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Small farmers hard hit by fuel crisis in Sudan

August 27 - 2018 EL GEDAREF
A farmer in Sudan (File photo)
A farmer in Sudan (File photo)

A number of farmers in Sudan have reported the continuation of diesel crisis and pointed out that only half of their quota has been received, while a large number of small farmers have not received their quota at all.

A farmer from El Gedaref state said they had received only about 60 per cent of the diesel allocated for agriculture so far – up slightly from the 50 per cent reported at the beginning of August.

A farmer in Blue Nile state also reported receiving only half of his quota, while a large number of farmers, especially small farmers, have been deprived of their quota altogether.

Repeated warnings

In July, Radio Dabanga reported the repeated warnings of small farmers in El Gedaref state of a failure of the cultivation of sesame and millet in the current season, pointing to a lack of diesel and high production costs. There are reports of the security service targeting small farmers by confiscating their quantities of fuel.

Several farmers from various localities in the eastern Sudanese state told this station that the cost of ploughing five feddans has risen during one week from SDG600 to SDG800 (*$28.40). One feddan is equivalent to 1.038 acres or 0.42 hectares.

Farmers reported there is a lack of fuel which has caused the price of a barrel of diesel in the black market to rise to SDG8,000 ($284.20), while the price of a litre of pesticide has risen to SDG350 ($12.43).

In addition, farmers reported a rise in labour prices. A farmer explained that Ethiopian workers have been reluctant to work on their farms this season because of the deterioration of the Sudanese Pound and the general price hikes in Sudan.

Chronic fuel crisis

Sudan has suffered from a scarcity of fuel and cooking gas and flour crises last year, including in December. In March 2018 however, the crises extended and became acute.

* Based on the indicative US Dollar rate quoted by the Central Bank of Sudan (CBoS)

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