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Poverty Reduction & Programs in Agriculture
Report Prepared for the Food and Agriculture
Organization (FAO) in Khartoum
Abdelrazig Elbashir
Abdelatif Ijaimi
March, 2004
Fatih Ali Siddig
Hassan M. Nour
This report is supported by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) as a
contribution to the Interim – Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (2004-2006) which is
being prepared by the Ministry of Finance and National Economy in collaboration with
line ministries, government institutions and the civil society. The report draws on a
previous study-Agriculture and Rural Development-prepared for the government of
Sudan and UNDP office in Khartoum by Abdellatif Ijaimi, Abdelrazig el Bashir, El Fatih
Ali Sidig, Hassan Mohamed Nour and Jack van Holst Pellekaan (February 24, 2003).
Table of Contents
Summary and Conclusion ……………………………………………………..(i)
1. Introduction ………………………………………………………………….1
2. Farming Systems …………………………………………………………….1
3. liberalization Policies & Agriculture ……………………………………….2
4. Performance of the sub-sectors ……………………………………… ……3
4.1 Traditional ……………………………………………………………… ……4
4.2 Semi-mechanized ……………………………………………………………..5
4.3 Irrigation ………………………………………………………………………5
4.4 Livestock ……………………………………………………………………...7
4.5 Fisheries ……………………………………………………………………..10
4.6 Forestry ……………………………………………………….……………..10
5. Root causes of Poverty & Agriculture …………………………………….11
6. Strategy for Developing the Agriculture Sector ………………………….12
6.1 The 25 years Vision ………………………………………………………….12
6.2 Elements of the Medium Term Strategy …………………………………….13
6.3 Interventions …………………………………………………………………13
Land tenure & land policy …………………………………………………...13
Agricultural Research ………………………………………………………..15
Technology & Extension …………………………………………………….16
Agricultural Credit …………………………………………………………..17
Marketing ……………………………………………………………………18
Livestock …………………………………………………………………….20
Irrigated sub-sector ……………………. …………………………………....21
7. Enabling Environment ……………………………………………………..21
7.1 Enhancing Management of Natural Resources ……………………………...21
7.2 Delivery system ……………………………………………………………...22
7.3 Participation …………………………………………………………………22
7.4 Public Investments …………………………………………………………..23
Figure 1: Trends in yields of Rainfed Sorghum in
Semi-Mechanized & Traditional areas…………………………………………….4
Figure 2: Trends in rainfed sorghum area harvested in semi-mechanized
and traditional areas
Figure 3: Trends in irrigated wheat and cotton area harvested …………………...5
Figure 4: Trends in yields for irrigated wheat & cotton …………………………..6
Table 1: Growth Rates and GDP shares of sub-sectors …………………………...3
Table 2: Livestock exports (in 000, heads) for the period 1996-2002 ……………8
Table 3: Credit Ratio to GDP in selected Asian and Arab Countries …………...18
Table 4: Annual Disbursements by the Agricultural
Bank of Sudan in Main Farming Systems (2000-2004) …………………………18
Annex 1: Policy Matrix
Annex 2: Public Investments
This report which is supported by the FAO reviews the role of the agricultural
sector in reducing the considerable rural poverty in Sudan. It has been prepared as a
contribution to the Interim-Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper which is being prepared in
collaboration with line ministries and government institutions by the federal Ministry of
Finance and National Economy.
2.Poverty in Sudan is closely associated with agriculture. Poverty is mainly prevaillent in
rural areas where agriculture dominates the livelihood of the people in those areas, who
constitute about 40% of the population. An effective poverty reduction strategy will
necessarily entail revamping the basic approach to agriculture development.
3.Agriculture faces several constraints. Fluctuating performance of the agriculture subsectors characterized by declining yields in which is a result of weak technology and
support services, an outdated land policy which makes market-based rural reconstruction,
an inefficient credit system, lack of infrastructure particularly in rural areas, weak
delivery of basic social services, government interference in the export marketing of
livestock and gum arabic, and inefficient and centrally-managed irrigation schemes.
4.On the other hand, positive aspects of the agricultural sector are highlighted.
Performance of sesame and livestock production and exports was strong despite the weak
distribution of the benefits of livestock growth to small-scale producers and the poor. It
is also apparent that the government is serious about institutional and management reform
in the irrigation sub-sector. Government interference in the market for agricultural
products and inputs is currently minimal, except for gum Arabic and livestock exports.
5.Indeed a number of substantial and far-reaching reforms are needed before the
agricultural sector can generate better results such as improved productivity and a higher
and sustained per capita GDP growth rate. This is particularly true in the traditional
rainfed farming sector which should be a particular focus for the I-PRSP because this is
where most of Sudan’s poor are located.
6.If the constraints facing agriculture are removed, then Sudan’s agricultural sector will
be positioned for strong, sustained growth which will generate incomes and employment
which in turn will reduce poverty.
7.The government’s Five-Year Plan (2004-2008) prepared by Ministry of Agriculture
provides the context and the basis for the comprehensive approach to the challenges of
agriculture with the objective of sustaining growth and reducing poverty. In brief the
Five-Year Plan’s main policy objectives are (a) public investment in infrastructure such
as rural roads and electronic communications; (b) focus on small-scale farmers in rainfed
farming areas; (c) crop insurance programs; (d) research; (e) institutional reforms such as
land policy; (f) increased role of the private sector in areas such as marketing; (g)
participation of producers in policy making.
8.The medium term strategy (2004-2006) calls for reviving agricultural development,
however with significant shift in emphasis and policies in favor of traditional agriculture.
The basic elements of the strategy will be:
 Intervention in traditional agriculture, the focal sub-sector, will be based on a
comprehensive integrated package of rural development programs. The main
elements of the strategy will be: (i) Land tenure reform (ii) a technological
package (research and extension) (iii) access to rural credit (iv) provision of basic
social services including basic education, primary health care, water and
sanitation (v) improvement of access to markets through investment in basic
infrastructure particularly feeder roads, and abolishing marketing monopolies.
Extensive institutional and management reforms will be undertaken in large
irrigated schemes which are a major shift from the existing policy of financially
subsidizing these inefficient schemes from budgetary resources. These reforms
will not only revitalize production and productivity in the irrigated schemes, but
will also release funds needed for the rural programs in traditional agriculture.
Land tenure reform and appropriate policies for sustained natural resource
management will be the main elements of the strategy for the semi-mechanized
A series of comprehensive policy matrices or frameworks have been prepared which
provide a logical and monitorable relationship between objectives, outcomes and policies.
Domestic resources and external assistance that are needed to achieve the medium term
outcomes are proposed in this report.
Poverty Reduction Strategy & Programmes in Agriculture
1. Introduction:
1. The agricultural sector is the core of Sudan life and the main driving force for its
economy even with the emerging oil sector. Sudanese economy is predominately
agricultural with 70% of the population deriving their livelihoods in rural areas.
Agriculture contributes 46% of the country's GDP and more than 90% of the nonoil export earnings. In addition, it accounts for about two thirds of the
employment and supplies about 60% of the raw material needed by the
manufacturing sector.
2. Agriculture will continue to be the main basis for sustained future national
economic growth, increased food security, a substantial share of exports, and
increased employment. A fundamental approach to reduction of poverty and
sustaining food security will rest on the government ability to develop agriculture
as the main vehicle for poor growth. The agricultural sector is also envisaged to
play a major role in the post-peace period by generating employment
opportunities and providing food security for the war affected populations.
3. Apart from its size, Sudanese agriculture is also very diverse and complex
because of the range of agro-climatic environments under which it operates.
Therefore, a wide range of policies, institutions and infrastructure will be needed
for the sector to generate growth and achieve the poverty reduction objective. The
sector's diversity is reflected in the different performance results from the major
sub-sectors over the last 10 years. These sub-sectors face different problems, have
substantially different prospects and make different contributions to poverty
2. Farming Systems:
4. Farming systems in the Sudan are functions of ecological zones and socioeconomic conditions. Crop production is practised under three main farming
systems, namely irrigated, semi-mechanized and traditional. The other farming
systems are livestock, fishery and forestry.
Historically, large scale Nile based irrigation scheme had been one of the pillars
of the Sudan's Strategy for agricultural development. There are between 4 and 5
million feddan of irrigated land within the Nile basin, in Northern, Khartoum,
Gezira, Sennar, Blue Nile and White Nile States. The Gezira Scheme (2.1 million
feddan), Rahad, Suki and New Halfa, schemes (1 million feddan) are owned and
managed by the Central Government.
6. The rainfed commercial semi-mechanized system developed on generally alkaline
clay soils and loams. It has spread to about 14 million feddans in the states of El
Gadaref, Blue Nile, Upper Nile, White Nile, Sennar and Southern Kordofan.
