Sudan Arab is considered the largest country among and African states, with an area of about one million square miles. It is surrounded by nine Arab and African states: Egypt, Libya, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Chad, Central Africa, Zaire, Uganda, and Kenya. As well, it borders Saudi Arabia via the Red Sea. Topographically, most of the Sudan’s physical features are plain-lands.
Sudan is very rich in natural resources, a fact that has inevitably made the country base its economics on agricultural and animal production. Consequently, agriculture is considered the backbone of the economy in the country. The society is conditioned by anthropological and climatic factors, as well as the nature of the land, but agriculture is the foundation of the social structure. Although there is great potential in the field of agriculture, development and reaping maximum benefit from this sector needs more effort to move the wheel of production forward towards improvement and progress.
Statistics and economic analyses show that the agricultural sector is pioneering in the country’s economy. It contributes about 45.5% of the total national growth (2002), and 80% of the population depends on it. Of Sudan’s exports,90% are agricultural products such as cotton, Gum Arabic, cattle, meat, oil seeds, sorghum, vegetables and fruits.
The agricultural sector has many opportunities and enormous resources that make good bases for development and investment. Sudan is named as one of three countries, with Australia and Canada, to solve the problem of food insufficiency in the world. Sudan is the only Arab country where agricultural balance is positive, and actively contributing to food security in the Arab world. Its agricultural exports estimated as 106 thousand tons during 2002.
1. Land and Climate
The topography of Sudan is mainly plains, valleys, plateaus, sand dunes, and mountains. Most of these locations are rich with underground water.
The suitable arable land in Sudan is around 84 million hectare, but only 12.6 millions hectare, about 15%, is presently being cultivated. There are other areas covered with forests, bushes, and natural pastures that enable the breeding of various kinds of animals. There are other areas all over the country that are covered with rivers, valleys And reservoirs. The diversity in soil corresponds with the diversity of climate countrywide.
This diversity in the nature of soil and climate enables the country to have abundant opportunities in producing manifold agricultural and animal products during all seasons.
2. Water Resources
Water resources in Sudan consist of rainwater, rivers, surface and deep underground water. There is heavy rainfall in the south and the middle of the country. The north is arid but rich with enormous underground water reserves.
According to the Nile Basin Water Agreement of 1959, Sudan’s share of the Nile’s water is about 18.5 billion cubic metres per year, but Sudan is using only 12.2 billion c/metres out of its share. The total seasonal inflow of water is around 3.3 billion c/metres.
Water coming from the valleys can be kept in reservoirs, or behind earth dams, to supply drinking water for man and animal. The swampy lower plains and pools is traditionally the main source of water for animal needs.
The underground water resources are found under 50% of the lands of Sudan, and it is estimated to be 15,200 billion c/m. This strategic reserve is more than 200 times the total annual inflow from the Nile per year.
3. Human Resources
The population of the Sudan was estimated to be about 24.9 million people in 1993, and about 33 million people in 1998 (projected census) with an annual growth rate of nearly 2.6%. About 80% of the population work in various aspects of agriculture. Since independence, Sudan has been keen about agricultural education and qualifying managerial agricultural scientists, as the country is primarily an agricultural country.
There are highly sophisticated research centres that cover most of the scientific agricultural fields, and they have actually contributed a lot to the development of agriculture in Sudan, and have a commendable name in scientific research circles world-wide.
Polices & Strategies
There is a great opportunity, under the new policies and basic orientations adopted by the present political system in Sudan, to save the Sudanese economy through agricultural development and production. Special attention is paid to achieving balanced development. A lot of economic efforts and investments are dedicated and directed toward rural development, which is the object of economic salvation.
The State has planned an agricultural policy geared toward multiplying Agricultural produce to satisfy local needs and realize a large surplus for export. Consequently, the policy has assigned specific priorities of investments that provide support, facilities and special privileges, such as granting lands for investment and exemptions from custom duties and profit taxes.
The period that followed the Salvation Revolution was distinguished by seriousness towards food security by increasing lands for growing wheat and concentrating on cultivating sorghum in the irrigated areas, to allow growth of production. As well, there was an expansion of planted areas fed by rain. The State announced a lot of encouraging policies to widen the cultivation of cotton in the rain-fed areas.
