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Weak Sudanese Pound strains labour to clear El Gedaref’s agricultural crops

August 26 - 2018 EL GEDAREF
Farmers spray pesticides in El Gedaref state (File photo: Unep)
Farmers spray pesticides in El Gedaref state (File photo: Unep)

The farmers in Sudan’s El Gedaref state have complained about a lack of manpower to clear their agricultural crops.

They have pointed out that a worker’s daily wage has amounted to SDG 170 (*$6) and the clearing of an acre to SDG 300 ($10.65).

An added challenge is the reluctance of Ethiopian workers to work due to the lower exchange rate of the Sudanese Pound (SDG) against the Ethiopian Birr (ETB). They also pointed to the reduction of their quotas of diesel amid lack of pesticides.

Fuel deficit

In early August, MPs and farmers estimated the deficit in diesel for agriculture in Sudan’s El Gedaref state at more than 80,000 barrels, equivalent to more than 50 per cent of the actual need for the agricultural season.

Mubarak El Nur, an independent MP representing El Fashaga locality in El Gedaref state, told Radio Dabanga that by the beginning of this month, most of the senior and small farmers had not received the second instalment of diesel for agriculture.

He warned of the failure of the current agricultural season because of the lack of sufficient diesel.

He said that the fuel crisis has already led to the failure to cultivate two thirds of the area suitable for agriculture in El Gedaref estimated at eight million acres.

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


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