7. The rainfed traditional farming is mainly subsistence systems prevalent almost
every where in the Sudan accounting for an area of 22 million feddan and from
which the majority of the rural people derive their livelihood, but mostly in
Kordofan, Darfur, White Nile and Blue Nile states.
8. Cattle, goats, sheep and camels (about 130 million heads) constitute the bulk of
the livestock sector. Livestock in the Sudan could be classified into extensive,
semi-intensive, and intensive systems depending on types of animals reared and
whether for subsistence, traction or market. The extensive system is entirely
dependent on natural pasture and is physically, socially and economically fragile.
The system accommodates the vast majority of herders in the dry lands of the
country. Unlike the extensive system, the intensive system requires considerable
skills, efficient management and a great deal of animal feeds. It is common in the
irrigated and urban areas. The semi-intensive lies between the two systems cited
above. Pastoralism supports the largest number of people (70% of the rural
population are agropastoralists).
9. Forests and woodlands are typically tall shrubs in areas of low rainfall in the
north, and tropical high forests in the south. Thirty-five percent of the land in
Sudan is classified as forest, of which one-quarter represents timber resources and
3 percent are forest reserves. There are also some plantation forests and
community woodlots.
10. The fishery resource potential is significant, though there is no reliable
quantitative information. There are five main fishery sites concentrated around the
Red Sea area, Lake Nuba, White Nile and Blue Nile, swamps, marshes, lakes of
southern Sudan; and canals of the Gezira irrigation scheme.
3. Liberalization Policies and Agriculture
11. The Sudanese economy was characterized by negative growth rates, internal and
external imbalances, during the 70s and 80s. These constraints prompted the
government to launch a liberalization program in 1992. The implementation of
this reform program succeeded in reversing the decline in economic growth and
revitalized the private sector.
12. The waves of liberalization despite its positive impact on growth particularly on
livestock, has negative impact on the irrigated sub-sector. The irrigated schemes
were privatized without passing a transitional stage that will pave the way for
active private sector involvement. When these schemes were privatized, they were
faced with decayed irrigation infrastructure, withdrawal of basic agricultural
services and lack of alternative source of credit.
13. The liberalization programs were accompanied by massive monetary expansion,
which resulted in triple digit inflation by 1996. A subsequent reform package to
address the economic instability was launched in mid 1996. The restoration of
macro-stability was successful and inflation was reduced, the exchange rate has
been stabilized and the economy continued to record positive growth rates.
14. However, the burden of the stabilization fell on the budget control with large cuts
in expenditures. The situation was exacerbated by low revenue efforts particularly
when oil started to constitute a major source of revenues. Moreover, the war and
deteriorating security situation in some parts of the country claimed more
resources. As a result the agriculture sector was deprived from needed resources.
4. Performance of the Sub-Sectors
15. The relative importance of the major sub-sectors, along with their 10-year average
growth rates, is shown in Table 1. Of the three main farming systems, irrigated
agriculture accounted for an average of 21.1 percent of the value of total
agricultural production between 1991 and 1999 and growing at an average rate of
6.6 percent per annum; semi-mechanized rainfed agriculture accounted for 6.3
percent, declining in terms of value of production at 6.7 percent per annum; and
traditional rainfed agriculture accounted for 12.5 percent of GDP but grew at 24.6
percent per annum. From 1991 to 1999, the average value of livestock production
accounted for 47.0 percent of the total value of agricultural production and grew
at 15.9 percent per annum.
Table 1: Growth Rates and GDP Shares for Sub-sectors in Agriculture
Irrigated crops
Growth Rate
Share of GDP
within Agriculture
(percent per annum)
Growth Rate
Share of GDP within
(percent per annum
Total crops
Rainfed semi-mechanized
Rainfed traditional crops
Minor crops
Source: Central Bureau of Statistics; Note: The years 1983-1985 and 1990/91 were drought years
Figure 1: Trends in Yields of Rainfed Sorghum in
Semi-Mechanized and Traditional Areas
19 /71
19 /73
19 /75
19 /77
19 /79
19 /81
19 /83
19 /85
19 /87
19 /89
19 /91
19 /93
19 /95
19 /97
20 98 /9
'000 hectares
16. In summary crops make
up about 47 percent of the
livestock account for
about 47 percent. GDP
from crops and livestock
The available evidence
suggests that GDP growth
in agriculture has been
mainly based on increases
in area cultivated in
rainfed farming areas which have threatened the environment, while yields have
declined on a long-term basis (see Figure 1). In essence there has been an
unsustainable increase in area harvested (see Figure 2) and a decline in
productivity for more than two decades.1
17. Comparing
productivity of the
Figure 2: Trends in Rainfed Sorghum Area Harvested in Semimain cultivated crops
Mechanized and Traditional Areas
groundnut) in the
sector for the period
with the respective
productivity for the
prices; the farmer
should have increased
his cultivated area by
75% to maintain the
same level of 1970/71
See Bank Report No. 6502-SU, Sudan: A Strategy for Rainfed Farming – A Commentary on the
Government Steering Committee Report, April 28, 1987. This report indicated that of Sudan’s total area of
about 2.5 million square kilometers, 35.4 percent was suitable for agriculture, with around 3.3 percent
cultivated at any one time (the remainder would be out of use or fallow); 10.1 percent was pasture; 38.5
percent was forest and scrub; and 16.0 percent was not usable for agriculture, grazing or forestry. There
have no doubt been changes in these proportions since 1975. For example, there can be little doubt that the
area under cultivation has probably doubled since 1975.
18. If the recent tendency of horizontal expansion in area of sorghum continues it is
likely to have serious consequences for the sustainability of the crop yields in the
traditional farming systems, farm incomes, and poverty reduction. It is
particularly alarming for the poor because, even during years of high output from
crops and livestock, the traditional farming areas produce a lower proportion of
rural GDP than the proportion of the rural population that lives there.
19. Obviously families living in the traditional farming areas find employment as
causal labor for short periods outside this region, but it is well known that those
employment opportunities have weakened over the last 10 to 15 years. The
traditional rain-fed sector obtained only between 1 and 5 percent of all formal
agricultural credit in 2001 and received few other support services such as
research and extension. Public investments in basic infrastructure for rural and
agricultural development are also negligible. It is not surprising that yields are low
and declining or stagnating for most crops. The pastoralists and small farmers in
the traditional sector are the most vulnerable to poverty. Improved productivity in
the traditional farming areas, is therefore of crucial importance if the large number
of people who are to some extent dependent on this farming system are to achieve
improved incomes.
4-2 Semi-mechanized:
20. The decline in GDP from semi-mechanized farming of 6.7 percent per annum up
to 1999 is broadly consistent with the trends in production. The slump has had
serious repercussions for employment of labor – mainly from the traditional
farming areas. In the eighties some 1 to 2 million laborers moved to the semimechanized farming areas where they could find three to four months work at
weeding and harvest time. This number has been cut by at least half as a result of
the decline in the semi-mechanized farming areas and the substantial cut in cotton
crop irrigated areas with drastic implications for many families in the traditional
rainfed farming areas who depended on the employment in this sub-sector.
22. Wheat,
sorghum were the most
19 /71
19 /73
19 /75
19 /77
19 /79
19 /81
19 /83
19 /85
19 /87
19 /89
19 /91
19 /93
19 /95
19 /97
20 98 /
00 99
4.3 Irrigated.
'000 hectare
21. Matters could get worse if the current trend toward a decline in the domestic and
international demand for sorghum continues and there is no diversification to
other crops in the semi-mechanized areas. Absence of appropriate land tenure
Figure 3: Trends in Irrigated Wheat and Cotton Area
constrains facing this
irrigation areas during the nineties, with groundnuts as a fourth crop. The poor
performance of irrigation schemes during the nineties had a grim impact on the
employment and welfare of farmers and many landless laborers living in the
irrigation schemes. Reductions in the areas of the traditional crops led to
opportunities for other crops such as vegetables, and a substantial increase in the
production of livestock. This diversification was important but did not reduce the
need for substantial reforms in the management of these large schemes such as the
Gezira irrigation scheme which has a command area of about 2.1 million feddan.
