Sudan Tribune | Thursday 2 July 2009
July 1, 2009 (KHARTOUM) — The Sudanese president Omer Hassan Al-Bashir told the African Union (AU) summit in Libya that Sudan is willing to put its resources at the disposal of the continent.
Bashir said that Sudan through its agricultural wealth “is in a position to make a big contribution to achieving the food security in Africa”.
“We prepared a strategy for agricultural revival for 2008-2011 that is aligned with the goals and principles of comprehensive agricultural development in Africa,” he said.
The three-day summit in Sirte, 500 km southeast of the Libyan capital of Tripoli, is held under the theme “investing in agriculture for economic growth and food security”.
The Sudanese head of state said that his government wants “his brothers in the continent” and therefore wants to enter into partnership “to develop and improve the [agricultural] infrastructure”.
“We are committed to provide all the guarantees needed for corporations and businessmen who possess a genuine interest in agricultural investment” he said in prepared remarks.
Sudan has been described as a possible bread basket for the Middle East and has great productive potential in land close to the Blue and White Nile rivers and the River Nile proper. But the farming sector is underdeveloped and in need of capital, irrigation systems, roads, machinery and technology.
A number of Arab countries including Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates (UAE) have moved to lock up lands in Sudan in the wake of a global food shortage that sent its prices up sharply and caused protests worldwide particularly in developing nations.
Last month Sudan and China signed two memos of understanding on agricultural cooperation.
Sudan has offered Arab countries free use of the land, hoping to benefit from the cash surplus particularly among Arab Gulf states as well as technology deployed in these projects.Furthermore, Sudan hopes that agricultural investments will boost infrastructure projects in the area.