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FAO Director-General reiterates support for South Sudan

Minister Deng: “FAO coming fully to the country is very important for us”

FAO Director-General reiterates support for South Sudan

5 December 2013, Rome, Italy - FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva held his first meeting with South Sudan Minister for Agriculture, Forestry, Tourism, Animal Resources and Fisheries, Beda Machar Deng, since he was appointed last August. Graziano da Silva congratulated Minister Deng for his appointment and informed him that FAO is in the process of establishing a full-fledged representation in South Sudan.  “Our relationship with FAO is very positive. It is very important for us that FAO comes fully in the country to continue its support towards food security”, Minister Deng said.

FAO’s 38th governing Conference admitted South Sudan, along with Brunei Darussalam and Singapore to membership on June 15. Graziano da Silva already expressed his willingness “to support South Sudan in every possible way as a new member and as a new country”. At the meeting held today, Graziano da Silva and Minister Deng discussed the major priorities of the Government regarding food security, agricultural technologies, infrastructure development for economic growth, resilience enhancement and capacity building.

The FAO Chief also referred to the Country Programming Framework (CPF), developed in consultation with South Sudan ministries and requested further support to finalize it. He acknowledged that Land tenure governance and security, diversification of livelihood and employment opportunities are some of the issues that need attention. “Our priority now – Minister Deng explained – is to increase food production: cereals and other crops, and vegetables and fruits.  We need FAO’s support in livestock to free animals from diseases and pests. We need technology in agriculture and fisheries, training to make our farmers  stronger and organize them in cooperatives. We also need to enhance access to international markets, and FAO can provide it”.

During the meeting, both leaders discussed specific support to South Sudan and FAO offered technical assistance in agriculture, livestock and fisheries statistics to improve the national capacities to collect and analyse data, an issue already in discussion with the Government and donors.

South Sudan joined the Committee on World Food Security (CFS) and has also signed and deposited an instrument of adherence to the International Plant Protection Convention which was done in Rome also on a 6th of December but of 1951. With the deposit of this instrument, the IPPC has reached 181 Members.

Watch a video interview with H.E. Beda Machar Deng