23. Figure 3 shows that the area of irrigated wheat also fluctuated substantially
between the mid-1980s and the end of the 1990s. The main reasons were
considerable pressures on the central government-owned and operated irrigation
schemes to increase grain production from 1990 to 1992. The central government
requested irrigation schemes to increase the production of wheat and sorghum as a
contribution to the government’s food security initiative, which had been
introduced because of concerns about the impact of drought on rainfed sorghum
19 /71
19 /73
19 /75
19 /77
19 /79
19 /81
19 /83
19 /85
19 /87
19 /89
19 /91
19 /93
19 /95
19 /97
20 8 /
00 99
24. Farmers were strongly
Fiigure 4: Trends in Yields for Irrigated Wheat and Cotton
assisted through credit
programs, to produce
wheat. With these
inducements, the area
of wheat increased
sharply in 1990/1991
because of the strong
commitment of the
stimulate production
policies, namely (a)
declaring an attractive
price before planting
time at which the Government would purchase production; and (b) providing
inputs for wheat production. Wheat production declined steadily after 91/92
because the government abandoned its efforts to stimulate an increase in grain
production as part of its food security strategy. In subsequent years reduced
credit for wheat production led to reductions in the area planted. Figure 4 shows
that yields for wheat fluctuated considerably throughout the eighties and nineties
and production followed a similar trend, increasing on average at about 3 percent
per annum. Figure 3 also shows that the cotton area planted declined steadily
which reflected the declining efficiency of cotton production in central
government irrigation schemes due to the ineffectiveness of inefficient, inflexible
top down management of the large government-owned irrigation schemes which
consequently incurred considerable losses. As the area of irrigated cotton
declined it was replaced by a rise in the area of irrigated sorghum until the early
nineties when this area slumped to about the same level as in the late 1980s.
25. Large scale irrigation schemes have not been financially sustainable and therefore
have needed subsidies through the federal budget as well as government
guarantees for obtaining credit from commercial banks. Efforts to control the
production practices, including crop choice for farmers, have resulted in decisions
by farmers to produce crops less susceptible to control by management of the
schemes. Performance problems in irrigation schemes include inefficient water
management, non-collection of water charges and land use fees, low productivity,
and large debt burdens. Government support to these large-scale subsidized
schemes starved other sub-sectors in agriculture of funds needed for basic
infrastructure development and support services. Government could eliminate its
budgetary allocations to irrigated agriculture if it adopted a forward-looking
reform program based on more efficient management and greater private sector
involvement in the federally owned irrigation schemes.
4.4 Livestock.
26. While crops are important for Sudan’s food security, the value of livestock
production dominates the agricultural sector accounting for about 47 percent of
GDP from agriculture which is an enormous leap compared with the eighties.
27. The growth of this sub-sector has been remarkable, although much of this growth
is due to a rebound from low growth rates during the eighties when droughts
caused devastating losses. Livestock production has always been an integrated
part of traditional rainfed farming and is making and increasing contribution to
the welfare of this farming system as a whole.
28. Total livestock production increased rapidly during the 1990s. For example, the
off-take of sheep quadrupled between 1989/1990 and 1999/2000 in response to a
strong export market in the Gulf countries, especially Saudi Arabia, until
veterinary authorities in Saudi Arabia banned the import of sheep from eight
African countries in September 2000 due to the outbreak of Rift Valley Fever in
the southern part of the Kingdom and brought a temporary halt to the boom
during 2000-2001. Table 2 shows the trend in livestock exports since 1996,
including the slump in sheep exports in 2000 and 2001. Exports of sheep
rebounded significantly in 2002 following the resolution of the veterinary
problems in Saudi Arabia, but potential risks to Sudan’s live sheep exports will
Table 2: Livestock Exports( in 000, heads) for the period 1996-2002
Camels Meat
Source: Quarantine and Meat Hygiene, Ministry of Animal Resources and Fisheries
29. Several constrains deprive the country from realizing the full potential of this subsector.
30. Grasslands which make the major source of the animal feed, lack system of
grazing entitlement. Being communal, they suffer deterioration, poor attention
and invasion by expanding crop farming. The historic customary livestock
corridors between dry and wet season grazing lands are often blocked by crop
farming resulting in conflicts between herders and crop farmers. Local authorities
in which rangelands organization, management and rehabilitation is vested, are
short of funds and the stakeholders lack the necessary awareness for resource
31. Water supply during the dry season is a nightmare to herdsmen in most arid areas.
It consumes time, effort and a considerable portion of their annual incomes. Some
able herders tend to trek their herds for long distances to where water is available.
Others transport water by trucks to where pasture is abundant and even others
build cemented earth tanks for the collection and storage of rain water. Poor
herders suffer from water supply shortage since they lack mobility. Prolonged
watering intervals constitute a survival strategy. The practice often leads to animal
dehydration, haemoconcentration, weakness and eventual death. Lucky animals if
survived the stage, will suffer from emaciation, stunted growth and abortions.
32. Herders have no access to capital. The only assets they have are their animals. In
case of calamities (drought, famine, flood, sweeping epidemics etc.) losses tend to
be high and most households fall in destitution as a consequence. To overcome
the problem, herders resort either to settled crop farming or move elsewhere
especially to urban centers.
33. Herd rebuilding in the absence of credit is a long process if we recall that under
normal pastoral conditions, a 1000 kg livestock biomass is required to support one
person who depends on the consumption of animal products over long time
(EMASAR) or 500 kg if he exchanges animal products for grain.
34. Animal health services are integral part of any feasible livestock development
program. They are of two types: those provided by the public sector and those
provided by the private sector. Those operated by the public sector focus mainly
on disease control measures through annual vaccination campaigns. They target
epidemics of sweeping nature and the diseases that have regional dimensions
besides those which impede access to international markets (Rinderpest and
Contagious Bovine Pleuropneumonia in cattle for example). Poor herders if they
have any animals, they would be small ruminants, donkeys and the domestic fowl.
Diseases like peste de petits ruminants, sheep pox, lamb dysentery contagious
caprine pleuropnumonia (CCPP) and brucellosis in addition to equine and poultry
diseases which affect the stock of the poor, fall outside the attention of the
vaccination campaigns.
35. The private sector in its provision of animal health services focuses mainly on
drug supply and distribution. The high costs of drugs put the service out of the
reach of poor herders. Veterinary practitioners whether in the private or public
domain lack the necessary equipment and tools to carry out their profession
properly. For the above stated reasons, poor herders often seek animal medication
in ethno-veterinary practices.
36. Animal health research is another services provided for livestock by the public
sector. Research findings have no impact on poor herders whatsoever. The meager
budgetary allocations restrict research priority to diseases of greater economic
impact and to those which hinder trade. The role of poor herders in expanding
production and consequently trade is seen as negligible. Coordination of livestock
and agriculture research is lacking.
37. Dairy potential of the domestic breeds is generally low, nevertheless milk is
abundant during the rainy season and the appropriate means of its harvest is
lacking. Production could be improved with Artificial Insemination (A.I)
technology. A.I when available, is accessible only to rich producers under the
intensive system of production. Natural mating with traditionally selected males is
the alternative choice for the majority of producers under the extensive system. It
is associated with many problems of which brucellosis transmission is signed out
as a real risk that entails great economic losses.
38. Livestock marketing is arranged traditionally. The markets are short of
infrastructure and lack organization and development. The long chain of
middlemen together with uncountable levies and taxis imposed on by the local
authorities erode most of the producers’ market share. The recent monopolistic
approach as a policy for the livestock export is expected to have far reaching
effects on herders.
39. Extension system is not effective in conveying new knowledge to producers and
suffers low priority in the agenda of policy-makers. It is down graded in
budgetary allocations, staff training and capacity building and its overall role in
inducing change. Moreover, it lacks the effective linkages with research
4.5 Fisheries:
40. Sudan is endowed with inland and marine fisheries resources. The potential
sustainable yield of fin fish is estimated as 110000 tons per annum. The greatest
part of it is contributed by inland waters which are effectively restricted to the 5manmade lakes on the river Nile and its tributaries. The level of exploitation at the
moment is approximately 55 percent of the estimated potential. Fresh water ponds
fish culture is currently playing an insignificant role despite the availability of
prerequisites for its success. By virtue of its basic characteristics, Sudan fisheries
is of small scale qualified to satisfy substance and provide a good margin for
investment, particularly in the area of aquaculture, off-shore fisheries, land based
fisheries and supplies. The magnitude and trends of resource utilization reflect the
following features and problems:
41. The civil war in the south has deprived the country of effectively utilizing the
huge fish resources in the sudd region (potential 75 thousands tones/year).
42. Important fishing sites in the north are either suffering from overfishing (eg.
JebalAwlia Reservior) or virtually unexploited (eg. Lake Nuba and Red Sea).No
attention is duly paid to the development of culture-based fisheries in the
numerous small water bodies (hafir) in different parts of the country to augment
fish production from traditional sites and contribute to rural development. The
low fin-fish production is also coined with high post harvest losses resulting from
improper handling, preservation and processing. Involvement of private sector in
aquaculture is presently at a very low key. Efforts are still needed to make a break
through. Resources other than fin fish are either untapped or fragmentary exploit.
43. The unique and high regarded coral reefs are considered as national and
international heritage which demand utmost conservation as recreational assets.
The coraline fishes with their beautiful colours provide a good base for trade in
ornamental fishes.
44. under funding, inadequate infrastructural facilities and limited trained and skilled
manpower are major constraints facing rational management and development of
fisheries resources and fishing communities.
