Sudan: High Fuel, Seed Prices Put Sudan Agriculture At Risk

Khartoum / El Gedaref / South Kordofan — Farmers in Sudan complain about the shortage of fuel, seeds and fertilizers, while prices tripled and labourers demand increased wages.

Minister of Agriculture Babikir Osman stated on Thursday that the agricultural sector is facing several challenges during the current rainy season that began in May-June, "most notably the transport of fuel to the farms, and shortages and high prices of seeds and fertilizers in some agricultural areas".

Member of the Agricultural Chamber of El Gedaref, Hasan Zaroug, confirmed to Radio Dabanga that the current season is threatened because of the disrupted supply of diesel. Especially small farmers are affected.

Farmer Hasan Ahmed from Galaa El Nahal in El Gedaref said prices of diesel and other requirements tripled lately.

In South Kordofan, farmers are still complaining about an acute fuel shortage.

One of them told this station that "the price of diesel exploded. The price for a barrel of diesel used to be SDG 1,730 ($38*). We now pay SDG 6,000 ($ 133) for the same amount on the black market."

A week ago, a farmer reported from the Nuba Mountains in South Kordofan 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". He added that people have difficulty to buy their daily food because of the sharp increases in the prices of basic commodities.

A farmer in El Gezira noted that sorghum seeds to cover three acres cost SDG 400,000 ($8,800), and warned for a poor harvest this season.

* 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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