Home | News    Thursday 3 November 2011

S. Sudan: 2012 food security assessment underway

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By Julius N. Uma

November 2, 2011 (JUBA) - Development partners in South Sudan have embarked on a nationwide food security assessment to determine actual indications for next year’s food levels in households, the UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) said in its latest briefing released last week.

According to UNOCHA, preliminary findings for the ongoing data collection for the country-wide food security household survey and the food security and monitoring system are expected by early this month, while the food security assessment mission is expected to report in mid-November.

South Sudan, which gained its independence in July, considers food security a top government priority. With agriculture widely regarded as the backbone of rural economies supporting over 80% of the population, efforts are underway by the country’s ministry of agriculture and forestry to increase food productivity per household.

Despite all these interventions however, recent reports indicate that over one million South Sudanese still remain food insecure, with the population in the states of Jonglei and Upper Nile, which are struggling to cope with armed insurgencies, cattle raiding and inter-clan fighting, reported to be the worst affected.

While presenting the food shortage report to parliament, last month, Betty Achan Ogwaro, South Sudan’s minister of agriculture and forestry largely attributed the food shortages to the unexpected blockades north Sudan imposed along its borders with South Sudan since independence.

According to the minister, a rapid crop assessment carried out in August showed South Sudan was likely to produce 420,000-500,000 megatons of food this year - half the required amount. The report also found that only 4% of South Sudan’s potential agricultural land is being used.

She also cited the massive influx of returnees from the north, poor road systems and insecurity as key factors that have contributed to the increased food prices. Inflation levels, according to the national bureau of statistics, officially hit 57.1% in August, partly due to increased food costs.

Meanwhile a rapid crop assessment carried out by the UN Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) last month reported an increased deficit in food production of 400,000 metric tons this year, up from the previous year’s 100,000 metric tons.

(ST)

The full OCHA report on South Sudan for the period 14-20 October 2011, can be downloaded below.

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  • 3 November 2011 20:29, by whatsayyou

    Very crucial, the problem of food security must be tactcle seriousely.



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