The Sudanese Minister of Industry inaugurated the start of the sugar production season at the new White Nile Sugar project on 19 December.
Minister Mohamed Yousef stated in his speech on the occasion that Sudan’s annual consumption of sugar has risen to 1,300,000 tons, while the current volume of sugar production does not exceed 700,000 tons.
He said that there are hopes that the White Nile Sugar project will close this gap by increasing the cultivated areas and improving the sugar extraction percentages. Yousef expects to see an increase of 17,000 tons the coming season.
The Minister further said that White Nile Sugar is one of the leading national projects, whose returns will support the economy, as well as delivering basic services to the people in the area.
The general manager of the White Nile Sugar factory stated that this season is the first of the company’s Five Year Plan during which the factory will start with the production of 150,000 tons. The full capacity of the factory is 450,000 tons.
Sugar for breakfast
According to the World Bank, the population of Sudan grew to more than 40 million this year. As the prices of basic commodities rise continuously, poor Sudanese in urban areas tend to consume more cheap sugar to obtain their daily calories.
Instead of enjoying a breakfast of fava beans with bread or a sorghum pie with sauce, many workers in Khartoum eat a sandwich with sugar in the late morning to bridge the time until they have their one real daily meal at home around 6 pm, a listener reported to Radio Dabanga from Omdurman last week.
Radio Dabanga reported on 12 November that Sudan increased the import of white sugar from India and Thailand drastically this year. At the same time Sudan started to export larger quantities of sugar tax-free to the EU.
European traders fear that India and Thailand could take advantage of ‘arbitrage opportunities’. This means that while Sudan is shipping sugar to the EU under a preferential trade agreement, it is importing cheaper white sugar from India and Thailand to meet its domestic requirements.
(Sources: Sudan Vision Daily, Radio Dabanga)