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Wheat seed shortage: Sudan farmers alliance calls foul

December 2 - 2018 EL GEZIRA
Wheat (File photo)
Wheat (File photo)

The farmers of the extensive El Gezira and El Managil Agricultural Scheme in central Sudan have called on the authorities to conduct an urgent investigation into “the leakage of wheat seeds and sale of seed to the markets”.

In an interview with Radio Dabanga, Mohamed Abushama, a leading member of El Gezira and El Managil Scheme farmers alliance, pointed out that the Agricultural Bank has sold more than 500 sacks of wheat seeds to a “befriended trader” that forces the farmers to buy the seeds from him at high prices. He called for “those involved to be held accountable”.

He stressed that the problem of lack of seeds still exists, in addition to continued irrigation problems and a lack of diesel in most parts of the scheme.

Abushama warns of dire consequences of the continuing shortage of wheat seeds, resulting in low wheat productivity in the current winter season, delayed farming, and crops being subjected to pests.

Bread and flour shortages

The shortages of fuel and bread have become chronic as they continue unabated throughout Sudan. Earlier this month reports reaching Radio Dabanga say that despite increased government flour subsidies, bread is so scarce that it now being sold for inflated process on the black market in the streets surrounding bakeries.

Sudan is suffering from chronic hard currency shortages and a soaring inflation since 2012. Prices skyrocketed in particular after the government implemented a set of austerity measures in January this year. The crises have led to recurrent shortages in commodities like bread and fuel.

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