No sorghum harvest in Sudan's El Gezira
EL GEZIRA(5 Aug.) -
Farmers in El Gezira State reported that pests have ruined the germination of sorghum seeds more than once during the current planting season.
Hasabo Ibrahim Mohamed, Secretariat member of El Gezira Farmers’ Association told Radio Dabanga that the production of sorghum this year will certainly fail, because mice and birds have ruined most of the sprouts in Gezira, one of Sudan’s largest agricultural schemes.
“The farmers of El Gezira and El Managil accuse the management of the schemes of negligence and a lack of responsibility”, Mohamed said. “They demand an urgent and transparent investigation into the corrupt sorghum seeds sown the first time this summer. They did not sprout.”
Mohamed confirmed that the farmers sustained significant financial losses due to the purchase of seeds more than once, and the repeated preparation of their farmlands. He pointed to the diminished acreage of cotton crops during the current season, “to less than five percent of El Gezira scheme”. “We decided to diminish the cotton production, because of the high input costs and the failure of the authorities to set a price for the commodity.”
According to the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET), the below-average harvest during the last agricultural season, excessively high prices, and prevailing insecurity conditions in Darfur, South Kordofan, and the Blue Nile, have exacerbated food insecurity in Sudan this year.
In its monthly report for June, FEWS warned that at least five million Sudanese will probably face varied levels of acute food insecurity until September. “Expected poor rainfall and another bad main harvest will most likely worsen the situation.”