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Cash shortage threatens Sudan’s sesame, sorghum harvest

October 1 - 2018 EL GEDAREF
Sesame (File photo)
Sesame (File photo)

The head of the agricultural committee of El Gedaref state legislative council, El Safi El Awad, says that the state needs SDG 1.5 billion ($53.2 million*), one million workers, and 132,000 barrels of diesel to harvest sesame and sorghum crops.

He warned of the failure of harvesting operations and the loss of more than nine million acres of cultivated area for this season.

The director-general of the Ministry of Agriculture of El Gedaref, Nafisa Noh reported that farmers are selling grain at less than half its price due to their need for cash amid the current liquidity crisis.

On Sunday, a delegation from El Gedaref state arrived in Khartoum to discuss the issues surrounding the cash shortage.

‘Dire consequences for the harvest’

Farmers in El Gedaref say that the cash shortage will have dire consequences for the harvest. The sesame harvest is now in its early stages, but banks have refused to allow farmers to withdraw enough cash to pay employees and costs.

Farmer Haydar El Badawi told Radio Dabanga that the banks in El Gedare state have refused to give farmers more than SDG2,000 ($71*) a day. “This foreshadows problems between farmers and workers.”

The south-eastern state is highly important for the country’s agricultural output.

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