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FAO expands support for national food security information systems for decision makers

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Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

FAO expands support for national food security information systems for decision makers

They say information is power; in South Sudan, information is life.

Today, FAO launched a $9 million project on information for decision making for food and nutrition security. This initiative will assist the Government of the Republic of South Sudan (RSS) achieve its goal of ensuring food security for all.

The Agriculture and Food Information System (AFIS), a three year project (2013-2015) implemented by FAO and funded by the European Union, will support the institutionalization of robust food security information systems at both national and state levels. This capacity development initiative will enhance and broaden systems to provide decision makers with food and nutrition security information and data, key building blocks in the foundation of South Sudan’s agricultural development.

AFIS builds on the FAO-implemented Food Security Information for Action (SIFSIA) project (2007-2012), also funded by the EU, which built capacity for information collection and analysis for food security. Under strong government leadership, it facilitated the establishment of the Food Security Council and the Food Security Technical Secretariat, two key institutions designed to provide decision makers with timely and reliable food security information. Information systems on crop and livestock monitoring and forecasting, crop and livestock markets, and natural resources were also established. AFIS will expand the scope and representativeness of food security data, while increasing the performance, reliability and timeliness of systems of food security information at the state level.

FAO is the lead UN agency for agriculture, livestock, fisheries, forestry and rural development. The Organization has a proven capacity in developing food and nutrition security systems, and enhancing national capacity to utilise this information for more effective anti-hunger policies and programmes.

FAO has a distinguished history of partnering with the Government of the Republic of South Sudan. Through the Sudan Productive Capacity Recovery Programme (SPCRP), FAO assisted the RSS to develop the human, organizational and physical capacities of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Cooperatives and Rural Development, and the Ministry of Animal Resources and Fisheries in Warrap, Western and Northern Bahr el Ghazal, Lakes and Western Equatoria States.

FAO has assisted in the rehabilitation of seed laboratories and was instrumental in supporting the RSS to develop key policies and strategic frameworks, including the National Agriculture and Livestock Extension Policy (NALEP), the Agriculture Sector Policy and accompanying sub-sector policies, and the economic pillar of the South Sudan Development Plan (SSDP). FAO’s close relationship with the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Cooperatives and Rural Development and the Ministry of Animal Resources and Fisheries has assisted in the successful implementation and institutionalization of a number of initiatives including the ongoing country-wide promotion of Conservation Agriculture, Farmer Field Schools and Climate Change Adaptation.

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