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Wheat hoard seized in Sudan’s White Nile state, farmers demand support

July 7 - 2020 KOSTI
Sacks of wheat found hidden in stores of the Kosti Meat Company on Monday (Social media)
Sacks of wheat found hidden in stores of the Kosti Meat Company on Monday (Social media)

An allegedly illegal stash of nearly 40,000 sacks of wheat was seized in a raid on the stores of the Kosti Meat Company on Monday. Farmers in White Nile state have begun a sit-in in Kosti, demanding support for the provision of production inputs for the current agricultural season.

The raid on the meat company stores was carried out by Resistance Committees working in cooperation with Monitoring Committees and the Supply Investigation team, based on “accurate information”.

Chronic shortages of wheat in Sudan, which result in ongoing bread shortages among the population, prompt unscrupulous parties to hoard wheat in order to manipulate the supply and market prices. The practice is a criminal offence in Sudan.

Sit-in

Farmers in White Nile state began a sit-in in Kosti on Monday, demanding support for the provision of production inputs for the current agricultural season. They also demand that dissolution of the Farmers Association and restoration of the farmers rights by the Ministry of Agriculture.

In his address to the protesters in Kosti, El Hadi Aburaya, head of the Political Committee of the Forces for Freedom and Change in White Nile state, called for an economic conference in the country.

“The conference should discuss radical solutions to the economic problems the country is going through as a result of the devastation it suffered during three decades of oppressive rule,” he said.

He urged the government in Khartoum to complete the restructuring of the power structures in the country and appoint civilian governors as soon as possible.

Mills

On Friday, Sudan’s Finance Minister announced that about 40,000 tons of wheat were being transported to various mills.

Minister Ibrahim El Badawi said that the first shipment of wheat bought from abroad with support from the World Food Programme (WFP) in Sudan, was offloaded in Port Sudan on Thursday. “The wheat is on its way to the mills.”

On April 17, Radio Dabanga reported that WFP Sudan signed an agreement with the Ministry to import 200,000 tons of wheat, which is equivalent to about 10 per cent of the country’s required wheat import for 2020.

The government will repay WFP in Sudanese pounds, which will enable the Central Bank of Sudan to retain more than $50 million in hard currency needed for the import of other strategic commodities.

Limited foreign exchange for fuel imports has led to rationing, persistent shortages, and disruptions to electricity and food supplies.


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