The farmers of Sudan’s El Gezira and El Managil agricultural schemes have confirmed the failure of the current agricultural season because of drought, and “catastrophic deterioration of the irrigation infrastructure”.
In an interview with Radio Dabanga on Tuesday, Ahmed Abdelbagi, Chairman of the Farmers Alliance of El Gezira and El Managil schemes, laments that “the current agricultural season has miserably failed”.
He attributed the causes of the failure to several key reasons, including the dismantling of the scheme’s administration and changes in the irrigation system.
He said “the El Gezira Scheme Act for (2005) has led to the sabotage of the Scheme, the deterioration of the agricultural process, and then dismantling of the department of agricultural engineering and guidance. This led to the difficulty of administration and then failure.”
He said that a large number of the farmers have returned the agricultural inputs of seeds and fertilisers to the administration because of the lack of water in the canals.
On Sunday the union of farmers and the leadership of the alliance of El Gezira and El Managil schemes held a joint meeting in which they discussed the problems and causes of the failed agricultural season.
They held the government, banks, insurance companies, and the scheme management responsible for the current agricultural season failure and called them to provide just compensation for land and time losses.
They called to review contracts between insurance companies and farmers so that they will put the interests of farmers as a priority.
The meeting stressed that the drought that hit most parts of El Gezira forced many farmers to resort to irrigation by water engines. That increases the farming costs.