4.6 Forestry:
45. The contribution of the remaining sub-sectors to total GDP generated in
agriculture is much lower than any of the sub-sectors discussed above. At the
same time, the value of production form some of these smaller sub-sectors such as
forestry, fisheries may be under-estimated because much of it takes place in
remote areas in the form of small operations.
5. Root Causes of Poverty and Agriculture
46. Information about poverty is lacking. The last household survey was conducted in
1978. Some efforts were made to bridge the gap in information, with recent
surveys namely: the Safe Motherhood survey (SMS: 1999) and the Multiple
Indicators Cluster Survey (MICS: 2000), to shade some lights on non-income
poverty issues in Sudan. Using the indicators of these surveys namely deprivation
in survival, deprivation in knowledge and minimum living standard, the results
have show, that poverty is prevalent all over the country, with higher percentage
in rural areas compared to urban areas.
47. Several factors have contributed to the high incidence of poverty, but the major
factors were the ill-conceived development policies followed since independence,
which have neglected rural development from which the majority of population
derive their livelihood, the civil war, and natural disasters (drought).
48. Development policies were concentrated on irrigated agriculture which was
supplied with most of the services such as stable irrigation, research, extension,
credit, and other infrastructure (rails and roads). Traditional agriculture was
neglected receiving no research services and limited extension, credit,
infrastructure, basic social services in the form of education, primary health care,
and safe water supply. This situation was aggravated by marketing monopolies
and absence of any land reform. Previous efforts of tackling traditional agriculture
challenge through rural development projects have failed to realize the production
potential in traditional agriculture. These projects which were mostly funded by
foreign donors proved to be unsustainable and have collapsed after withdrawal of
foreign funding. The initial designs of these programmes were based on top-down
arrangements, neglecting empowerment of rural population and were not carried
within a holistic approach to rural development.
49. Negligence of traditional agriculture has caused massive migration from rural
areas to urban centers especially to Khartoum. The collapse of irrigated
agriculture and deterioration in semi-mechanized agriculture, which used to
provide employment for about over a million labors in traditional agriculture, has
negatively affected rural population. Most of rural migrants are ill-suited for
urban life and lack skills for urban employment.
50. This process was further compounded by the civil war. The war has claimed
substantial resources which could have been utilized in the development of
agriculture and other social services. It has also limited the access to land and
assets leading to loss of production and incomes.
51. The prevalence of drought cycles in the absence of a coherent food security
intervention has resulted in the quick exhaustion of traditional farming coping
mechanisms and consequently massive migration.
52. Apparently without reorientation of agricultural development strategies, the root
causes of poverty will continue to prevail. A poverty alleviation program was
launched in 1992 as part of the 10-years Comprehensive National Strategy (19922002). However, these efforts were partial as they address the issue of poverty in
the absence of a comprehensive framework. Serious efforts are now being
undertaken to address poverty in the country in a comprehensive manner. The
government has launched the Interim Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (20042006) as commitment to seriously address the poverty problem of the country in a
sustained manner. This paper represents a contribution in this direction.
6. Strategy for Developing the Agricultural Sector
6.1 The 25 Years Vision:
53. Agriculture will continue to be the main source of sustained growth. Despite the
positive impacts of the macroeconomic reforms pursued since 1992, there remain
substantial inefficiencies in agriculture production and marketing which will be
addressed by the strategy.
54. The overall theme for agriculture development is contained in the vision for the
“Strategic Quarter-Centennial Plan” (25-Year Plan) prepared by the government
to achieve faster rural development. It makes a commitment “to stir and trigger
rural development so as to give rise to rural communities in which all services are
provided: fresh water, technical education, health care, electricity, fossil fuel and
renewable sources of energy and other development projects with fair and just
distribution between all regions, cultures and ethnic groups.”
The Plan addresses five constraints facing the sector in the medium term, namely
(a) low and declining productivity; (b) recurrent drought; (c) inadequate
infrastructure; (d) trade constraints; (e) weak institutional capacity; and (f) low
private investment. It also suggests that the main policy for resolving these
constraints should be through broad framework for growth in the agricultural
sector based on the following actions (a) a new land law that provides for, among
other things, long term leases with land use conditions, tradability of leases, and a
reduction in the number of the size of very large farms in the semi-mechanized
areas; (b) more relevant and effective agricultural research and extension; (c)
improved financial services in rural areas; (d) programs to improve marketing of
agricultural and livestock products such as wheat, oilseeds and milk; (e)
maintenance of a strategic reserve to enhance national food security; (f)
investments to improve domestic water supplies in rural areas; (g) and programs
to improve the welfare of families in the traditional rainfed farming areas; (h)
efficient use of water for irrigation; (i) combating desertification by rehabilitating
vegetation cover through upgrading of pastures, rehabilitation of forests,
reafforestation, and the promotion of agro-forestry.
6.2 Elements of the Medium Term Poverty Reduction Strategy in the Agricultural
56. Previous experience of looking at agriculture as a source of growth only will be
revisited where the medium-terms strategy will focus on agriculture as a source of
poverty-reduction growth and food security assurance. This will entail shifting
emphasis not only between agriculture and other sectors but within agriculture
sub-sectors. The basic elements of the medium-term strategy will be:
(1) Intervention in traditional agriculture, which will be the focal sub-sector,
will be based on a comprehensive integrated package of rural
development programs. The main elements of the strategy will be: (i)
Land tenure reform (ii) a package of research and extension (iii) access
to rural credit (iv) provision of basic social services including basic
education, primary health care, water and sanitation (v) improvement of
access to markets through investment in basic infrastructure particularly
feeder roads, and abolishing marketing monopolies.
(2) Extensive institutional and management reforms will be undertaken in
large irrigated schemes which are a major shift from the existing policy
of financially subsidizing these inefficient schemes from budgetary
resources. These reforms will not only revitalize productivity and
enhance farmers income in the irrigated schemes, but will also release
funds needed for the rural programs in traditional agriculture.
(3) Land tenure reform and appropriate policies for sustained natural
resource management will be the main elements of the strategy for the
semi-mechanized agriculture.
6.3 Interventions
Land Tenure and Land Policy:
57. Sudanese land law, which is a combination of statutory law, Islamic law,
Customary Law, and judge-made law, and the land policies have pervasive
impacts on the development of agriculture. The most recent development in the
land law, namely the Unregistered Land Law (1970), among other things, has
prohibited the acquisition of any right or title on land by prescription on land
registered in the name of the government. Private land was hence confined to land
registered before 1970 under the 1929 land Ordinance, mainly limited to the
agricultural land along the Nile. Development in the law has not covered southern
Sudan due to the war.
58. By and large, the existing land law and land policies have the following
drawbacks on agricultural development: (i) They limit access to credit. (ii)
constrain sustainable and efficient use of agriculture and pastoral development,
with no incentive for capital and land development, resulting in serve
environmental degradation and poor yields (iii) depriving a large number of small
traditional farmers from access to their land use as a result of the government
policies of leasing large holdings to investors in semi-mechanized agriculture (iv)
constituting a source of tension and civil conflict between settled farmers and
59. To resolve this issue the legal, policy and institutional environment will be
reformed with the objective of providing secured tenure for farmers, reduce civil
tensions, and protect small farmers against the expansion of large semimechanized farming. The land tenure reforms will benefit all sub-sectors of
60. Legally, a process will be instituted to progressively develop and amend the
relevant laws to incorporate customary law and practices, local heritage and
international trends and practices and any other amendments to achieve the above
61. On the land policy issues and in order to address credit problems in agriculture a
comprehensive land reform will be initiated in Gezira scheme to allow long term
user lease which will allow tradability of land titles in irrigated agriculture. In
semi-mechanized agriculture a policy of revising scheme sizes will be
implemented coupled with equitable land reform which will incorporate securing
and protecting the grazing rights and small producers rights as well as enforcing
good practices of sustainable resource management.
