FAO GLOBAL INFORMATION AND EARLY WARNING SYSTEM ON FOOD AND AGRICULTURE
WORLD FOOD PROGRAMME

SPECIAL REPORT

FAO/WFP CROP AND FOOD SUPPLY ASSESSMENT MISSION TO SUDAN

22 December 2000


MISSION HIGHLIGHTS

  • Serious food shortages are emerging in several parts of Sudan due to late rains and prolonged dry spells, whilst food stocks dwindle.
  • Aggregate 2000 cereal output, estimated at 3.6 million tonnes, is about 14 percent above last year's reduced crop but 18 percent below the average of the last five years.
  • Cereal import requirement, mainly wheat, for 2000/01 (November/October) is estimated at 1.2 million tonnes, of which about 1 million tonnes are anticipated to be imported commercially. Food aid pledges stand at 34 000 tonnes, leaving an uncovered gap of 138 000 tonnes.
  • Some 900 000 people are most affected by the current poor season with 600 000 in need of urgent food assistance. In addition, some 2.4 million people affected by the ongoing civil strife in the south will need continued food assistance in 2001.
  • Urgent assistance is also required to provide seeds and other agricultural inputs for the next cropping season that starts in June/July 2001 and to mitigate the severe water shortages in parts.


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1. OVERVIEW

After a bumper harvest in 1998, Sudan's cereal production fell well below average in 1999 mainly due to farmers' response to prevailing low cereal prices and shifting to more lucrative cash crops, such as sesame. High incidence of pests and diseases, mainly birds, also affected yields. The situation worsened in 2000 as late rains, prolonged dry spells and localised drought severely affected agricultural production. Against this background, an FAO/WFP Crop and Food Supply Assessment Mission visited southern Sudan from 4 to 27 October 2000 and northern Sudan from 19 November to 6 December 2000 to assess current season cereal production, forecast wheat production from areas being planted, and estimate cereal import requirements, including food aid, in the marketing year 2000/01 (November/October). The Mission was able to visit 24 out of the 26 states in the country, both in Government and rebel-held areas. The Mission benefited from the full co-operation of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and the Humanitarian Aid Commission (HAC), which both assigned senior staff to accompany the Mission. Planted area and yield estimates were provided by the State Ministries of Agriculture and staff of the various irrigation schemes, which the Mission cross-checked during field surveys and farmer and trader interviews. Discussions were also held with key informants from local government administrations, UN agencies and non-governmental organisations (NGOs).

In southern Sudan, rebel-held areas were visited from Kenya and detailed background information was provided by WFP's Technical Support and Vulnerability Analysis and Mapping units, USAID-Famine Early Warning System (FEWS), and several NGOs, including Sudan Relief and Rehabilitation Agency (SRRA), Relief Association of Southern Sudan (RASS), Save the Children-UK, CONCERN, CRS, Lutheran World Federation, Tearfund and World Relief. Due to lack of infrastructure and data collection facilities in this part of the country, agricultural area and yield were derived from revised population estimates and historical data for farm sizes and cropping patterns, adjusted following Mission field observations.

For the country as a whole, the Mission found that the 2000 cropping season was characterised by late onset of rains and prolonged dry spells in most parts.

In Northern States, small-scale farmers in most parts have reduced their planting compared to last year due to the late and erratic rains. However, relatively high sorghum prices from late 1999 and improved availability of credit prompted large scale mechanised farmers in Central, Eastern and Southern regions to increase sorghum planting by nearly 10 percent compared to last year. Mechanised farmers account for more than 60 percent of the country's total sorghum production. It is to be recalled that in 1999, despite optimal rainfall conditions, the mechanised sector drastically reduced sorghum planting due to low sorghum prices and shifted to the production of cash crops, mainly sesame. Many of these farmers maintained the high level of sesame production in 2000, encouraged by high export prices. On the irrigation schemes, area reduction notwithstanding, cereal production has increased by nearly 51 percent compared to last year mainly due to large scale rehabilitation of irrigation infrastructure made possible by the Government.

In Southern States, although the onset of rainfall was late, subsequent rains have been enough to restore vegetation to normal in some regions. However, prolonged dry spells between April and September in Jonglei, East Equatoria and Bahr el Jebel have eliminated first-cycle crops resulting in serious food deficits. In North Bahr el Ghazal, despite some localised surplus areas, a sizeable cereal deficit is anticipated due to erratic and unevenly distributed rains. By contrast, surplus cereal production is estimated in West Equatoria, Lakes and West Bahr el Ghazal. The destruction of marketing infrastructure and communications network is expected to hinder any movement of cereal surplus within and between states.

Overall, the Mission forecasts 2000/01 total cereal production in Sudan at about 3.6 million tonnes, comprising 2.7 million tonnes of sorghum, 496 000 tonnes of millet and 334 000 tonnes of wheat (to be harvested in the first quarter of 2001) and 95 000 tonnes of other cereals. At this level, cereal production is about 14 percent above last year's below average crop but about 18 percent below the previous five years' average. As a result, the cereal import requirement in the 2000/01 marketing year (November/October) is estimated at 1.2 million tonnes about 5 percent above last year's volume. Commercial imports are estimated at about 1 million tonnes, some 13 percent higher than last year's volume. Emergency food aid, in pipeline and under mobilisation, amounts to 34 000 tonnes, leaving an uncovered gap of about 140 000 tonnes.

With national cereal production expected to be below average for the second year running, supplies will be inadequate for normal levels of consumption. Lower harvests coupled with virtual depletion of stocks have led to a sharp rise in cereal prices. Sorghum retail prices, for instance, have leapt from an average of SP 15 000 per 90kg bag in January to April 2000 to an average of SP 35 000 in May and June. In November and December 2000 sorghum prices averaged SP 40 000 compared to SP 20 000 for the same period in 1998 and 1999. Such an increase will reduce access to food for the poorer segments of the population.

