JUBA — Agriculture, poverty reduction and food security are among the top priorities for the future of South Sudan’s development and stability, scholars at the second South Sudan-China think tank forum said Friday in Juba, the capital of South Sudan.
Meshack Malo, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations representative in South Sudan, said that close cooperation between China and South Sudan is urgently needed in the agriculture and fisheries sector to reduce overdependence on food aid, adding that insecurity remains the major driver of food insecurity in most parts of the country.
John Morris Togo, head of the Department of Agricultural Engineering at the University of Juba, said South Sudan needs to work with China to help commercialize its backward agricultural sector that is heavily rainfed. Togo also suggested collaboration between the two countries in the fields of education and research, agriculture, and trade and investment.
Deyi Zhou, a professor at the College of Economics and Management with Huazhong Agricultural University, observed that South Sudan is endowed with natural resources and water but lacks labor, capital and technology necessary for developing its agricultural potential.
Zhou added that China and South Sudan can complement each other, thus benefiting from win-win cooperation.
Deng Dau Malek, deputy minister of Foreign Affairs of South Sudan, said the relations between Juba and Beijing are historical, strategic, excellent, promising and cemented by strong political will and mutual understanding in different fields.
“In today’s world strengthening cooperation in the areas of research is very important and this will for sure support domestic policies, including economic and political reforms. We are here today to share views, explore and establish the platform for our existing young relations,” said the deputy minister.
Chinese Ambassador to South Sudan Hua Ning said China-South Sudan think tank forum has built a bridge for communication between experts and scholars of the two countries.
“Today’s forum has played an active role in promoting our intellectual and cultural exchanges, enhancing mutual understanding through mutual learning, and serving the overall development of our bilateral relations. It’s hoped that we could continue to well organize the think tank forum in the future,” he added.