62. Institutionally, a National Land Commission with independent representation, will
be established. The main function of the National Land Commission will be to
arbitrate between willing contending parties on claims over land including the
government; make recommendations to relevant government bodies concerning
land reform policies, recognition of customary land rights and/or laws, assess land
compensation, which need not be monetary, and advise different levels of
government on coordination of policies on national projects. The special
circumstances facing certain areas would also be addressed through specific
arrangement. In Southern Sudan, a land commission will be established with the
same functions of the National Land Commission at Northern Sudan government
level. Both commissions will cooperate and co-ordinate their activities and in case
of conflicts between the two commissions, which can not be resolved by
agreement or reconciliation, the matters of conflicts will be referred to the
Constitutional Court. In Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile States an agreement
will be made to establish a branch of the National Land Commission with an
added function pertaining to the rights of the branch to review previous large
leases in the semi-mechanized agriculture guaranteed by the government and their
impact on traditional farmers in order to address any conflict or injustice
Agricultural Research2
63. Agricultural research, which is under the responsibility of the central government,
has been under-funded for decades. Currently the annual budget allocated to
Agricultural Research Corporation (ARC), the Animal Resources Research
Corporation (ARRC) and universities is only about 0.03 percent of GDP. This
level of funding has proven to be totally inadequate for a country that is so heavily
dependent on agriculture for its GDP. It is known that Sudan spends significantly
less per unit of value of agricultural output on agricultural research than the
average of African countries or developing countries as a group. The limited
budget has resulted in a decline in staff numbers, reduced resources for funding
research activities in the field, and a deterioration of the research facilities because
of a lack of maintenance. Despite these difficulties, ARC still has a staff of 250
researchers and has over the last year generated some 60 new technologies. Few
of these technologies and the many other technologies already “on the shelf” have
been tested under field conditions. The most important challenge for Sudanese
agriculture therefore is to test the currently available technology in the field and
make it available in regions where it is relevant. This will be a priority action.
64. Another challenge facing research in agricultural research is the urgent need to
focus on small-scale farmers. Most agricultural research programs tend to be
supply driven and not based on integrated land-use management or farmers’
needs. The focus is often on high-input technologies for industrial crops, which
may benefit large-scale farmers or those in irrigation schemes. Innovative, lowinput technologies and farming systems, which are likely to benefit small-scale
farmers in rainfed areas, have often been overlooked. For instance, research is
concentrated on soil analysis and fertilizer trials, rather than on improving the
productive capacity (such as yields) of existing soils in rainfed areas. There has
been virtually no economic evaluation of technologies tested or developed.
65. Institutional reform in agricultural research is required. The current arrangement
of fully designating agricultural and livestock research to the Ministry of Science
and Technology needs to be revisited. Responsibilities of the Ministry of Science
Until 2001, several research institutions under different ministries administered various aspects of the
national agricultural research program. The Agricultural Research Corporation (ARC), established 100
years ago is responsible for crops, forestry, and pastures. The Animal Resources Research Corporation
(ARRC) deals with livestock. A number of public universities (also under the control of the central
government) contribute to agricultural research. The National Research Center for Genetic Engineering is
responsible for applied genetic research. The Industrial Research Center is responsible for food science and
medicinal plants; and the Atomic Energy Research Center is responsible for mutation breeding and food
preservation and sanitation. Under administrative reforms approved in 2001, the government relocated all
research institutions into the newly established Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research, but
stopped short of merging crop and forestry with livestock research within the new ministry. As a result
ARC and ARRC are still separate entities.
and Technology should be confined to policy coordination and frontier research,
while the functional responsibility is to be designated to the relevant ministries
(Agriculture and Animal Resources). Coordination between the ARC and the
ARRC is weak. For instance, ARC works on quality of pastures and feed
production, while ARRC works on genetic improvement and livestock health. An
example of one of the missed opportunities is that ARC’s breeding program aims
at achieving high quality grain in field crops, but totally overlooks the benefits to
livestock production if it were to expand the research to breed for good-quality
straw as well. A closer collaboration between crop and livestock research be
achieved through the establishment of the National Agricultural Research Systems
(NARS), an umbrella which determines research carried out by ARC, ARRC,
universities and other relevant research institutes. This should lead to a more
efficient use of resources, more relevant technology outcomes, increased growth
and employment in the agricultural sector, and hence the real possibility of
significant poverty reduction.
Technology Transfer and Extension
66. Extension is the responsibility of the individual states as part of their
responsibility for agriculture and livestock services. The new national strategy for
agriculture launched in 2001, and the recognition that extension is a critical factor
in improving agricultural production and food security, led to the resulting of the
Extension Department into a Technology Transfer and Extension Administration
(TTE) which has the task of modernizing agriculture, increasing crop yields and
the quality of production, improving farmers’ income, achieving sustainable use
of resources and sustainable production.3 The TTE plans to establish network
which administrations in the state ministries responsible for agriculture (9 of
which have been already established in Southern Kordofan, West Nile and Upper
Nile) and, working with the states, ARC and universities, will facilitate the
transfer of technology to farmers. Several central government centers for
technology transfer and 50 extension stations (with federal and state financing)
connected with the government agricultural schemes (such as the large irrigation
schemes) will be established. Plans are in place to have 10 Transfer and Farmers
Training Centers by 2006 and to have 2000 demonstration farms. It is also
planned to merge extension services for rainfed and irrigated crops.
67. TTE has four main thematic programs, namely improving crop productivity,
promotion of improved seeds, integrated mechanization, and rural women
development. It is worth focusing on the seeds program to demonstrate TTE’s
work in facilitating the availability of an important technology for farmers. Only
an estimated 10 percent of farmers use certified seeds. Improved seed technology
is essential for bridging the gap between yields in demonstration trials and
farmers’ fields. Until recently, seed production and certification was handled by
the central government through the Seed Unit of the Extension Department in the
There is a similar body in the Ministry of Animal Resources and Fisheries called the Administration of
Extension and Pastoralist Development.
Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry. It was an inefficient operation. Seeds were
not good quality or disease free; they were also expensive. National seed
production was limited to field crops, while horticultural crop seeds were usually
imported.4 In a move to improve production of good-quality seed and boost the
use of improved seed, the Seed Multiplication Department in the Ministry of
Agriculture and Forestry was semi-privatized in 2000 and entrusted to a new joint
(public-private) ownership company. The government donated physical assets to
the newly formed Arab Sudanese Seed Company representing a share of 42
percent of the company’s capital. The remainder was financed by the Arab
Authority for Agricultural Investment and Development (AAAID), Al Aktan
Company, and the Farmers’ Bank. Responsibility for seed certification and
oversight was retained by TTE.
Agricultural Credit:
68. Lending to the agricultural sector occurs through both formal and informal credit
channels. Although informal credit is an important source of finance for
agriculture, because of data constraints, it was not considered in this section.
69. Lending directed specifically to the needs of the agricultural sector started with
the formation of a government-owned Agricultural Bank of Sudan (ABS) in 1957.
It currently has 91 branches. About 90 percent of ABS loans go to the
agricultural sector which is an increase on past performance. Loans mainly
finance activities in irrigated and rainfed agriculture, providing about 20 percent
of farmers’ total credit demand. The other major sources of credit for the sector
are the commercial banks. There are also other sources, such as the Sudan Cotton
Company (SCC), which has more recently taken responsibility for the bulk
purchase of inputs for cotton farmers, with guarantees from the government.
Fertilizer is provided on credit to farmers through the Sudan Gezira Board.
70. In spite of the high contribution of the agricultural sector in GDP, the ratio of the
formal agricultural credit to the GDP in Sudan is very meager compared with
other developing countries. Table (3) shows credit ratio to GDP in Korea,
Philippine, Thailand, Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Morocco, Egypt, Tunis, Jordan,
Syria, Sudan and Oman. The figures displayed in the table reveal that the ratio of
credit to GDP varies between as high as 24.0% in Korea and as low as 0.3% in
Sudan and Oman. With the exception of Oman, the lowest ratio (2.5%) represents
more than eight folds the ratio in the Sudan. This result call for strengthening the
ABS and establishing other rural credit institutions and devoting more credit to
the development of agriculture.
Except for the traditional Mloukhieh and okra.
Table(3) Agricultural Credit Ratio to GDP in Selected Asian and Arab Countries
Credit ratio to
Credit ratio to GDP
Source: Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Committee Report, DecreeNo.3/2003
71. In aggregate, formal lending to agriculture in 2001 was estimated at about SD 44
billion. About 58 percent of this credit was extended to irrigated agriculture,
mainly for cotton production. Semi-mechanized rainfed agriculture and some
large livestock enterprises received about 40 percent, while traditional small-scale
farmers received only 1-2 percent. The main sources of financing for irrigated
agriculture were the Ministry of Finance and National Economy, Bank of Sudan,
and commercial banks (particularly the consortium of commercial banks who
agreed to contribute to the financing of the agricultural sector). The government
provided about 46 percent of the loans, equivalent to about half of Sudan’s total
revenues from direct taxation in 2001. In addition, the Ministry of Finance and
National Economy had considerable contingent liabilities through its guarantees
of loans extended by commercial banks via the consortium.
72. Table 4 shows the distribution of lending to the agricultural sector from 2000 to
2002. On average, two-thirds of credit disbursed by the Agricultural Bank of
Sudan over the three years was for the irrigated sector, compared to only 9 percent
for the traditional rainfed areas. There is no specific information on the purpose
for these loans but the ABS stated that loans were typically used for food crop
production, cash crops and some off farm income earning activities.
