Sudan’s El Gedaref farmers face high production costs, diesel shortage
Agricultural experts in El Gedaref state confirmed that the current agricultural season is witnessing a steady rise in the prices of inputs of production and a severe diesel shortage in, in addition to rising labour costs and sesame disease.
Engineer Majdi Bakheet, a plant protection expert, said in a symposium organised by Shorooq TV that production input costs have tripled, while the state has experienced a diesel crisis, the first of its kind, which led to the delay of the agricultural season and negatively affected production.
Bakheet said that the daily wage of a worker has risen to SDG 300 ($47.50*) because of the inability to attract Ethiopian workers against the background of the deterioration of the exchange rate.
He said that a plant disease [causing the leaves of the sesame plant to wither] has destroyed 80,000 acres of sesame in the western region due to lack of optimal treatment of the disease.
He attributed the spread of the disease to the non-change of seeds for 20 years, the absence of agricultural cycle and the misuse of pesticides.
He expressed surprise at the revenues of the state government on a tax of 1.5 percent, pointing out that the roads are bad and the farmer is still suffering in his movement
Farmer Haidar El Badawi said that the farmers have suffered during the various stages of the agricultural season from the lack of liquidity, wondering about the possibility of marketing sesame, whose daily revenue is estimated at SDG 300 million ($6.3 million) in the light of the liquidity crisis.
He pointed out that there is a problem in the revenues amid the growing area cultivated cotton amounting to 300,000 acres.
El Badawi said that the pest that hit the sesame was caused by the use of pesticides.
He said the plant protection department recommended farmers to damage the sesame instead of looking for ways to treat it.
He said that the profession of agriculture has become repulsive because of the problems, explaining that agricultural profession has turned to gold and marginal occupations in Khartoum.
The farmer revealed a decrease in the value of agricultural land, where the value of the project fell from the equivalent of $400,000 three years ago, now the price does not reach $100,000 Dollars.
* All currency conversions based on the daily US Dollar rate quoted by the Central Bank of Sudan (CBoS)
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