The same period witnessed concentration on being fair to small-scale producers as standard practice for agricultural development. Efforts were intensified to diversify and add new crops, such as fodder, sunflower and corn.
The policies also tended to give maximum priority to securing agricultural inputs and introducing animal breeding into the crop rotation.
The Revolution brought the system of commercial bank funding up to date. This has led to improved performance in the field of agriculture and promoted its efficiency. Funds and specialized banks have been established to finance agricultural activities, such as the Farmer’s Bank and Animal Resources Bank. The State has also decided to liberate prices of agricultural products as an incentive to the producers, as well as to support production.
The most important strategic orientations for the agricultural sector:
Concentrating on supporting small producers as a basic pattern of agricultural development and justice.
1. Irrigated Areas
The irrigated areas produce a number of crops such as cotton, groundnuts, sugar cane, spices, wheat, and legumes, in addition to a variety of vegetables such as okra, eggplant, tomatoe, and fruits like bananas, dates, mangoes, lemon and grapefruit, etc.,.
Here we show the available investment opportunities in this area:
Direct investment in irrigation canals that take water directly from the Nile or its branches, and agricultural schemes
2. Rain-Fed areas
The sectors that are fed by rain produce agricultural crops such as sesame, sorghum, beans, sunflower, rain cotton, corn, millet, and karkade. Hashab trees can also be grown to produce Gum Arabic, which is an important cash crop for the country. The ‘gwar’ has proved its feasibility as a rain crop. It is used to make glue, and as feed for chickens because of its high protein content.
The most important fields of investment in this sector:
The diversity in climate and natural resources of Sudan (land and water) allows for very broad prospects in garden production all year round, especially in winter. This distinction gives extra advantages in the production of vegetables and fruits in seasons where they are not grown in Europe. There is a big demand in foreign markets, especially in the Arab world and some European countries, for garden products. The foremost marketable products are mango, lemon, grapefruit and vegetables such as onion, eggplant, hot pepper, okra and cucumber.
4. Forest Resources & Natural Pastures
There are great parts of Sudan that are covered with forest, bush and natural pasture; an estimated 1,050 million hectare. This has made possible substantial wealth in the variety of animals, estimated to be 132 million head, according to statistics attained in 2002.
Here are the main investment fields of this sector:
5. Medicinal and Aromatic plants
Sudan has the advantage of having many medicinal and aromatic plants, such as Hibiscus Flowers, henna, Senna Pods, “harjal”, cumin, “yansoon”, “hilba”, and others. Most of these crops are highly marketable.
6. Animal Production
This sector contributed 21% of total national production in 2002. Live animals, meat and leather contribute a considerable share to exports. The fish reserves is estimated at 110 thousand tons in the coastal and interior waters, while up to 9 thousand tons are estimated to be in the deep waters of the Red Sea, which can also be used for investment. There are also large stocks of wild animals and birds that can be of great interest to tourism.
The most important importer countries of red meat are Saudi Arabia, Libya, Jordan, Egypt, U.A.E, Iraq and Kuwait.
Investments in animal production are:
Animal farm services, such as importing improved cross-breeds, breeder chickens, and chicks, and, importing modern equipment, such as electric incubators, components for making concentrated fodder, machines used for poultry production, and machines for making fish meal, tools used in fisheries such as nets, hooks, etc., and packaging for all kinds of animal products.
The Sudan has numerous natural resources and potentials that can provide abundant inputs for industrial production. Most important of these are the agricultural elements and products that can insure raw materials for many foodstuff industries, including sugar refining.
Moreover, there are vast arable lands (about two hundred million feddans*) and many assisting factors, such as the appropriate climate, fertile soil, labour and reasonable infrastructures, that provide greater potential for growing sugar cane, which is the mainstay of the sugar industry in Sudan.
The Present condition of the sugar industry
Sugar industry in the Sudan started with the establishment of the Guneid Sugar Factory in the Gazira province in 1962. There are now five sugar factories in the country, four of these factories are state-owned: The Guneid Factory, the New Halfa Factory, the Sinnar Factory and the Assalaya Factory. The fifth one, The Kenana Factory, is a joint venture with Sudanese, Arab and other capital, formed in 1975.
