El Gedaref — More than 50 farmers in Sudan's El Gedaref state have filed a criminal complaint for damage to vital crops by aerial pesticide spraying operations.
Farmers told Radio Dabanga that large areas planted with sorghum, sesame, and sunflowers in the southern region of El Gedaref state have been damaged. Farmers said a foreign company and a Russian investor used a defective pesticide sprayed from an aircraft. The report that more than 25,000 acres of sesame, sorghum and sunflowers, which had reached the production stage, are affected.
They said that more than 50 of the affected farmers have filed a complaint at Doka police station.
The current agricultural season has been a challenging one for farmers, exacerbated by the chronic shortage of fuel in Sudan.
A farmer from El Gedaref state said they had received only about 60 per cent of the diesel allocated for agriculture so far - up slightly from the 50 per cent reported at the beginning of August.
As reported earlier this month my Radio Dabanga, the farmers in El Gedaref 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).
* Based on the indicative US Dollar rate quoted by the Central Bank of Sudan (CBoS)