appeals by the executive organ of the Government of South Sudan, currently seeking funding for agricultural projects in an interview with Sudan Tribune on Thursday.

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South Sudan agriculture (Getty)

“The assembly knows very well that the government is facing a lot of difficulties. This is why it is seriously discussing the 2012-2013 budget chapter by chapter so that we identify areas of priorities so that funds are allocated appropriately”, explained Nyipuoc.

He said discussions in the house about the allocation of more funds to support agricultural schemes and projects as well as cooperative banks shows ghe commitment of the government to addressing food security in the country. 

The House fully supports the government’s search for funding for agricultural projects but the SSDG21 million (US$4.8 million) South provided in the budget for establishment of cooperative bank under the ministry of agriculture, cooperative and rural development would be “just a drop in the ocean”, according to Nyipuoc.

He suggested that the implementation of a programme of cutting unnecessary expenditure and raising non-oil revenues would be a useful part of wider austerity measures which could help with the economic hardship currently being faced by the country.

After South Sudan halted oil production in a row with Khartoum over the payment of transit fees, South Sudan has been facing economic hardship. This has increased the pressure for the young country to diversify its economy, in order to have greater autonomy.

Nyipuoc suggested that the people of South Sudan return to farming.
In February the World Food Programme’s country director in South Sudan said the impending food crisis "is a rapidly approaching crisis that the world cannot afford to ignore."

"I’m confident that we are going to go through this current period and will come out. It’s going to be tough, and austerity times are tough, but I’m confident that we will go through this,” said Nyipuoc.

(ST)