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Poor harvest deepens food gap in North Darfur

June 7 - 2017 EL FASHER
Abu Suf (hairy) millet in North Darfur (File photo: Practical Action.org)
Abu Suf (hairy) millet in North Darfur (File photo: Practical Action.org)

The results of the post-harvest agricultural survey in North Darfur for the period from November 2016 to January 2017 show the total production of millet and sorghum in the state to 102 and 931 tons respectively, while the stock in households and markets was 1,944 tons, and grain alternatives about 16,645 tons.

Anwar Ishag Suleiman, the Minister of Agriculture of North Darfur state, said that the monthly food gap in the state was estimated at 13,010 tons per month.

The Minister explained that the remaining gap of the next harvest will be 104808 tons for the period of March to October 2017.

Precautions

As reported by Radio Dabanga in May, the Governor of the state, Abdel Wahid Yousif, said that the group monitoring food security and livelihoods of the state have taken a number of precautionary measures to address the gap.

The UN World Food Programme (WFP) is to provide 50,000 metric tons, Agricultural Bank 20,000 metric tons, Strategic Storage 20,000 metric tons, the Zakat Chamber 5,000 metric tons and the remaining shortage will be covered through local mechanisms.

The shortage of food in Darfur, driven by drought and displacement, is exacerbated by frequent raids on farms by herders who allow their livestock to graze on farmers’ crops. A report released in December 2016 warns that parts of Sudan could become uninhabitable as a result of climate change.

“North Africa is already hot and is strongly increasing in temperature. At some point in this century, part of the region will become uninhabitable,” Jos Lelieveld, a climate scientist from the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, told CNN.

Much of Sudan has become progressively unsuitable for agriculture and villages, as a result of the hotter climate and erratic rainfall, Bianca Britton wrote in an updated report on the CNN site.

According to the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC), irregular rain has ruined crops, and the country is experiencing both droughts and floods - making arable land unsuitable for cultivation and displacing more than 600,000 people due to flood-related disasters since 2013.

This burden is affecting not only the country's food security and sustainable development, but also the homes of many Sudanese families. It is estimated 1.9 million people will be affected by reduced agricultural and livestock production due to smaller farming areas, poor pastures and limited water availability.


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