The erratic rainfall also had a devastating effect on range vegetation, as well as on the availability of feed from grain and crop residues, especially in rainfed areas. The drastic fall in feed is expected to lead to widespread under-nutrition in livestock. Market supply of livestock has increased substantially, depressing prices and thus household incomes. The livestock/grain terms of trade for pastoralists have deteriorated sharply. Sheep/sorghum terms of trade (the quantity of sorghum bought with the local sale of a sheep) declined by about 400 percent in December 2000 compared to December 1999.

The population most affected by the current poor season is estimated at 900 000, mainly in Darfur, Kordofan, North Bahr el Ghazal, Bahr el Jebel, East Equatoria, Jonglei, Juba and Butana province in Gezira State. About 600 000 of these people will be in dire need of food assistance within four to five months time. With few resources left and coping mechanisms stretched to the limit, farmers and other vulnerable groups have already started to migrate in search of work and food. Consumption of seed grains will reduce their productive capacity and ability to sustain themselves in the coming agricultural season. A timely and targeted intervention is essential to prevent further human suffering.

To revive production in the next cropping season starting from June/July, emergency support to the agricultural sector should include: early purchase of appropriate seed and support in redistribution of the available sorghum, millet and maize seed from some surplus areas; provision of animal feed to farmers as vegetation and crop residues have fallen sharply; and rehabilitation of the damaged water wells.

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2. RECENT ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENTS

Agriculture is the most important sector in the Sudanese economy, in terms of contribution to GDP, accounting for 42 percent in 1999 down slightly from 48 percent in 1998 and employment. Historically, the sector has provided about 80 percent of the country's exports and, according to IMF estimates, jobs for about two thirds of the working population. While Sudan remains a predominantly agricultural economy, the development of the oil-export industry is altering the country's economic structure. Following the opening of the 1 610 km oil export pipeline in August 1999, output has reached around 180 000 barrels/day, of which some 70 percent is exported. Not only has this increased export earnings and ended Sudan's reliance on expensive imported oil products, it has also begun to support a number of other industries, including agriculture.

In 1999, the country's leading export commodity was petroleum products valued at US$276 million (35.4 percent of the total exports), followed by livestock products and sesame, valued at US$142 million (18.2 percent) and US$126.9 million (16.3 percent), respectively. Cotton, which was until 1998 the principal cash crop and prime foreign exchange earner, ranked fifth below gold with a value of US$44.8 million (5.8 percent). The figures for the first six months of 2000 serve to further illustrate the trend; export of petroleum products lead the way with a value of US$596.2 million (69.2 percent of the total), followed by sesame (US$90.8 million or 10.6 percent), livestock products (US$52.8 million or 6.1 percent) and cotton (US$27.8 and 3.2 percent). Other agricultural and agro-industrial products of importance in the export sector are sorghum, gum Arabic, sugar and molasses, hibiscus flower, water melon seeds and groundnuts and groundnut oil. Sorghum and, to a lesser extent, millet, wheat, maize and tubers are the main staples in the Sudanese diet.

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3. CEREAL PRODUCTION IN 2000/01

Cereals are the main staple crops of Sudan with sorghum providing about 60 percent of the total quantity of cereal consumed. Only in the Southern States are other carbohydrate foodstuffs, particularly cassava and sweet potatoes, used in significant quantities. Sorghum and millet are grown throughout the country during the rainy season from April to October. During the winter months, from November to March, wheat is grown on the various irrigation schemes. Small, but locally significant, areas of maize (usually under mixed cropping) are grown under traditional hand-cultivation systems in riverine areas in the south using residual moisture left by receding floods. Rice, which is grown under irrigation in White Nile State produced only about 5 000 tonnes.

In 2000, despite the increase in planted area under sorghum in large scale mechanised farms, compared to last year, in response to favourable prices, the area harvested declined by about 2 percent due to dry weather damage. Mechanized rainfed production by large scale farmers accounts for nearly 35 percent of the sorghum production this year. In the irrigated sector, production of sorghum is expected to increase by nearly 50 percent on last year due to improved water management on the schemes made possible by the Government's financial injection into the rehabilitation of irrigation infrastructure. Fertilizers were available on time which increased the level of use. In traditional farms, sorghum production declined by 14 percent, compared to last year, to 881 000 tonnes due to unfavourable weather. The total irrigated and rainfed sorghum harvest is expected to be about 2.66 million tonnes, which is 13 percent higher than last year but 19 percent below the previous five years' average.

The area under millet is located mostly in the lighter soils of Western Sudan. This year's millet production, estimated at about 496 000 tonnes, is almost similar to last year's crop but about 7 percent below average. Around 93 percent of the millet crop is produced by the traditional rainfed sector, of which 66 percent and 24 percent come from Darfur and Kordofan respectively. This year, the low level of millet production, unlike last year's crop which was hit by millet head worm ("nafasha"), was due to the unfavourable rainfall.

Wheat is grown under irrigation during the winter season. During the Mission, cultivation and sowing was underway in the main irrigation schemes. The area being sown to wheat for harvest next spring is 52 percent above last year, because prices have improved and farmers have gone back into production. Production is forecast at 334 000 tonnes, 56 percent above last year's harvest. This year, there was virtually no planting in the demira (flood recession) areas due to the lower flood levels throughout the season. Total cereal area harvested this year is estimated at 6.76 million hectares, including next spring's wheat crop.

