Huge losses in El Gedaref cotton gin fire
An initial fire in a transport lorry is believed to be the cause of a fire that broke out at El Huri gin west of El Galabat locality on in El Gedaref on Monday. Some 18,000 bales of cotton were destroyed in the blaze.
Farmer Mustafa Sayed told Radio Dabanga that the fire broke out after fire spread from a transport lorry bringing cotton to the gin. He said that the delay of the civil defence teams, the weakness of safety procedures, and the lack of sufficient fire extinguishers caused the fire to spread quickly
Sayed said losses to farmers are estimated at SDG 35 million (*$1.25 million).
Sayed expressed concerned about farmers’ reluctance to grow cotton because of the repeated fires in cotton-processing facilities for the upcoming season.
He pointed to low prices, high production costs, monopolisation of purchase by certain parties and lack of diesel.
Haydar Abdellatif, a senior farmer of El Gedaref, warned of the reluctance of farmers to cultivate cotton in the upcoming season because of the lack of cotton gins in the state and the high costs of transportation.
He told Radio Dabanga that El Huri is the only gin in El Gedaref, however it cannot process all cotton of the state, so there is a large quantity of cotton on the farms awaiting processing.
He said the cost of transporting cotton more than 100 km from the farms to the gin constitutes an additional burden to the farmers.
He pointed out that transport costs have tripled due to the current fuel crisis.
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