The African Development Bank says it has granted $14m to boost farmers and traders’ business opportunities in South Sudan.
“The project will create aggregation business opportunities for farmers and traders, including women and youth, and provide them with new skills and the agro-processing equipment they need to produce competitive products.
“Twenty aggregation business centres will serve as ‘one-stop shops’ where farmers can access extension services and connect to markets for their value-added products. Farmer groups joining the aggregation centres will have their products not only tested and quality certified, but also traded with the private sector on their behalf,” the bank said in a statement on Thursday.
South Sudan’s Minister of Finance and Planning, Athian Ding Athian, added that a diversified economy away from oil and long-term growth depended on promoting agribusiness development.
Also, the bank’s Country Manager for South Sudan, Benedict Kanu, noted that “a key factor explaining Africa’s and indeed South Sudan’s low level of agricultural value addition is the inefficient marketing infrastructure.”
Kanu added, “This prevents farmers and processors from realizing the full value of their produce, even in their raw form.”
Commending AfDB’s effort, the Food and Agriculture Organisation’s representative in South Sudan, Meshack Malo, pointed out that, “farmers will move faster from subsistence to commercial agriculture by having access to new technologies, markets, and linkages with other services and actors.”