3.1 Main factors affecting production in 2000

3.1.1 Agricultural finance and credit

Agricultural finance and credit for the 2000-2001 season has improved considerably as high priority was attached to it by the Government. Irrigation and drainage infrastructure (mainly canals and pumps) on the various irrigation schemes were rehabilitated. By the end of October, an estimated SP 132 billion (about US$51 million) had been disbursed to this sector out of the proposed total annual budget of 207 billion Sudanese Pounds1. The financial flow into the irrigated sector has had a very significant and positive impact on crop yields, through better water management, timeliness of planting operations and cultural practices and improved overall efficiencies. It has also meant that after these rehabilitation works had been carried out, fallow land formerly outside irrigation capacity has been brought into production.

Bank credit for farmers has been easier this season because of the anticipated higher producer prices for the sorghum crop. In Gedaref, for instance, lending by banks has increased threefold this year over last year, and this too has helped to encourage farmers back into production.

3.1.2 Rainfall

Annual rainfall in Sudan ranges from almost zero in Northern States to 1 800mm in the southern state of Western Equatoria. This year, rainfall started late in most of the country, in some areas by up to six weeks, resulting in late start to the growing season. Once it started, it was characterised by an uneven distribution and long dry spells that affected crops at their critical growth and filling stages. The worst affected areas include North Darfur and North Kordofan where water shortages are now critical for both human and livestock consumption. In the Eastern States (Kassala, Gedaref) and Central States (Sennar, Blue Nile) there was a dry spell during the month of September which affected most of the late sown crops. It has caused a significant reduction in the productive area on the mechanised rainfed schemes. Poor quantity and distribution of rainfall has also severely affected Butana district in Gezira State which has harvested virtually no crop at all.

In southern states, very late start and erratic rains at the beginning were followed by regular rains in most localities. However, significant variations were noted in Upper Nile with lower rainfall in September and in eastern Jonglei and East Equatoria where the dry spell extended from April to the beginning of September. But late rains were noted to be supporting late sown crops. The season's total rainfall is within the normal range for southern Sudan, but erratic geographical distributions were noted by the Mission. Normalised Difference Vegetation Index (NVDI) images confirmed that, by August, the normal level of biomass, in all except eastern areas, had been achieved. Patchy development throughout the summer, which juxtaposes crop failure with surplus areas within North Bahr el Ghazal, is also evident. Early-planted long-cycle sorghum landraces such as Rabdit (North Bahr el Ghazal) suffered at flowering and are less productive than last year. Other long-cycle sorghum landraces such as Euwella (Warrab), Mabiol (West Bahr el Ghazal) and Agono (Upper Nile) were planted later than usual.

This year there were no incidents of excessive flooding. While this is good for crop growers, for herders it may mean that lowland pastures in northern areas will be less productive. With reduced rains in Darfur and Kordofan, there will be increased pressure on available grazing in the Bahr el Ghazal and Upper Nile states from January. Herders also expect the nomadic herds from the north to move into Bahr el Ghazal earlier this year.

3.1.3 Agricultural inputs

Fertilizers, pesticides/herbicides and improved seeds are largely used in the irrigation sector; but an increasing number of mechanised rain-fed farmers are noting their benefits and starting to use them. In the traditional rain-fed sector, where most farmers use their own carryover seeds, purhcased inputs include tractor services (fuel, lubricants and spare parts) and labour for weeding, harvesting and threshing. This year, fuel and lubricants were available throughout the season in all major crop producing states. Costs were also kept down because fuel and lubricants are produced locally and no imports are required. Agricultural machinery was available for all farmers who could afford to pay, except in south Kordofan where there were shortages of equipment. Spare parts were universally available but prices were high.

Insecticides and pesticides were procured by the central Crop Protection Administration, whle aeroplanes for spraying against migratory pests were in place at its sub-offices in the different states.

In the irrigated sector, sorghum is included as a "scheme" crop (similar to cotton) with delayed payment for in-kind inputs (water, fertilizer and seeds) provided to farmers through the irrigation block inspectors. Certified seed utilisation is high at around 60 percent. Except for a very short period at the beginning of the season, fertilizer has been available. Urea is currently priced at US$11 per 50kg bag, which some farmers claim is too high.

3.1.4 Weeds, pests and diseases

This year has been reasonably pest and disease free. Some early season bird damage (Quelea Quelea and local species) had been experienced in some areas, but government control measures have been very successful. Rodent and grasshopper infestations in central states early in the season necessitated some re-sowing, but control campaigns have minimized damage.

Sorghum midge (Contarinia sorghicola) devastated crops in the eastern states last year, by attacking late planted crops. This year some sorghum midge damage was noted in the same area, but because of the shorter rainy season, the effects on yield have been little. Regarding plant diseases, sorghum smut remains the most serious threat. All irrigation schemes supply treated seed and the majority of mechanised rainfed farmers either use treated seed or apply chemicals to their saved seed during planting operations. Sorghum smut damage was noticeable and caused some yield reductions in traditional rainfed areas, where seed is untreated. These farmers are very careful in their selection of seed at harvest; any heads damaged by smut are not selected.

Weeds are a major problem as a result of poor farming practices and lack of crop rotations, particularly under rainfed conditions. Reduced numbers of cultivations prior to planting and less hand weeding operations during the crop's growth have helped to exacerbate the situation. The most pernicious weeds this year have been, in the rainfed and irrigated sectors respectively, Sudan grass and couch grass.

Striga was present in all systems on poor or exhausted soils, particularly on continuously mono-cropped sorghum areas in marginal areas in the North.

