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MPs warn parliament for looming food gap in Sudan

December 19 - 2017 KHARTOUM
Members of Parliament in session (file photo)
Members of Parliament in session (file photo)

Sudanese members of parliament have warned for a looming food gap in Sudan as a result of the low production of sorghum in the current agricultural season.

Mahmoud Abdeljabar, a parliamentary agriculture committee member, warned the Sudanese parliament about “a real disaster, that will face people's livelihood because of the low production of sorghum and millet”. Harvests of the staple food have turned out low in El Gedaref, Blue Nile, Darfur and Kordofan states.

Abdeljabar and other MPs called for a stop on the export of strategic stocks of sorghum in Sudan. Abdeljabar: “Consumers will not be able to afford the food prices.” A sack of millet costs SDG1,200 ($179) and is expected to amount to SDG1,500 ($224) in the coming months, he said.

In addition, MP of the agriculture committee Yagoub El Sayed Hamid claimed that 25 percent of the country's strategic crop stock has been damaged because of poor storage techniques.

In late July, for example, rain caused damaged more than 1,000 sacks of sorghum that were earmarked for Muslim alms in El Gedaref. Residents then held the Zakat (Muslim alms) Chamber responsible.

Overall, Sudan's main season rains performed very well over most parts of Sudan, and national harvest prospects are near average according to the international early famine warning system Fews Net. Their outlook for January 2018 also depicts that national cereal and cash crop harvests for the 2017/18 season are likely to be below the average production in parts of North Darfur. varies between the 'Stressed' towards the 'Crisis' acute food insecurity phase.

Prices

Farmer Haidar Abdellatif El Badawi said that the prices of crops have suddenly risen in the eastern Sudanese state at a symposium in El Gedaref. The price of sorghum per Ardab has risen to SDG1,000 ($149); he said because “the government now has no sorghum strategic stock other than the sorghum allocated for Zakat ”.

On Sunday, farmers attributed the current rise in sorghum prices to a limited number of traders controlling the crop. Farmer Haidar Abdellatif El Badawi said that the government now does not have any strategic sorghum stocks apart from that allocated for Zakat.


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