Livestock in South Sudan should always be source of livelihood and cohesion, never of conflict, European Union Deputy Head of Mission Alessandro Rossi said on Tuesday during the Torit Livestock Show organised by the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) South Sudan country office.
Donors, UN, Nongovernmental Organisations, government representatives and local community members converged in Torit Freedom Square to attend the two day event (Tuesday and Wednesday) organised, in cooperation with USAID, aiming at encouraging the commercialisation of cattle, sheep and goats in order to enhance capacity and diversification of the livelihood of the participants, thus leading to increased resilience in South Sudan.
The National Minister of Livestock James Janka Duku, USAID's Mission Director Leslie Reed, FAO's Country Representative Meshak Malo, French Ambassador Marc Trouyet, Chinese Ambassador Hua Ning, German Head of Cooperation Janika Walter and the host state governor Tobiolo Alberio Orono among others attended the event. Demonstration stands of many projects improving agriculture productivity and rural communities' livelihoods were present: cooperatives active in organic agriculture, "biking" water pumps and training of trainers for beekeeping.
Speaking at the show, the European Union Representative Mr Alessandro Rossi said such shows are important for raising awareness on improved livestock rearing systems, information exchange, learning and sharing of best practices with the ultimate objective of improving livelihoods and enhancing the resilience of pastoral and rural communities in the country.
"FAO currently implements three livelihoods and resilience building projects with a financial support from EU of about USD 36 million, out of an overall agriculture and food security financial support by the EU of approximately USD 150 million. Free flow of information helps to enhance opportunities, in livestock and agriculture like in all sectors," Rossi said.
"I would like to mention our (EU) commitment in the framework of the Partnership for Recovery and Resilience (PfRR) together with USAID, DfID, UN Agencies, International NGOs and other partners in South Sudan, which is being implemented in Torit as one of the seven partnership areas and aim at delivering on recovery and resilience through a collaborative approach."
This is the third Livestock Show and Agricultural Exhibition in South Sudan following those successfully held in Rumbek and Wau respectively.