3.1.5 Prices

The 1999 low cereal prices, which adversely impacted on production, began to rise gradually from February 2000, reaching their peak in September and October. These high prices provided an incentive for increased planting. For instance, sorghum retail prices of SP 30 000 to SP 40 000 per 90kg bag which prevailed at the beginning of the 2000/01 cropping season (i.e, from May to July 2000) were well above the SP 19 000 to SP 20 000 considered to be the break-even price for rainfed production at the time.

3.2 Cereal production forecast

Cereal production for 2000/01 is presented in Table 1. Table 2 presents estimates of harvested area, yield and production by crop and Region, compared with the preceding four years.

Data for the northern States provided by State Ministries of Agriculture were updated during the Mission following field visits. However, due to the collapse of agricultural data collection in the southern States except for the mechanized rainfed sector in Upper Nile State, production data have been derived from population statistics used by other UN agencies, coupled with estimates of numbers of farming households, farm sizes and cropping patterns obtained by the Mission.

This year's cereal production, forecast at about 3.6 million tonnes, is about 14 percent above last year's poor crop but 18 percent below the average for the past five years.

Table 1. SUDAN - Cereal Production Forecast for 2000/01 (`000 tonnes) and 1999/2000

STATE
Sorghum
Millet
Wheat
TOTAL GRAIN
2000/01 % of 1999/2000
 
1999/2000
2000/01
1999/2000
2000/01
1999/2000
2000/01
1999/2000
2000/01
 
Irrigated
                 
Northern
12
13
0
0
134
156
146
169
116
River Nile
138
133
0
0
47
106
185
239
129
Blue Nile
33
44
0
0
0
0
33
44
133
White Nile
38
58
0
0
1
1
39
59
151
Gezira
234
407
0
0
22
50
256
457
179
Rahad
43
100
0
0
0
0
43
100
233
Suki
3
32
0
0
0
0
3
32
1 067
New Halfa
36
37
0
0
7
17
43
54
126
Gash
30
30
0
0
0
0
30
30
100
Tokar
1
4
1
2
0
0
2
6
300
Kassala
11
1
0
0
0
0
11
1
9
Upper Nile
0
5
0
0
0
0
0
5
0
Sub total
579
864
1
2
211
330
791
1 196
151
Mechanised
                 
Kassala
13
35
0
0
0
0
13
35
269
Gederaf
315
525
12
12
0
0
327
537
164
Damazin
42
70
2
1
0
0
44
71
161
Sennar
156
157
7
5
0
0
163
162
99
White Nile
100
36
10
5
0
0
110
41
37
S.Kordofan
99
44
1
0
0
0
100
44
44
S.Darfur
1
0
0
0
0
0
1
0
0
South
20
54
0
0
0
0
20
54
270
Sub total
746
921
32
23
0
0
778
944
121
Traditional
                 
Gezira
154
34
0
0
0
0
154
34
22
Damazin
18
27
1
1
0
0
19
28
147
Sennar
22
20
13
11
0
0
35
31
89
White Nile
86
30
17
3
0
0
103
33
32
Kassala
4
2
0
0
0
0
4
2
50
River Nile
36
0
0
0
0
0
36
0
0
Red Sea
3
0
1
2
0
0
4
2
50
N.Kordofan
23
55
27
31
0
0
50
86
172
S.Kordofan
32
16
13
11
0
0
45
27
60
W.Kordofan
107
81
82
81
0
0
189
162
86
N.Darfur
4
6
80
61
0
0
84
67
80
S.Darfur
102
166
118
180
0
0
220
346
157
W.Darfur
138
64
111
87
0
0
249
151
61
South
293
380
3
3
3
4
299
387
129
Sub total
1 022
881
466
471
3
4
1 491
1 356
91
G TOTAL
2 347
2 666
499
496
214
334
3 139*
3 591*
114

* Includes maize, mainly produced in southern states, and small amounts of rice

Table 2. SUDAN - Area, Yield and Production Forecast by Crop and Region for 2000/01, compared to previous years.

REGION
Harvested Area ( 000 ha)
Yield (t/ha)
Production ( 000 tonnes)
 
96/97
97/98
98/99
99/00
00/01
96/97
97/98
98/99
99/00
00/01
96/97
97/98
98/99
99/00
00/01
Sorghum
                             
Northern
81
36
64
107
58
1.8
2.3
1.3
1.7
2.5
146
85
93
186
146
Eastern
1 843
1 759
2 377
1 355
1 431
0.7
0.5
0.7
0.3
0.5
1 331
870
1 860
456
734
Central
2 582
1 925
2 027
1 348
1 084
0.8
0.6
0.8
0.7
0.8
1 952
1 127
1 738
886
920
Kordofan
773
799
627
813
1 003
0.4
0.4
0.5
0.3
0.2
287
332
406
261
196
Darfur
267
269
299
462
193
0.8
1.9
0.9
0.5
1.2
200
530
200
245
236
South
706
538
917
550
768
0.5
0.4
0.7
0.6
0.6
319
215
535
313
434
Sub Total
6 252
5 326
6 311
4 635
4 537
         
4 235
3 159
4 832
2 347
2 666
Millet
                             
Eastern
19
36
19
35
34
0.4
0.4
0.5
0.4
0.4
8
14
13
14
16
Central
70
54
92
125
76
0.4
0.4
0.5
0.4
0.3
27
24
42
50
27
Kordofan
906
1 632
1 061
1 079
775
0.1
0.1
0.1
0.1
0.2
116
230
140
123
123
Darfur
763
1 086
1 571
1 138
1 197
0.4
0.3
0.5
0.3
0.3
288
374
468
309
328
South
22
18
20
6
5
0.2
0.3
0.8
0.3
0.2
5
6
7
3
3
Sub Total
1 780
2 826
2 763
2 383
2 087
         
444
648
670
499
496
Wheat
                             
Northern
97
113
55
63
92
2.8
2.8
2.8
2.9
2.8
275
315
108
181
262
Eastern
32
24
28
6
11
1.4
1.7
1
1.2
1.5
45
40
21
7
17
Central
191
137
55
19
31
1.6
1.7
2
1.2
1.6
306
239
36
23
51
Darfur
11
3
3
3
4
1.3
1
1.5
1.1
1.1
14
3
3
3
4
Sub Total
331
277
141
91
138
         
640
597
168
214
334
G Total
8 363
8 429
9 215
7 109
6 762
         
5 319
4 404
5 670
3 139*
3 591*

* Includes maize, mainly produced in southern States, and small amounts of rice.

