High fuel prices, lack of water threaten Sudan agriculture
In several parts of Sudan, farmers complain of high fuel prices, high costs of agricultural production necessities, and lack of water.
Farmer Ahmed Mohamed, living in Halfa El Jadeeda in Kassala in eastern Sudan told Radio Dabanga that the prices of seed and other production requirements rose significantly compared to the past agricultural season. He also pointed to the lack of diesel in the state’s fuel stations.
He said he fears this will delay the preparation of agricultural land, which in turn will affect the yields.
Farmers of the El Gezira and El Managil Agricultural Scheme also complain about an acute shortage of irrigation water and fuel.
“Various sections of the project, especially El Sabaa, Wadi Shaeer and El Jamoushi, are suffering from an extreme lack of water. This is caused by a lack of maintenance by the companies that provide water, and to the shortage of diesel,” said Ahmed Abdelbagi, a leading member of the El Gezira Farmers Alliance.
Abdelbagi warned for a poor harvest, also because of the high costs of seeds and fertilizers. “Seeds to cover three acres of sorghum cost SDG 400,000 ($8,800*),” he noted.
Farmers in the area of Delling, Habila, and Dalami in the Nuba Mountains in South Kordofan suffer from a shortage of fuel needed for their water pumps and machines and the prices of basic commodities that are soaring at the markets.
Abdallah Abuhum complained to Radio Dabanga from Delling that “the diesel quota for farmers set by the Agricultural Bank is one gallon per acre only, while the fuel prices are soaring at the black market: A gallon of diesel now costs SDG 400 ($8.88*)”.
He added that people have difficulty to buy their daily food because of the sharp increases in the prices of basic commodities. The price of a 50kg sack of sugar is now SDG 1,680 ($37.30), he said.
People living in Dongola in Northern State also complain about poor living conditions, soaring prices and shortages of diesel and bread.
A listener told Radio Dabanga from Dongola town that are still long queues of people in front of bakeries, as well as queues of vehicles at fuel stations.
* As effective foreign exchange rates can vary in Sudan, Radio Dabanga bases all SDG currency conversions on the daily US dollar rate quoted by the Central Bank of Sudan (CBoS)
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