Table 4: Annual Disbursements by the Agricultural Bank in Main Farming Systems
(2000 – 2004)
Farming System
(SD billion)
Traditional Rainfed
Semi-Mechanized Rainfed
Source: Agricultural Bank of Sudan
73. The prospects for improving the availability of credit to small-scale farmers are
slim without government guarantees or collateral provided for loans. Group
lending has been attempted by the ABS and has also been unsuccessful and
costly. Traditional farmers are risky clients for credit because of their uncertain
environment, low yields (even in good years), remote location, and inadequate
infrastructure for marketing and support services. Nevertheless, the traditional
farming sector would have substantial potential if it were possible to increase
average farm size, improve technology, and provide better infrastructure such as
roads and domestic water supplies. But the most important requirement is the
provision of tradable leases to farmers that would allow the purchase and sale of
farms and hence a structural adjustment in the traditional farming areas resulting
in larger and more profitable farms.
74. The Land Act will be revised to allow for tradable leases in agricultural areas
throughout Sudan. Structural change in the traditional farming areas would allow
farmers to capitalize on their assets and would also be a powerful basis for growth
and poverty reduction in these areas. Crop insurance will also provide more
security to lending institutions. The combination of higher income and collateral
would make these farms more credit worthy.
75. Meanwhile it is essential to restructure the Agricultural Bank of Sudan into a self
sustaining financial institution, without compromising on the prudential
regulations as set by Bank of Sudan. Subsequently the government will have to
increase the capital resources of the ABS to enable it to extend it's coverage to
25% of small producers by the end of the medium term period. NGOs and the
donor community projects are also expected to increase their components of
support to microfinance institutions.
76. Gum Arabic production from Acacia Senegal remains a significant export crop,
but the export marketing monopoly for unprocessed gum arabic vested in the
Gum Arabic Company (a semi-government marketing agency) drastically reduces
the proportion of export prices received by the numerous, small-scale domestic
producers in remote areas in Sudan. This market distortion has for years had a
significant detrimental impact on the incomes of many small-scale farmers.
Typically gum Arabic producers receive less than 20 percent of the final fob
export price. Although transport costs are indeed high from gum producing areas
to Port Sudan, these and other normal marketing costs cannot explain a marketing
margin of about 80 percent.
77. The monopoly has led to gum Arabic being smuggled across the Sudan/Chad
border and sold from there to European buyers. This obviously results in a
decline in Sudan’s exports. There is no logical reason to believe that there would
be a pervasive decline in the quality of Sudan’s gum arabic following the removal
of the monopoly because competitive forces and enforcement of quality control
standards will eliminate inferior gum. A workshop during January 2004 arranged
by the National Forests Corporation recommended removing the monopoly of the
Gum Arabic Corporation. The export marketing monopoly for gum Arabic is to
be abolished.
78. For decades, the main strength of the livestock sector has been its free marketing
arrangements, unencumbered by government interference. About a year ago,
however, the government granted monopoly powers over the export of livestock
to the Gulf states to one export company, compared to the previous situation when
at least five major and many minor companies handled exports.
This has
probably had the effect of depressing prices in the domestic livestock market
because for most of the year domestic prices received by producers are heavily
influenced by prices received on the export market.
The reasons for the
government’s intervention in the market were its concern that the future of
Sudanese livestock exports was at the mercy of the import policies of a few Gulf
countries and that vesting negotiating authority for Sudanese export of livestock
(mainly sheep) in one influential entity who was well connected to Gulf state
importers would ensure uninterrupted sales for Sudan’s most important
agricultural export. It is now not clear whether fob livestock price are determined
on a competitively market. The Ministry of Animal Resources and Fisheries will
therefore have to regularly monitor the prices paid for livestock in the major
markets, and also collect information on marketing margins for sheep and cattle
so as to verify that livestock markets and the marketing process from farms to the
market place are competitive, as step towards abolishing the monopoly.
79. Infrastructure, particularly roads constitute a major distance from producing areas
to major urban markets. Improved roads would reduce marketing margins and
result in higher incomes for producers as well as increasing access to social
services. Transport in Sudan is mainly sporce due to harsh climate and long
distances. With an area of 2.5 million sq. km. Sudan is served by about 55,000 km
of roads, of which 6,240 km are asphelt-paved roads, about 3,740 km are gravel
roads and remaining are seasonal earth and san tracks roads. The conditions of
most of these roads are generally poor.
80. Investment in infrastructure in a large country like Sudan is difficult and
expensive. However, the government in its effort to restructure public investment
should allocate more resources for rural infrastructure, which could be
complemented by foreign donors. Consideration is also to be given to
maintenance with active involvement of rural communities.
81. Livestock sub-sector will benefit from the reforms of improved delivery in
research, extension, credit and rural infrastructure particularly water points, as
well as land reforms and marketing de-regulation. Additional policy measures that
will benefit the poor in this sub-sector includes; integration of rangeland and
animal health extension programs in small scale farm areas and control of
infectious diseases. The role of community based animal health workers will be
expanded to address wider issues of production. Disease control will also focus on
sweeping epidemics of small ruminants and poultry that are of concern to the
Irrigated Sub-Sector:
82. The important policy changes needed for irrigated sector are mainly structural.
The most important among these policies are changing land act to allow
conversion of tenants current usufruct rights to long term leases that can be
traded. This arrangement coupled with the introduction of a sustainable savings,
and crop insurance system in the major irrigation schemes through the creation of
farmers' owned savings associations will allow a better access to credit.
83. Empowering producers through allowing them the freedom of choice of crop mix
based on recommendation from ARC will be an important element in the reform.
Water users associations (WUAs) to be responsible for water management of the
irrigation system and collection of water fees will be established. Water fees, cost
of inputs and services rendered by the government would be charged on the basis
of full cost recovery.
84. Production related services such as cotton ginning, maintenance and de-silting of
lower irrigation system, transport, etc. would be contracted out by the farmers on
free market competitive basis and/or privatized.
7. Enabling Environment:
85. The success of the strategy will depend on enabling factors namely structural
reforms that will be undertaken in the public investment allocations, delivery
system, community participation and appropriate natural resource management.
86. The agricultural strategy will therefore have to be supported by strong natural
resource management, efficient delivery system, community participation and
appropriate investment.
7.1 Enhancing Management of Natural Resources
87. The Sudan is endowed with rich natural resources. These resources however, are
fragile and rapidly degrading as a result of a multiplicity of factors. Soils are
under pressure from poor cropping practices and increased exposure to wind and
water. Rainfall is extremely variable causing periodic droughts and floods, and
inducing displacement of millions of rural poor. As a coping mechanism, farmers
remove trees to produce wood, a source of cash for buying grains. Increasing
livestock numbers under the pastoral system and the absence of effective
regulations for controlling grazing result in the depletion of rangelands at rapid
rate. The situation is further aggravated by the expansion semi-mechanized and
rainfed farming on fragile areas. There is an urgent need for sound management
of natural resources. The major objectives to be achieve by sound management of
natural resources are: avoid resource degradation thorough prior screening and
use of environmental assessments, mitigate adverse impacts through
environmental management plans and other measures, mainstream environmental
issues into broader development programmes for managing natural resources, and
establish regulations and laws to protect the environment and build capacity to
enforce them.
88. Management of natural resources calls for coordination of a variety of approaches
to improve management of forests, grass land, soils and water resources,
including policy reforms and decentralization, improved regulatory capacity, and
strategies to increase participation and empowerment of communities.
7.2 Delivery System:
89. Decentralization in Sudan has accorded several responsibilities to the lower level
of government. Many of the agriculture poverty reduction programmes will be
implemented at lower level of government.
90. Planning and organization of the delivery system at the lower levels of
government should not be overlooked in light of the weak capacities at these
levels. Bodies responsible for the delivery system will be supported by a strong
program of capacity building, particularly in areas of delivery mechanisms,
planning, auditing and monitoring.
91. Locality planning committees elected by the people in the village will be
established. The committee should be representative of all the beneficiaries,
including women and youth groups. The committee will be entrusted with the
responsibility of deciding on the priorities of the community within the plans of
poverty reduction in the community. The locality planning committee will be
assisted by a small unit consisting of agricultural and livestock officers. The
number and specialties of officers will depend on the nature and types of
agricultural and other activities prevailing in the locality. With assistance of the
planning support unit, the locality planning committee will draw the poverty
reduction strategy, the work plans and budgets.
7.3 Participation:
92. In line with decentralization policies, the government will provide partial grants to
communities to pursue their development objectives within certain limits. The
ultimate result is better project design, implementation and sustainability.
Communities will select projects that match local preferences, and will be keen to
see that community funds are properly used. The goal of community driven
development approach is to build capacity of communities and the capacity of the
local governments to distribute funds to communities and overseeing their use.
For this approach to succeed the government will provide training, technical and
managerial support to communities, and create accountability mechanisms and
provide incentives to assure that communities have used funds as intended.