3.3 Other agricultural activities

3.3.1 Other crops

In the irrigated sector, cotton, groundnuts and vegetables have performed well this season, with groundnut yields, particularly good. Cotton yields are better and production is expected to be improved over last year's disappointing outturn. In the rain-fed sector, export opportunities for sesame are still high and areas planted to the crop have expanded further this year though the poor rains may constrain yields. There is a need to identify viable legume crops to be grown in rotation with sorghum, sesame and fallow. Sunflower production should also be encouraged and included to expand rotations and help to improve soil conditions.

3.3.2 Livestock

The erratic rainfall has had a devastating effect on range vegetation. The availability of feed from grain and crop residues has also fallen sharply due to the drop in agricultural production, especially in rainfed areas. In Gezira State for instance, the natural grazing area has been reduced from 0.6 million to 0.2 million hectares due to the poor rains. The crop residue production estimated at 2 million tonnes is also only 25 percent of the requirement for the livestock population in the state, resulting in large numbers of animals being moved to other states in search of grazing. Such movements of livestock and high competition for limited grazing areas have already resulted in conflicts between different tribes. The drastic fall in feed is expected to lead to widespread under-nutrition in livestock. Sale of livestock has increased sharply, depressing prices and thus household incomes. The terms of trade for pastoralists have deteriorated sharply. Sheep/sorghum terms of trade (the quantity of sorghum bought with the local sale of a sheep) declined by 400 percent in December 2000 compared to December 1999. Some farmers have started selling their female breeding sheep (ewes), depleting their productive assets. Water is another critical problem in many areas, particularly in western Sudan, where wells and water harvesting points have already dried up.

Livestock fattening systems based on feeding grain were extremely profitable last year with the low sorghum and high livestock prices. This year, with high sorghum prices and rapidly falling livestock prices, the situation is reversed. No serious epidemic diseases have been reported in Northern Sudan, although tickborne diseases, internal parasites and brucellosis are present. There are contagious diseases in the south of the country and livestock returning from those regions will be vaccinated accordingly.

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4. AGRICULTURAL SITUATION BY REGION

4.1 Northern Region (Northern and Nile)

The Northern Region, comprising Northern and Nile States, with populations of 609 000 and 938 000 respectively, is mostly located along the banks of the Rivers Nile and Atbara. Cereal production in these two States is mainly based on irrigation, wheat during winter and maize and sorghum in the summer. They are the main internal suppliers of wheat for the country because they benefit from comparatively cold weather during the winter.

Summer cereals are grown in irrigated pump schemes along the banks of the rivers and on demira (flood recession) areas in valleys in the interior of the States. Cultivation of the former is by tractor and draught animals (oxen) and salucca planting is used in the demira sites. There was virtually no demira production this year because the Nile floods were less than normal.

So far, cool weather conditions with temperatures 2-3oC lower than normal have been extremely favourable for wheat planting and establishment, and if they continue until February good yields can be expected. Provided wheat sowing is successfully completed before the end of December, about 92 000 hectares of wheat are expected to be harvested next spring. The total cereal production from the Northern Region (both states) is forecast at 408 000 tonnes, of which 262 000 tonnes is expected to be wheat and the remainder mostly sorghum. This is some 10 percent more than last year's post-harvest totals.

4.2 Eastern Region (Gedaref, Kassala, Red Sea)

The Eastern Region normally provides around 20 percent of the national cereal crop. This figure includes the output from two major irrigation schemes (New Halfa and Rahad), two spate irrigation schemes (Gash and Tokar) and a significant demira area (Gash Die), as well as the largest area of mechanised farming in the country. Gedaref is by far the most productive state, usually accounting for 80-90 percent of the Region's production. The main cereal crop grown in the Region is sorghum, which is usually sown between July and September. Winter wheat is grown only on the New Halfa irrigation scheme.

The start of the rains was late and distribution was varied, with some lengthy dry spells in August/September. Rainfall totals in all areas were lower than in 1999; south-east Gedaref had better totals and distribution than other areas, particularly to the north and west of the State where large areas of planted crop were unproductive. Overall, the planted area of sorghum in the region was 11 percent lower and the productive area 8 percent lower than last year. The low input-low output system practised by all the rainfed farmers in the Region relies solely on natural fertility, since no artificial fertilizer is used. This will undoubtedly lead in the medium to long term, to soil degradation, loss of soil fertility and long-lasting, irreversible environmental damage. Large areas visited by the Mission were mono-cropped with sorghum, which is also damaging the soil.

On the two formal irrigation schemes, average yields particularly in the case of Rahad (with an expected 80 percent increase), have improved markedly this season. This can be attributed in part to the GoS financial intervention for irrigation infrastructure rehabilitation, and co-ordinated early planting. Over 90 percent of farmers on Rahad used fertilizer (urea), but less than 30 percent of farmers on New Halfa used it despite its timely availability. However, there was a 36 percent increase in fertilizer prices this year.

