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FAO Launches New Food Security Information Programme

By Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)
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KHARTOUM, Sudan, April 10, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and the European Union have officially launched a new €8.6 million ($US11.2 million) programme to improve food security information collection and analysis and related policy design and implementation in Sudan.

The Food Security Policy and Strategy Capacity Building Programme (FSPSCBP) is funded by the European Union and implemented by FAO in partnership with the Government of Sudan. The 3-year programme operates in Red Sea, Kassala, Gedaref and Blue Nile states.

The Federal Undersecretary of the Ministry of Agriculture Mr Mohammed Hassan Jubara attended Wednesday's launch workshop in Khartoum. “We appreciate very much the efforts of FAO and the EU in supporting Sudan in general and the Ministry of Agriculture especially,” he said.

Mr Joachim Knoth from the EU Delegation in Sudan also attended the launch. “If we work together this programme can help secure food security and reduce poverty in Sudan – this is what matters,” he said.

The new programme aims to strengthen the capacity of government line ministries in the four target states in the collection and analysis of food security information for policy decision-making. This means that food security decisions can be more informed and inclusive, and better implemented and monitored. The programme is supported by technical expertise from FAO's Headquarters in Rome and from FAO's Regional Office for the Near East and North Africa, based in Cairo.

The FSPSCBP will build on the achievements made under FAO's EU­funded SIFSIA programme (Sudan Institutional Capacity Program: Food Security Information for Action). SIFSIA helped build the foundations at the federal level for an integrated and coordinated food security information system through intensive capacity building activities. The new programme is being implemented in partnership with the Government of Sudan's Food Security Technical Secretariat which was established under SIFSIA and which has responsibility for food security data collection in Sudan.

“Sudan has enormous potential in agriculture, livestock and fisheries development, and the policies that this programme will help develop will work towards harnessing that potential,” said Mr Charles Agobia, the FSPSCBP Chief Technical Advisor.

FAO has successfully implemented other EU-funded projects in Sudan, including the five-year Sudan Productive Capacity Recovery Programme-Capacity Building (SPCRP-CB) which enhanced agricultural production capacities in Red Sea, River Nile, South Kordofan and Blue Nile states.