93. Agricultural cooperatives, water and other resource user associations are vital for
rural development. They reduce the cost of marketing of inputs and outputs and
facilitate access to resources. The government will strengthen those organizations
through creating an enabling policy and legal environment and provision of
technical advice and training. The government will see to it that these
organizations are run according to sound democratic principles and not controlled
by rural elites motivated by private interests.
94. Financial support in the form of matching funds may be provided by the
government and NGOs as seed money to start projects and activities. The
government and producers’ organizations can agree on criteria of producers
accessing and allocation of funds.
95. Capacities of nomadic communities will be enhanced through the provision of
technical assistance to enhance pastoralists skills in forming community-based
organizations, assessing environmental conditions, negotiating and resolving
conflict, developing and implementing community-based land use maps, and
monitoring and evaluating results.
96. Formal and popular institutions to clarify land rights and establish mechanisms for
resolving disputes over access to land, water and other natural resources will be
established and empowered.
97. The government will also develop and maintain early warning systems for
drought, strengthen drought management capabilities building on customary
coping strategies.
7.4 Public Investments:
98. Most of adjustment reform took place through reduced allocations to development
projects and allocations to the states negatively affecting the pro-poor sectors.
However, it is not adjustment that is to be blamed for these cuts in public
expenditure, but rather the inability to allocate the available resource efficiently is
the root cause behind depriving the pro-poor sectors from needed resources.
99. Total public expenditures (2004) constitute about 16.2% of GDP of which 5.7%
of GDP is allocated for military, police and security expenditures i.e. about 40%
of total expenditures, and the remaining 11% of GDP for other sectors of which
agriculture receives only 0.9% of GDP i.e. about 5% of total expenditures. The
above percentages clearly indicate the meager resources available for agriculture.
Moreover, imbalance in resources allocation for development is also apparent
where for example about five projects, namely Merawe Dam, Wheat, Geili power
station, and Development of Services for Higher Education projects receive 30%
of total domestic resources allocated for development.
100. Within the 0.9% of GDP allocated to agriculture, the irrigated sector is allocated
around 0.6% of GDP i.e. 65% of total allocations to agriculture, traditional and
livestock sub-sectors are allocated 0.25% of GDP i.e. about 25% of total
allocation to agriculture while research receive about 0.05% of GDP or 10% of
total allocations to agriculture.
101. The inappropriate allocations are also apparent not only between agriculture and
other sectors, or among the sub-sectors of agriculture but also within the subsector itself. Out of the meager resources allocated to research about 65% are
allocated for wages and salaries, leaving only 35% for running cost and
development programs.
102. To achieve the targets of the agricultural strategy the above situation has to be
redressed. A major step in right direction is to restructure the budget within a
medium term framework through a package of reforms, chief among which is to
reduce military and security expenditures in favor of agriculture and other social
sectors especially the pro-poor sectors. The budget restructuring will be
accompanied by a medium term public investment program (PIP). The pro-poor
sectors within agriculture will constitute the public investment program core.
Annex I
Poverty Reduction Strategy and Programmes in Agriculture
Policy Matrix
Poverty Reduction Strategy and Programmes in Agriculture
Agricultural sector, General:
 Sustained productivity increases;
 Increase rural employment;
 Improved services for women in
rural areas;
 Increase stability in agricultural and
livestock production
 Reduced rural poverty.
 Reduced rural-urban migration.
 Increased contribution of
agriculture to total GDP.
Reverse the decline in productivity
per unit.
Efficient rural savings and credit
institutions for rural households by
Improved producers income starting
Reduction in rural-urban migration by
Research and Extensions Institutions
Marketing Monopolies abolished by
States and Local levels delivery
Mechanisms Established.
Land use map prepared by 2005.
Agriculture census started by 2005.
Information and monitoring system in
place by 2005.
Land Reform.
Introduction and adoption of
appropriate technologies.
Marketing deregulation.
Restructuring of ABS.
Enforcing land use lease conditions
in mechanized farms.
Restructuring research and
establishing extension centers.
Allocate adequate resources to
agriculture, rural infrastructure and
basic social services.
Providing enabling environment for
increase private investment in
Traditional Agricultural
 Sustainable increase in
productivity, thus
increased rural incomes;
 Increase rural employment;
 Improved services for
women in rural areas;
 Reduced rural-urban
 Enhanced household food
Due to adoption of improved
seeds, IPM, supplementary irrigation …
etc productivity by 2006 increased as
Sorghum 20%, millet 14, sesame
33%, groundnut 20%, karkadi 36%,
watermelon 40%, and hence household
incomes improved;
Rights and access of 25% of small
producers (including women) to land,
credit and insurance institutionalized
10% of the traditional areas
received supplementary irrigation
through water harvesting programmes
adopted by 2006;
50,000 women trained in agro
industries and accessed to micro credit;
Provision and equitable
distribution of basic services (roads,
water, health, education) ensured by
Efficient marketing system
developed by 2005.
Small producers organizations
supported and strengthened 2005.
Land reforms and land use maps
undertaken and implemented by 2006.
 Land Policy Reforms.
 ABS and other agriculture financing
restructured and strengthened by 2005;
 Design drought and conflict early warning
 Research reform and establishment of
Technology Transfer Centers
 Increased investment in rural infrastructure.
 Effective and transparent community
involvement in agricultural decision-making
process .
 Establishing market information networks.
 Abolish marketing monopolies.
Livestock:  Efficient and sustainable
livestock industry.
 Providing leadership in the
long term sustainable
management of Sudan’s
grazing resources.
 Sustained growth of
employment and incomes
in irrigated and rainfed
small-scale livestock
 Efficient and accessible
livestock marketing system
 Improvement in the quality
of the national cattle herd
and sheep flock.
 Control over the outbreak
of infectious diseases
throughout Sudan.
Establishment of new (and upgrading of old)
livestock training centers for multidisciplinary
extension agent and community animal health
 Introduction of an integrated livestock state
extension programmed by 2006 in the small-scale
rain-fed and irrigated farming areas.
 Investment and management programme for the
expansion of 52 water points for livestock in
designated areas of Sudan implemented.
 Rangelands by 2008, as follows:
 Achieve the following annual production levels and
implicit growth rates:
(Tone mill)
red meat 1.5
1.8 4.0
7.5 1.4
(tons 000)
Adequate public and private livestock market
infrastructure is available in major primary markets
(25% expanded and/or Rehabilitated) by end 2006
 Reduced marketing margins.
Land reform leading to amendments in Land
Act providing for regulations on the control of
grazing intensity and re-plan semi
mechanized and traditional agriculture in
various agro-climatic zones by 2006.
Promoting smallholder livestock in beef,
dairy, small ruminants and poultry
Introduction of intensive production
technologies and improved range
management practices based on community
Improved pasture and fodder and use of
supplementary feeding from all available food
Adoption of improved technology in disease
control and veterinary public health to ensure
access of Sudan livestock and animal
products in international markets.
Provide an integrated extension services for
rangeland areas based on the sustained use of
natural grazing species, residues from annual
crops such as sorghum and groundnuts for
small-scale poor farmers in rain fed farming
Facilitate livestock marketing and promote
primary processing industries.
Establishment of livestock enterprises through
improved access to available lines of credit .
Development and improve the national herd
 Availability of accurate scales in 10 % of primary
auction markets, and in 30% of secondary markets by
end 2006.
 Community marketing cooperatives established.
 Establishment of a marketing unit in the Ministry of
Animal Resources and Fisheries to monitor the extent
of competition in the export marketing of livestock by
2004 and abolish marketing monopoly by 2005.
 Achievement of internationally accepted sanitation
and hygiene standards in all public and private abattoirs
and related meat processing plants by end 2005.
 Comply with animal health code and codex
standards of desease control.
 National Herd Vaccination Project adequately
 The whole of Sudan declared free of rinderpest by
2005 and 50 percent of national sheep flock vaccinated
against sheep POX and PPR, and 30% percent of goat
population vaccinated anainst CCPP by 2006.
 Recruitment and training of Sudanese national to
ARRC animal breeding programmed resulting in 30
percent increase in genetic research staff cattle, sheep
and poultry breeding programmed in ARRC aimed at
improving disease and heat resistant breeds has been
evaluated by ISNAR as a world standards animal
genetic research institution by end 2008.
through research selection and breeding.
Veterinary and hygiene problems addressed.
 High quality inspection service by
government of the quality of processed livestock
products and livestock feed industry to ensure
output is at internationally acceptable standards
 Effective surveillance, diagnosis and control
policies and systems for infectious animal
 Cancelling current livestock export marketing
arrangement in order to return export
marketing to a competitive basis and also to
bring Sudan into compliance with WTO trade
Agriculture Research: 
Germplasm improvement.
Diversification of crops and
cropping systems.
Improvement of crop
protection factors.
