Sudan spends $1.5 billion to develop agriculture

Sudan Tribune | Sunday 5 October 2008

October 4, 2008 (KHARTOUM) — Sudanese Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry will spend three billion Sudanese pounds (1.5 billion USD) up to the end of the year to implement a massive program to develop the agricultural sector.

Assistant Secretary General of the program in the ministry, Hussein Desouki said that the spending on the program since the beginning of this year was devoted to the harvesting of water resources and irrigation structures as well as the funding of summer planting season which is expected to be a great success this year.

Desouki said that the funds to implement this program, which labelled "agricultural revitalization", will total 10 billion Sudanese pounds (5 billion USD)., for the years from 2008 to 2011.

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) estimates the area of land suitable for cultivation in the Sudan of 105 million hectares. The proportion of cultivated land and used practically does not exceed 6.78 percent of the total arable land.

The agriculture sector produces 45% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in Sudan and provides employment for about 80% of Sudanese.

Among the most huge problems and constraints facing the agricultural sector at the technical level, one can note the low irrigation capabilities, and poor agricultural machinery as well as the lack of important investment.

However since the emergence of the food crisis many countries and investors to showed interest and readiness to inject huge amounts of money in the Sudanese agriculture. Kuwait, UAE, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia signed recently important contracts with Sudan.

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