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Concerns about food gap, price rises in Sudan

August 21 - 2015 KHARTOUM / DARFUR
A farmer collecting remains of the harvest in Wadi El Kua, El Fasher (Albert González Farran/Unamid)
A farmer collecting remains of the harvest in Wadi El Kua, El Fasher (Albert González Farran/Unamid)

The Communist Party of Sudan (CPoS) has predicted a food gap in the coming season, because of the delayed entry of the rainy season, and a poor preparation of irrigation projects. The irregular rainfall has raised concerns about a rise in food prices.

Mohamed Mukhtar El Khateeb, CPoS's secretary, told Radio Dabanga that poor preparations, lack of diesoline, and lacking water canal maintenance will lead to shortages in key crops such as sesame, sunflower, and groundnuts.

The late start of rainfall this year in most of the five Darfur states has raised concerns about the proceeds of the current agricultural season. In various interviews with Radio Dabanga on Tuesday, Darfuri farmers expressed their concern about the start of the rains in August instead of June.

An East Darfur farmer, quoting agricultural experts, said that the situation requires from the government to take the necessary precautions and arrange for strategic stocks to cope with the expected failure of the agricultural season.

The Darfur Displaced and Refugees Association also predicted a similar failure of the agricultural season, the spokesman said. Hussein Abu Sharati fears “the biggest danger of the delay of rainfall: severe drought or rise of food prices”.

While parts of Darfur have been afflicted by heavy rainfall since this summer, not a single raindrop has fallen in other areas. The local drought forced a number of herdsmen to move their livestock to the south and east of Nyala, a resident reported to the radio station at the end of July.

The listener explained that rains usually start from the beginning of June, but were delayed in Manawashi, Mershing, El Malam, Doma, and Shangil Tobaya localities. People living in El Malam told Radio Dabanga this week that water coming from the mountainous Jebel Marra has finally started to flow into the wadi.

Abu Sharati expressed his hopes that state governments, organisations and the AU-UN peacekeeping mission in Darfur will provide protection against militiamen and armed men for the displaced people who go out to tend their farms.  

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