In South Sudan, agriculture plays a vital role in the livelihoods of its people. However, achieving stable harvests requires various factors to align, including durable peace, stability, and knowledge of advanced farming practices.
Addressing these challenges, the Dr. John Garang Memorial University in Jonglei, one of the country’s most food-insecure states, has partnered with the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) to implement a pilot program aimed at increasing rice yields and generating economic benefits for farmers.
Empowering Farmers for Food Security and Youth Employment
Led by South Korean peacekeepers and initiated by the government of the Republic of South Korea, the project is expected to run for eight months. The focus is on introducing advanced farming techniques to boost rice production.
Professor Abraham Matock Dhal, Vice Chancellor of the University, highlighted the significance of increasing yields not only for food security but also as a means to provide employment opportunities for South Sudanese, particularly the youth.
By engaging the younger population in productive agricultural activities, the project aims to deter violence and contribute to a peaceful environment.
Blue Helmets Introduce Scientific Approach to Rice Farming
The South Korean peacekeepers delivered a presentation on rice production and cultivation using scientific guidelines, emphasizing the selection of rice varieties suitable for different soil types.
The audience, including Jonglei authorities, University staff, and students, commended the Blue Helmets for their scientific approach and easy-to-apply tips and tricks to enhance agricultural productivity.
Transformative Impact on Food Security and Development
Acting Governor of Jonglei State, John Samuel Manyuon expressed his optimism about the project’s potential to reduce reliance on humanitarian food assistance and foster a peaceful environment that supports development and youth employment.
Geetha Pious, Head of the UN Peacekeeping mission’s Field Office in Bor, emphasized the initiative’s aim to empower youth and enhance the financial viability of farming households, ultimately transforming the lives of community members.
Building Local Capacities for a Promising Future
Congressman Ki-Ho-Han, Chairperson of the National Defense Commission of the Korean Parliament, praised the peacekeepers for their contribution to building local capacities. He expressed the hope that this pilot project would serve as a symbol of peace, prosperity and a promising future for all South Sudanese.
As South Sudan continues its democratic transition, initiatives like this hold great potential for making a positive and lasting impact on communities, improving food security, and fostering economic growth.