This year's improved price for sorghum, which reached a high of SP 40 000 per 90kg bag in July, has encouraged some farmers back into production and enabled large scale mechanised farmers to maintain their areas against strong competition from sesame. Credit has been much more readily available than in 1999 and this has further encouraged a return to sorghum growing. The combined effect of the above factors has increased cereal production in the Region by some 61 percent from last year to 770 000 tonnes. This includes an area of 12 000 hectares of wheat, which is being sown at New Halfa; no wheat has been planted on the Rahad scheme.

The other major crops in the Region are rainfed sesame and irrigated cotton, groundnuts and sugarcane. This year, the sesame area in Gedaref was reduced by 12 percent to 441 000 hectares. Areas under cotton and groundnut have decreased by some 2 percent and increased by 2 percent in New Halfa and increased by 5 percent and decreased by 18 percent in Rahad respectively. All crops were noted in good condition and yields were expected to be above average.

The variable rains this season in both quantity and distribution, have reduced pasture areas in the Region particularly in the drier north and the west. Conditions are better in the south and closer to the Ethiopian border. As everywhere, livestock prices are dropping rapidly and prospects are poor for the producers.

4.3 Central Region (Gezira, Sennar, Blue Nile, White Nile)

With a population of 6.8 million, the Region encompasses four major irrigation schemes: Gezira, Sennar (Blue Nile), White Nile and Suki as well as substantial traditional and mechanised rainfed farming areas.

Production methods are similar to the Eastern Region, with low input-low output systems in the rainfed sector and improved seeds and fertilizers used in the formal irrigated sector. The main cereals are rainfed and irrigated sorghum and rainfed millet in summer and irrigated wheat in winter. This year a small area of wheat has been sown in the White Nile schemes, and the area in Gezira has increased by 67 percent over last year. This is due largely to an anticipation of improved returns from the wheat crop and also because it is now in its second year as a "free" crop - no inputs provided by the government on a credit arrangement.

The rains started later than usual in all areas of the Region. Seasonal totals were generally lower than 1999 and distribution patterns were poor and varied, with most areas suffering a lengthy dry spell in August/September. The sorghum crop in some areas (Butana province in Gezira state, Dinder province in Sennar state and northern and western areas west of the Blue Nile in Damazin state) was badly affected by a severe shortage and poor distribution of rainfall. Butana province particularly suffered badly and harvested no crops at all. On all the irrigation schemes, the Government injection of funds for canal and drainage rehabilitation has had a very pronounced effect on timeliness of operations, and improved efficiencies of production, and has brought previously fallow land back into production.

In the rainfed sector, sorghum and millet seeds were universally available as farmers generally use their own seeds carried over from the previous harvest, which they dress against smut (sorghum). The area planted to sorghum this year has been reduced by 44 percent in Gezira state, and increased by 26 percent in White Nile state, 49 percent in Sennar state and by 18 percent in Damazin. Harvestable area comparisons are much more revealing, particularly in Sennar state where this season the harvestable area was estimated to have fallen to as low as 60 percent of the planted area and 6 percent down on last year's figure.

By contrast, yields in the irrigated sector are all expected to be considerably higher than last year, largely due to the Government provision of much-needed finance for irrigation rehabilitation. Good availability of finance/credit for farmers, better water management, timeliness of planting operations and cultural practices, have also contributed. Consequently, the Mission estimates an overall production from the Region in 2000/01 of 915 000 tonnes of sorghum from 1.08 million hectares, which is around 3 percent higher than last year's harvest. Rainfed millet production is 50 percent lower at 27 000 tonnes, mainly due to a 40 percent reduction in area. Irrigated wheat production is estimated at 51 000 tonnes, more than double last year's crop, largely due to a 40 percent increase in planted area and improved irrigation.

A shortage of good quality grazing and crop by-products and reduced water supplies has made it a difficult year for the livestock sector. This is reflected in livestock prices, which are falling rapidly.

4.4 Kordofan (North, West and South)


The Region comprises the three states of North, West and South Kordofan. Rainfed farming of sorghum and millet, both mechanized and traditional, are the main farming systems of the Region. Since rainfall increases from north to south, the bulk of production is usually carried out in the southern zones of each State.

In North Kordofan, with an estimated population of 1.4 million people, preparations for the present agricultural season were made early. Limited agricultural credit was available for individual farmers who lease at least 15 ha and to Agricultural Co-operatives with areas from 73-168 ha. Rainfall started late in most parts, including Bara Aum Rawaba and Gabrah Sheik, and was lower compared to last year, affecting yields negatively. The total production of sorghum and millet is estimated at 86 346 tonnes.

In West Kordofan, despite some early start of rainfall in parts, it was only in the second half of July, some five weeks late, that it started in most of the State. Generally, total rainfall figures were lower than last agricultural season over the whole state, resulting in decreased sorghum yield from 416 kg per ha last year to 230 kg per ha this year. However, the expected yield for millet is 216 kg per ha which is higher than last year's yield of 155 kg per ha. Total production of cereals in the State is estimated at 161 855 tonnes.

For South Kordofan, the expected yield of sorghum in the mechanised and traditional sectors is less than last year at 220 and 232 kg per ha compared to 450 and 623 kg per ha respectively. Similarly, for millet the estimated yield this season is 223 kg per ha lower than last season's 345 kg per ha . The total production of both crops is estimated at 71 832 tonnes.

Severe food shortages are anticipated in Kordofan region and targeted humanitarian interventions should be considered early to avoid population migration. The region's sorghum production, estimated at 197 000 tonnes is 25 percent down on last season's figure of 261 000 tonnes. For millet, production will be about the same as last year at 123 000 tonnes.