Improvement of post-harvest
practices and technologies.
Transfer of the generated
technologies to clients (farmers
consumers, industry ..etc)
Curtailment of land
degradation and desert
Improvement of animal health
and productivity.
 National Agriculture
Research Systems (NARS)
 Increasing number of trained
scientists in ARC and ARRC
threefold and collaborating with
scientists from universities.
 Crops diversified and
productivity and quality
 Husbandry practices
improved and production cost
 IPM technologies in crop
protection implemented.
 Post-harvest practices viz
storage, transport, utilization,
processing, marketing
 Natural resources properly
utilized, conserved and
 Cultivated fodder and animal
feed increased and improved.
Gradual decrease in pesticide spays.
Increase in efficiency of pest control.
Gradual decrease of soft and selective
Improved quality and abundance of
agricultural products for export and local
consumption at time of scarcity.
 Collaboration between ARC, ARRC and
national universities institutionalized
through the establishment of the national
agricultural research systems (NARS).
Protecting property rights regarding
technological innovations.
Adequate allocation to agricultural
Technology Transfer:  Application of Effective
and Appropriate
Agricultural Technology
 Sustained productivity
 Intensification of
Agricultural Production.
 Private Sector Involvement in Technology
Transfer Promoted.
 10 technology Transfer and Farmers Training
Centers Established by 2006.
 10000 farmers (men and women) Trained
Annually by Year 2005 and Accessed to
Institutional Credit.
 2000 Demonstration farms Established by
 500000 small Farmers Accessed to Improved
Seeds and Seedling by Year 2006.
 50 Water Harvesting Schemes Established by
Year 2006.
 10 poverty reduction programmes established
covering 50 villages by 2006
 20 TOT programmes per year achieved.
 Provision of adequate agricultural supporting
services (credit, crop insurance, water, roads,
education and health);
 Expand Demonstration Farms.
 Technology Transfer Institutions Expanded and
 Strengthened Information Dissemination
 Check the Horizontal Expansion;
 Promote the Endogenous Technologies.
Credit: Efficient savings, credit and
insurance institutions in
rural areas that provide the
opportunity to improve
technology transfer, enhance
productivity, reduce risks,
develop rural agro-industry,
and increase the incomes of
small-scale farmers and
rural people
 Increase the ABS capital by US$ 100
million, 75 % of which to be directed
to small producers by 2006
 Operational start-up of the
restructured ABS by end 2004
 Improved small-scale producers'
awareness and access to institutional
credit for rural credit between 2004
and 2006 as measured by consumer
surveys and ABS records.
 No of small producers accessed ABS
credit increased to 1.5 million
(average size of micro credit is US$
100 per producer).
 ABS meets Bank of Sudan Prudential
Standards by 2006.
 Crop Insurance Policy Implemented
by 2004.
 Legislation for the restructuring of ABS into a
self sustaining government corporation with
the authority to provide savings as well as
seasonal, short, medium and long term credit
services in rural areas approved by end 2004
 Implementation of food crop insurance
 Strong support from the Central Bank to
develop encourage and develop rural financial
 Involvement of NGOs and micro finance
institutions and cooperatives in lending small
 Undertaking land reforms.
Irrigated Agricultural Subsector:  Efficient and equitable use of
Sudan’s allocation from the Nile
Waters Agreement
 Prudent and equitable use of
underground water in all of the
underground basins
 Integrated management of
surface and underground water
 Effective management of the
environment to reduce the
destruction of watersheds and the
consequent run-off and siltation of
water storages and irrigation canals
 Increase productivity in
Irrigated Schemes within a
financially sustainable
operations of these schemes.
Increased productivity (as the result of adoption of
model technologies including improved seeds, IPM,
supplementary irrigation) of the farms as follows:
Sorghum 95%, sesame 30%, cotton 60%, sunflower
45%, groundnut 45%, maize 18%, wheat 60%, rice
55% by the year 2006;
Improved quality and extent of regular annual
maintenance of canals and control structures in all
systems with a 60 percent increase in silt removal
and a 70 percent increase in weed removal in the four
central government irrigation systems.
Increased diversification of crops in central
government irrigation schemes with at least 3 crops
in the rotation (as well as livestock) by 2007
More efficient water management in central
government schemes resulting in the reduction of
water losses.
An increase of 20 percent in the development of
small-scale irrigation areas in the small farming
rainfed areas to generate increased, and more
reliable, production of food as well as cash crops
using the experience of some successful models.
Land use rights settled and secured by 2005.
Significant changes in the
cropping patterns in major
irrigation schemes by end 2006
with a greater variety of crops
produced based on technical
research by ARC, and the
subsequent freedom for farmers’
groups to make their choice of
crop rotations
Rehabilitation of canals and
water control structures.
Establishment of farmers’ water
users associations in 50 percent
of the all the major schemes by
end 2005.
Introduction of a sustainable
savings and credit system in the
major irrigation schemes.
Increased participation of
farmers’ groups in water
management at the tertiary level.
Land Tenure Reforms.
Privatize commercial activities in
irrigated schemes.
Semi Mechanized Sub-Sector:  Sustained productivity
 Check horizontal expansion of
 reduce negative
environmental impacts.
 Increased productivity (as the result of
adoption of model technologies including
improved seeds, IPM, supplementary
irrigation) of the farms as follows: Sorghum
50%, sesame 24%, cotton 50%, sunflower
20%, by the year 2006;
 Research on the economies of scheme size
for different categories (individual,
companies, corporations...etc) specified and
implemented 2005.
 Horizontal expansion checked.
 Excess fertile lands distributed to small
farmers and marginal lands allocated for
 Marketing bottlenecks removed 2005;
 Environmental laws reinforced 2004.
 Land use map prepared by 2006.
 Undertake Land Reform.
 Research on the economies of scheme size
and economies of crop mix.
 Appropriate timing of sowing researched
 Regulation of the sector to protect the
rights of small producers to land;
 Maintain integration of crop-livestock
 Enforce Enviromental Regulations.
Natural Resources
Management: Desertification Control:
1. Rehabilitation of
degraded forest land.
2. Forests reservation.
3. Reduction of the area
subject to desert
Increase in the production of
forests products:
4. Promotions of non-wood
forest products.
5. Increase the annual value
of pastoral and forestry
production in reforested
Reservation of 25% of the country area for natural
forestry, wildlife, and range.
Reduction of 15% of the area subject to desert
encroachment by year 2015.
Replanting of an average of one million feddan of
forest per year between 2004 - 2006.
Piloting with agroforestry on one million feddan on
irrigated agriculture 2004-2006
Increase areas of private and community served
forests to half a million feddan by 2006.
Planting of 50000 feddan per year new planting in
marginal areas subject to desertification.
Sustained increase of 10% per year in the
production of non-wood forests products.
Non wood forests product increase annually by an
average of 15000 tons between 2004-2006.
Increase in the annual production of gum Arabic by
20% by year 2006.
Increase woody forests products increased to 2000
cubic meters for sown timber and remain 16 million
to fuel wood by 2006.
10% increase in the annual value of pastoral and
forestry production in reforested areas. .
Increase crop productivity through agroforestry by
10-20% starting 2006.
Preparation of land use maps in marginal areas in
Sudan where forestry and food crops production are
in completion.
Establishment of a system of land transfer from
existing usufruct holders to the appropriate authorities
for public afforestation programs.
Protection of areas subject to desertification control.
Availability of along term credit line at the
Agricultural Bank of Sudan for domestic investors in
gum Arabic and community forests.
Abolition of the marketing monopoly in gum Arabic.
Allocation of needed funds in federal/state budget for
the replanting of degraded former forest areas.
Rehabilitation of nurseries for the production of gum
Arabic, Acacia seyal, Khaya seneglensis, Neem and
other shade trees seedlings.
Training of forests extension agents to provide advice
on efficient private forest rehabilitation methods.
Increase the capacity of the government
(federal/state) to monitor and enforce land lease
conditions on cleaning and cultivation in areas subject
to desertification.
Annex II
Poverty Reduction Strategy and Programmes in Agriculture
Public Investments
Poverty Reduction Strategy and Programmes in Agriculture
Public Investments programmes (2004-2006) Million SD
Research stations: Agriculture
and Livestock
Technology transfer
Seeds propagation
Pest control
Crop Protection
Administration strengthening
Contribution to ABS
Food security:
Development of the traditional
Data and information:
Agriculture census
Land use map
Information system and
Heightening of Roseries Dam
Rehabilitation of irrigated
Increasing productivity of
wheat and high value
crops in the main Nile
Toker and Gash Delta
sustainable livelihood
Animal resources and fisheries:
Combating endemic disease
Quarantine rehabilitation
Animal health
Animal breeding
National vaccination
Control of illegal fishing
Natural resources
Forestry conservation and
Pasture improvement and