Farmers in the northern section of El Gezira agricultural scheme have complained about the weakness of the cotton plantations, as well as problems with irrigation. A disease, believed to be carried by pests, is killing date palm groves in the Northern State.
On Saturday a farmer from El Gezira told Radio Dabanga that the company overseeing the cultivation of cotton has not provided technicians to operate the cotton machines which led to the failure of all cultivated areas.
He explained that the company has been forced to provide alternative quantities of seeds for manual farming after the original cotton seeds supplied failed to germinate.
The farmer attributed the irrigation problems to due to lack of adequate supervision. He called for a return to the old irrigation system and the appointment of officials to guard the day-to-day monitoring of the irrigation process.
Date palm blight
Date Farmers in the Northern State have complained of the sudden death of their palm trees. A disease, believed to be spread by agricultural pests, causes sudden death of the palm and the roots rot.
The population of the Northern State is largely dependent on palm dates for their income. Yesterday the president of the Palm Society in Merowe locality, Ibrahim El Jaz, confirmed the outbreak of the disease and blamed the government for not doing enough to combat the spread of agricultural pests that affect palms and others.
Fires have destroyed between 60,000 and 70,000 palms in the Northern State over the past three years, according to government statistics, while the Nubian Development Committee maintains that about 250,000 palms were destroyed by fire between 2005 and 2016.
Local activists suspect arson and link the incidents to the resistance by the Nubians living in the region against the Dal, Kajbar, and El Shereik hydro dams planned to be constructed in the area.
They say that the government intends to eliminate the palm tree plantations to ensure a low compensation for the palm owners who will loose their land because of the dams.
In June, more than 1,500 palm trees and at least six water engines were destroyed in an extensive fire that broke out at Koka near Dongola, capital of Northern State. In May, flames consumed about 500 trees in Artemi Island in Dolgo. In April, a major fire in the palm-rich Sai Island, north of Abri, destroyed hundreds of palms.