4.5 Darfur (North, West and South)

This region comprises three states, North, West and South Darfur. Rain-fed farming is the most common practice, with millet the major crop throughout the region and sorghum grown in the west and south. In north Darfur (population 1,430,900) the rains started in the middle of July, but with lower amounts than last year. Sowing was repeated several times, which has led to decreased yield of sorghum from 238 kg/ha last year to 202 kg per ha. Millet yield also decreased, from 195 kg/ha to 155 kg per ha. Similar observations were made in west Darfur (population 1.7 million). However the situation in south Darfur (population 2.9 million) was slightly better as productivity of both crops had not decreased from last season's level, because of relatively better rainfall.

For Darfur region as a whole, sorghum production decreased from 245 000 tonnes last year to 236 000 tonnes, a decline of about 4 percent. Millet production increased from 309 000 to 328 000 tonnes, a 6 percent increase on last year. The aggregate production of grain is anticipated to be sufficient for only four months from December 2000. With coping mechanisms already stretched, it is imperative to plan for an early humanitarian intervention to avoid human suffering.

As with other states in the country, livestock prices have dropped sharply. By contrast cereal prices have seen record highs and are anticipated to increase further. Water availability for both humans and livestock is extremely critical in the region; already, tribal conflicts over livestock watering points have been reported.

4.6 Southern Sudan

Southern Sudan, with an area of 640 000 km2 and an estimated population of 6.4 million, has been in a state of almost continuous conflict since 1983. It is divided into three regions and ten states as shown below:

Region States State Capital
Equatoria: Bahr El-Jebel Juba
  Eastern Equatoria Kapoeta
  Western Equatoria Yambio
Upper Nile Upper Nile Malakal
  Jonglei Bor
  Unity Bentui
Bahr-El-Ghazal West Bahr-El-Ghazal Wau
  North Bahr-El-Ghazal Aweil
  El-Buheirat (Lakes) Rumbek

The disruption to the civil service by 16 years of civil war has led to a complete breakdown of the official gathering of agricultural statistics in all areas except the mechanized sector in Upper Nile State. Elsewhere, Ministry of Agriculture offices, though they exist in Government-held areas, have no operational information-gathering facilities and have restricted access to agricultural areas. Similarly, in rebel-held areas, agricultural co-ordinators are equally ill-equipped and dependent on anecdotal evidence to estimate cultivated areas and forecast yields.

WFP and other OLS partners (UNICEF and NGOs) active in specific locations provide the bulk of the field data, gleaned from rapid appraisals or from crop and animal production details of contact farmers working in small scale production projects. These combined data, with few objective measurements of area and production, offer the best available estimates from which to calculate production by extrapolation from household numbers adjusted by average farm sizes for agro-ecological zones. The Mission adopted the above regional divisions as the basis for calculating production and requirements, and relied on calculations using `best-bet' population estimates adjusted by various factors to estimate area. This year, UNICEF's Multi-indicator Cluster Survey has been used, adjusted by State Ministry of Agriculture (MoA) information from Juba and Renk (Upper Nile) where the exercise was not conducted. Different factors, according to location, for a) farming families; b) farm sizes; and c) cereals cropped, have been employed to determine area cropped as shown in Table 3. The factors are derived from the Missions' own terrestrial and aerial observations, the OLS-WFP-NGO-MoA reports, and historical data from State MoAs.

The traditional resources which have supported complex livelihood systems including farming, fishing, pastoralism, hunting and trading, have been rendered inaccessible in varying degrees according to location, due to civil war, tribal conflicts, interfactional rivalries, looting, and cattle raiding, all of which have caused the disruption and/or displacement of some 85 percent of the population,

The foregoing notwithstanding, in 2000, southern Sudan had a growing season extending from 150 days in the north to 300 days in the Green Belt in the south. The latter offered the opportunity to grow a series of crops on the same area and the former, the chance to re-sow crops if initial planting failed. Yield predictions are compiled based on the analysis of the factors affecting production this year, time series data from 1995 onwards and the Mission's discussions with key informants including farmers and traders. Limited spot checks involving plant density calculations, crop cuts and area measurements were also carried out.

Cereal production, which is predominantly sorghum (65 percent), starts with the first plantings in the spring. This year, the rains began very late in most areas, followed by an erratic first two months but planting did continue up until October. Production estimates prepared by the Mission include all crops harvested during the year, including the cereals that have been consumed in 2000. For the sake of balancing cereal availability and requirements, it is assumed that an equivalent quantity will be available during the coming year (2001). Such an assumption holds little risk in most areas which have relatively high early rainfall in a normal year, unless security breaks down, as it did in Bahr el Ghazal in 1998.

In the south sector (traditional), overall cereal production this year is higher than in 1999 due to the significant increase in population estimates. The yields in Bahr el Jebel are sustained by the inclusion of Yei and Kajo-Keji in the Region, in keeping with GoS boundaries. Elsewhere, yields per hectare are estimated to be similar to last year.

In the north sector (mechanised), it is anticipated that production of sorghum will be higher than in 1999, but is still below normal levels as farmers in Renk continue to expand sesame production. Average yields are expected to be about the same as last year.

Table 4a summarizes cereal production in 2000 and juxtaposes the estimates with Mission estimates for 1996, 1997, 1998 and 1999. Care in interpretation is needed because of changing population estimates, with a 14 percent increase this year. It is generally acknowledged that 1998 and 1999 were far better years than the preceding two. Cereal production comprises some 60 percent sorghum, with maize making up most of the remainder, although pearl millet (Upper Nile), finger millet (Equatoria) and upland rice (Equatoria) were also grown this year. In 1998, 1999 and 2000 production estimates include double cropping in Equatoria and the cereal harvests obtained early in the season and consumed during the year in all Regions.

Table 4b summarizes production of cereals (sorghum with a little pearl millet) from the mechanized sector.