Kenana Sugar Factory is one of the biggest integrated sugar refineries placed under one administrative body in the world. Its total annual production has reached 300,000 tons of white sugar.
This factory is a perfect example of successful joint venture projects in Sudan. It produces a variety of products: white sugar, sugar cubes, sugar syrup and molasses. There is a plan to produce briquettes and animal fodder from the reminants of sugar cane.
Sugar factories are now working with capacity of 106% during 2001-2002.
Strategy of Sugar industry
The government has been taking a great interest in sugar industries in the country. Programmes of rehabilitation and modernization of the factories belonging to the public sector were set up, leading to better and greater production.
Sugar consumption was regulated and a total ban was placed on sugar importation. Self-sufficiency was achieved, and appreciable quantities of sugar were exported. During 1998, 29.3 million dollars of sugar was exported, and for the third quarter of 1999, the figure was 11.5 million dollars.
The government is promoting the sugar industry, encouraging the establishment of small-scale factories, and is planning to increase export volume.
The Sudan has a relatively advantageous distinction of having all the desired factors of sugar cane production, in addition to low production costs compared to international prices. This advantageous circumstance provides great opportunities for further investments in the field of sugar industry.
These by-products include:
Bugass are used in furnaces to produce
and animal fodder.
Sudan, due to its location, vast area, and variety of climates, is endowed with huge animal resources. They were judged to be around 132 million head in 2002, with details as follows:
Added to that are a large number of poultry.
Water bodies, approximated to be 42 million square meters, are comprised of rivers and lakes. Most important among them are: The Nile and its branches, lakes behind dams, as well as 700 kms of Red Sea coast.
Large fish resources are approximated at 100,000 tons for internal fisheries, and 10,000 tons for marine fisheries.
Present situation of meat production in the Sudan
Ways of producing and breeding cattle in the Sudan
This differs from one place to another but can be summed up in the following:
Pastures occupy 10 % of the land of the Sudan. In addition, the traditional system of pasturing takes place after the time of harvest in fields.
There are modern farms for rearing cattle and poultry following modern systems; technologies and veterinary services for bringing up advanced species of both cattle and poultry. In addition to that, there are a number of centers and teams of modern veterinary: some of them stationary, others mobile. They are giving veterinary ser-vices all over the country.
There are 16 schemes for breeding and catching different types of fish in the Sudan at present. There are many investments for export in the fields of shell and crayfish farms in the Red Sea.
Annual demand for various types of meat is increasing in the Sudan due to in-come increase and increased population.
There is self-sufficiency of red and white meats in the Sudan, while red meats are exported.
There are traditional, mechanical and semi-mechanical slaughterhouses in the Sudan administered by Local Government authorities. There are also export slaugh-terhouses. The most important among them are: Kadaru and Omdurman slaughter-ies in Khartoum State.
Four new slaughterhouses were established in four different states in the country. Recently, in December 1999, a new slaughtery was opened at the cost of 15 million dollars, covering an area of 620 feddans. It operates with a cooling capacity of 70 tons per day. Meat is processed at the rate of approximately 14 tons per day. Sudan’s export of live animals reached 436,342 head in 2003 with a value of about 33,984 dollars.
The value of meat exports in the year 2003 (Jan-March) reached about 2,378 dollars.
Sudanese meats are famous for their excellence and being devoid of any chemicals like hormones or antibiotics.
Meat Production Strategies in sudan
The food policy in the Sudan aims at achieving self-sufficiency in food in general, and emphasis white meats for local consumption and designates red meats for export. The Compeer pensive National Strategy has aimed at multiplying the number of cattle by three and the production of red meat for export twenty times. In order to achieve those aims the Animal Resources Bank was established to give animal resources and animal resource products a strong push forward.
In order to achieve the aims of the Comprehensive National Strategy for Animal Resources section in general, and the section concerning meat in particular, the following modern methods should be applied to increase production:
Increase production of white meat to satisfy local consumption demand.
Opportunities and fields of investment in the meat sector in Sudan
Making available specialized services in road, sea and air transportation for cattle and meat; and Exporting white and red meats for international markets.
© 2006 Ministry of Investment. All Rights Reserved