Agriculture production is the cornerstone to Sudan's economy. The country is blessed with a wealth of 300-400 million feddans of fertile land. This sector employs over 80% of the work force and accounts for nearly 40% of the Gross Domestic Product. Dams have been built throughout the country that divert nearly sixty percent of the water resource to sustaining the agricultural sector. Though there are also farms that are solely dependent on the abundance of rain to maintain a good yield, the country has embarked on a massive campaign to improve the irrigation system from the labyrinth of rivers and lakes to supply the resource to these farmers. Irrigated area in Sudan is estimated at some 4 million feddans (about 1068 million hectares), of which federal schemes total 3 million feddans, Gezira, Rahad, Souki, New Halfa.
Sudan grows a variety of crops that include cereals (wheat, sorghum, millet, corn and rice), oil –seeds (sesame, groundnuts and sunflowers), beans, chickpeas, and lentils. Others include cotton, sisal hemp and fodder crops. Horticultural crops include vegetables (onions, tomatoes, okra, egg-plant, potatoes, water-melon, cucumber), tropical and equatorial fruits. Aromatic and medical herbs are also grown. Forest wood products are also to be found and harvested in abundance.
A few of the agricultural projects from the long list include the following:
West El-Goled Project
Location: Northern State (Dongola area)
In the west bank of the Nile River South Dongola.
Background to the Project:
- Area: 50 thousand feddan
- Soil: Light Clay soil and of high permeability
- Irrigation: The Project could be irrigated from the Nile, or by underground water through pumps or by modern irrigation methods, by spraying, sprinkling and pivotal irrigation. The Entire project is located in the frame of the Nubian Nilotic reservoir of high quantities of water of high qualities in addition to the Nile River.
Objectives of the Project:
To benefit from the modern sources and technologies in agricultural production. Creation of job opportunities and improvement of the standard of living in the area.
Contribution in the country’s revenues of hard currency.
Wheat, legumes, durra, fruits, date palm in addition to animal husbandry.
Availability of infrastructures:
The targeted markets: The local market and the export (The Arab, Asian and European markets and the COMESA Countries).
El-Khoy Project for Agricultural Production.
Northern Project (Dongola locality) on the east bank of the Nile South Selaim basin between latitudes 18/23-19/9 North and Longitudes 30/27 – 38/30 East.
Background of Project:
- Area: The proposed area for the project: 200 thousand feddan.
- Soil: The project is located in level surface plain interspersed with moving sand fields and some outcrops. Pilot soil survey operations and semi-detailed soil survey were conducted and the soil is Nilotic sedimentary.
- Irrigation: There are two systems for irrigation: Flow irrigation and the use of modern system of irrigation from the Nile or from the underground water.
Objectives of the project:
Contribution in achievement of food security through the extensive and intensive expansion.
Introduction of cultivation of new crops in the area for the purpose of exportation. Expansion in the cultivated land area by establishment of greater projects.
Implementation of modern technologies in the agricultural production and introduction of animals in the agricultural rotation.
Settlement of the inhabitants and creation of new work opportunities for the employment.
Agricultural products: Citrus, date palm, vegetables legumes, wheat, feed.
Targeted Markets: The local market and the export (the Common Arab market, COMESA and the European markets).
El-Seela agricultural Project.
Location : West White Nile, 30 miles a way to the north of Kosti town.
Background of project: The project area is about 150 thousand feddan.
Irrigation: Completion of the preparation of the maps for the main and sub-main canals, completion of the digging of four complete irrigation units-size one meter.
- Utilization of the available natural resources.
- Introduction of animals in the agricultural rotation
- Work towards the settlement of the inhabitants in the area.
- Provision of work opportunities for increasing the income and improvement of standard of living.
- Achievement of food security
- Contribution in the increase of exports.
Nature of Project: Implementation started in this project, where planning was completed to implement phase one of about 20 thousand feddan, but it is not yet completed.
Lands for agricultural investment may be granted provided that an adjustment should be carried out for the installations which were established in the project such as irrigation units, irrigation site at the river bank, and digging of the main canal. 25% of the area to be granted to the inhabitants of the area, after the completion of the canals and pumps for the irrigation of the project.
Agricultural products: Crops which may be cultivated are: cotton, wheat, legumes, sunflower and vegetables specially water melon and (galia) melon.
- Completion of irrigation installations.
- Buildings and installations.
- Agricultural machineries and equipments.
- Means of transport.
- Agricultural inputs.
Blue Nile Sugar
Location : About 45 kilometers away from Sennar town and 3 kilometers a way from Singa town.
Background of the Project: The area of the project is estimated about 76 thousand feddan to be implemented on two phases: phase one: 59 thousand feddan and phase two 17 thousand feddan.
Soil : The project’s land is flat and sloping from the South to the North, Soil is clayey. The project is composed of six existing projects and at present cotton, groundnut crops and vegetables were cultivated.
- To make use of the local resources in a way to adjust the present crop structure to sugar cultivation and production.
- To make use of the sugar cane refuse in feed production.
- Increasing the country’s revenues from the exports.
- Habilitation of the existing pumps and canals.
- Machineries, equipments and production inputs.
- Establishment of a factory for Sugar production.
Nature of Project: The project is to be established on already existing schemes which have an agricultural rotation to be adjusted to the sugar cultivation and production. The relation with the investor will be to finance the agricultural processes and provision of production inputs purchase of sugar cane production from the farmers and deduction of the cost, then the sugar cane is to be transported to the factory for sugar production which will be the right of the investor.
The infrastructures: The paved roads linked to the other national roads such like Sennar-Singa-Damazin road and Sennar-Medani-Khartoum road and Medani-Port Sudan road and Sennar-Kosti road.
The availability of irrigation and drinking water in the area, where the project will be irrigated by pumps from the Blue Nile.
Availability of electricity supply.
Availability of communication services and banking services.
Marketing: The targeted markets for sugar production: Arab markets and the markets of the COMESA countries in addition to the local market.
Costs: The costs of the establishment of the factory, habilitation of irrigation pumps and canals and the other installations is estimated to an amount of USD 180 million.
There are also vast forests and meadows replete with the indispensable animal resource that makes Sudan a grand tourist destination.