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Fuel shortage, finance woes threaten crops in Sudan’s agricultural projects

June 21 - 2018 EL GEZIRA
El Gezira and El Managil Farmers' Union (File photo)
El Gezira and El Managil Farmers' Union (File photo)

The El Gezira and El Managil Agricultural Scheme has warned of the failure of planting sorghum, groundnut and cotton in the current agricultural season because of the increasing prices of production inputs, the acute fuel crisis, delay in preparation for the agricultural season and the low prices of crops.

A statement issued by the Scheme on Eid El Fitir accused the companies of exploiting the farmers and described the companies' contracts with the farmers as humiliating and yielding contracts.

Abdeen Bargawi, the spokesman for the farmers of the Scheme told Radio Dabanga that the companies offered the farmers a price of not more than SDG1, 700 (*$60) for a quintal of cotton while the market price is SDG 2,500 ($90).

He said that the prices of agricultural inputs have increased by 100-150 per cent.

He accused the government of seeking to seize the farmers' land through a deliberate plan by increasing the cost of production and the impoverishment situation leading to the elimination of the Scheme.

The Scheme confirmed the high rates of infection in El Gezira state of cancer and renal failure due to the annual increase in the cultivation of modified cotton.

Abdeen Bargawi told Radio Dabanga that El Gezira state is the first in the increase of rates of cancer according to reports of the National Institute, explaining that the number of cancer cases is increasing annually by 50 per cent.

He explained that the areas cultivated with genetically modified cotton has increased by 300 percent this year.

Residents from various localities in El Gezira state have harshly criticised the state government for austerity measures at 200 higher secondary schools in the state.

Witnesses said that on Wednesday the residents of Mustafa Gurashi Halawin village gathered to reject the austerity decision for the higher secondary schools in, and considered the decision as an attempt to impose ignorance and illiteracy among the people of the El Gezira and formed committees at the state level to address the decision.

The decision, which came into force at the start of the new school year, will lead to an increase in the illiteracy rate and dropout of students from schools.

They attributed the decision to the scarcity of teachers and the state governor’s suspension of appointing teachers and civil servants since he has been appointed a governor of the state.

They called on the federal government in Khartoum to intervene.

Teachers protest

The Teachers Committee of El Gezira state announced the implementation of a protest next Sunday in front of the Ministry of Education in Wad Madani to demand the increase of salaries, disbursement of arrears and cancellation of deductions and the fairness of relocations.

The Committee called on all teachers of the state to participate in this sit-in in order to get their due rights. The Committee demanded in a protest memorandum that the minimum wage be raised in a manner that meets life requirements and achieves a decent standard of living suitable for teachers.

According to studies conducted by the Presidential Committee, a family of five must be paid at least SDG 5,800 (*$206).

The memorandum also called for expediting the disbursement of frozen and delayed dues such as bonuses, promotion with suspension of all unjustified deductions and disclosure of entitlements of the frozen and late entitlements of the bonuses and the differences of promotions with all the unjustified deductions and the disclosure of the entitlement of the employees in all their projects that were built on their shoulders from hotels, towers, hospitals, lounges and joint stock companies.

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