Sudan: Food Prices Soar in Darfur Amid Flour, Fuel Shortages

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Fuel pump.

Nyala / El Fasher / Khartoum — People in Darfur are suffering from an unprecedented rise in food prices. Fuel and flour shortages are continuing.

The prices of bread are soaring in Sudan's western, conflict-torn region. "We now pay SDG 5 for one small loaf of bread," a listener reported to Radio Dabanga from Nyala, capital of South Darfur.

"The price for a 50 kg sack of sugar has risen to SDG 3,500*, a 100 kg sack of millet to SDG 4,000. A 100 kg sack of onions costs SDG 4,000 as well," a source in El Fasher, North Darfur, complained. "The price for a kilo of meat ranges between SDG 400 to SDG 500."

He said that many people would be happy to replace their daily bread consumption by flat bread (kisra) if sorghum would not be that costly and the production would not demand the purchase of expensive cooking oil and cooking gas or charcoal".

A teacher in Khartoum told this station in August last year that the salary of an eighth-grade teacher amounts to SDG 1,268 which was equivalent to less than half the price of 100 kg of sorghum at the time.

Food security

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in Sudan reported in its latest Situation Report on Thursday that the annual inflation rate reached 64.3 per cent in January.

The increasing inflation rate is a major concern for millions of Sudanese who are food insecure and need food and livelihoods assistance, OCHA states. An estimated 17.7 million people (42 per cent of the total assessed population) are experiencing moderate/borderline and acute food insecurity.

This includes 5.8 million people (14 per cent of the total population) experiencing crisis or worse levels of food insecurity and are in need urgent action.

Earlier this month, the Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources reported that the national total production of sorghum and millet in 2019/20 is estimated at 5.1 million tonnes, which is 36 per cent below the previous year's record output.

The decline in production can be attributed to farmers shifting crop production to more remunerative cash crops, such as sesame and groundnuts, compounded by lower yields resulting from unfavourable weather conditions and pest infestation.

* USD 1 = SDG 55.1375 at the time of posting. As effective foreign exchange rates can vary in Sudan, Radio Dabanga bases all SDG currency conversions on the daily middle US Dollar rate quoted by the Central Bank of Sudan (CBoS).

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