World Bulletin / News Desk
President Salva Kiir launched on Wednesday the South Sudan Food Security Council with the hopes of helping end hunger and malnutrition in the country.
"I have already declared the need to achieve food security in our country by the year 2014," President Kiir said at the launch.
He said his government's efforts to achieve the goal "have been hampered significantly by the recent unfortunate crisis of December 15."
South Sudan has been shaken by violence since December, when Kiir accused his sacked vice president, Riek Machar, of trying to overthrow him.
The conflict has already claimed more than 10,000 lives, with the U.N. estimating that some one million South Sudanese have been displaced by the recent violence.
"We have vast fertile lands, abundant water and climate suitable for production of wide variety of food and cash crops," said President Kiir.
"But the country still faces enormous challenges which prevent it from realizing its full potential," he added.
Kiir said South Sudan has suffered over the years from "food deficits and undernourishment - which resulted in record malnutrition, especially among children - and poverty driven by underdevelopment engulfing about half of an estimated 8.3 million of the country’s population."
He beleives that increasing agriculture production represents the best option for his country's food security.
"With the huge natural resource potential, increasing agriculture production represents the best opportunity not only to address food nutrition insecurity but also to produce surpluses for related industries and export to regional markets," said Kiir.
He ordered the distribution of 1000 tractors among the country's ten states to boost food production.
"As a country we should endeavor to move away from traditional agriculture to modern ways," said the president.
The launch of the South Sudan Food Security Council, which is headed by Kiir, was attended by Agriculture Minister Beda Machar and Information Minister Michael Makuei.
Also attending were Mike Sackett, the head of the World Food Program (WFP) in South Sudan, and Daniele Donati, the team leader of early warning, emergency and rehabilitation at the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).Last Mod: 17 Nisan 2014, 10:06