Table 3. Population and area estimates in southern Sudan

Region
Total population
(000's)
Households
(000's)
Farming
households
(%)
ha per
household
Total Area (`000 ha)
Upper Nile
1 312
       
127
Upper Nile
420*
70
63
(90)
0.7
44
Unity
486
81
57
(70)
0.7
40
Jonglei
406
68
61
(90)
0.7
43
Equatoria
2 230
       
250
Bahr el Jebel
869
       
91
Yei
434
72
61
(85)
0.9
55
Kajokaji
105
18
15
(85)
0.9
14
Juba
330*
55
44
(80)
0.5
22
East
686
       
45
Kapoeta
301
50
35
(70)
0.4
14
Totit
385
64
51
(80)
0.6
31
West
675
       
114
Tambura
392
65
55
(85)
1.2
66
Yambio
67
11
10
(90)
1.2
12
Maridi
58
10
9
(90)
1.2
11
Mundri
158
26
21
(80)
1.2
25
Bahr el Ghazal
2 896
       
273
North
1 688
       
127
Aweil W
649
108
86
(80)
0.4
34
Aweil E
527
88
80
(90)
0.6
48
Abyei
12
2
2
(90)
0.4
1
Twic
118
20
16
(80)
0.6
9
Goghal
382
64
58
(90)
0.6
35
West
580
       
70
Wau
215
36
32
(90)
0.8
26
Raga
58
10
9
(90)
0.8
7
Warrab
307
51
46
(90)
0.8
37
Lakes
628
       
76
Rumbek
426
71
64
(90)
0.8
51
Yirol
202
34
31
(90)
0.8
25
Total
6 438
       
650

Each households estimated to comprise 6 members.
*Source: State MoA estimates remaining figures from MICs (UNICEF, 2000)

Table 4a. Southern Sudan: Trends in Traditional Cereal Production by State

Region
1996
1997
1998
1999
2000
 
Area
Production
Area
Production
Area
Production
Area
Production
Area
Production
 
(000 hectares)
(000 tonnes)
(000 hectares)
(000 tonnes)
(000 hectares)
(000 tonnes)
(000 hectares)
(000 tonnes)
(000 hectares)
(000 tonnes)
Upper Nile
196
70
151
45
133
85
120
83
127
91
Upper Nile
69
34
53
22
52
41
34
23
44
33
Unity
47
13
41
10
40
17
21
14
40
34
Jonglei
80
23
57
13
41
27
65
46
43
24
Equatoria
214
136
148
71
194
166
190
175
250
218
Bahr el Jebel
53
24
43
13
39
28
24
15
911
68
E Equatoria
89
41
54
19
55
39
45
37
45
17
W Equatoria
72
71
51
39
100
99
121
123
114
133
Bahr el Ghazal
247
109
192
58
134
96
158
112
273
168
N Bahr el Ghazal
55
14
41
10
22
15
34
23
127
68
W Bahr el Ghazal
54
21
42
13
30
22
29
22
702
46
Lakes
93
51
70
23
42
33
95
67
763
54
Warrab
45
23
39
12
40
26
-
-
-
-
Total
657
315
491
174
461
347
468
370
650
477

1/ Includes Yei, Kajo-Kaji in 2000
2/ Includes Warrab
3/ Does not include Warrab

Table 4b. Southern Sudan: Trends in Mechanized Cereal Production by Location

Region
   
1996
1997
1998
1999
2000
Area
Production
Area
Production
Area
Production
Area
Production
Area
Production
(000 hectares)
(000 tonnes)
(000 hectares)
(000 tonnes)
(000 hectares)
(000 tonnes)
(000 hectares)
(000 tonnes)
(000 hectares)
(000 tonnes)
Renk
166
73
140
127
207
157
27
18
82
52
Malakal
2
2
4
4
6
4
3
2
3
2
Melut
0
0
8
8
10
8
0
0
0
0
Tayara
44
16
38
16
36
23
--
--
--
--
Total
212
91
190
155
259
192
30
20
85
54

Other crops

The agricultural potential of southern Sudan is high. A wide range of tropical crops may be grown successfully in most states. Presently, conditions prevent the development of anything more than subsistence cropping and the local sale of household surpluses. However, in some States there is a legacy of perennial crops from more secure times. For example, in Western Equatoria there is surfeit of mangoes, papaya, bananas and cassava, with no opportunity to market the commodities. Even as far north as Wau, a surplus of mangoes exists in the season which has prompted interest by the administration in preservation technology.

Cassava crops are reasonable this year. In West Equatoria, cassava is not only grown in combinations with a variety of cereals, but is also planted at the end of the `shifting' rotation, as a perennial. Cassava areas are, therefore, greater than elsewhere, which explains the very low price of cassava flour in the local markets at SP 2 400 per quintal. In West Bahr el Ghazal, Lakes, Warrab and Bahr el Jebel, all crops tend to be grown in intercropped combinations. Therefore, the areas of cassava and groundnuts are similar to areas of sorghum.

Groundnut areas have increased dramatically in the states where late rains encouraged planting of short-cycle alternatives to sorghum. In the northern states, groundnuts are usually planted in separate plots at some 0.2 - 0.5 ha per household. This year, the areas in North Bahr el Ghazal and Upper Nile are noted to be in the order of some 90 000 ha producing 100kg to 200kg of grains per ha from planting densities of 6 - 8 plants per m2. Apart from home consumption, the extent to which groundnuts will supplement sorghum in the deficit areas of the north will depend on the terms of trade between sorghum and groundnuts. This year sorghum prices are likely to be high and groundnuts cheaper than last year.

Sesame production in the mechanized sector is expected to increase dramatically. The area under cultivation in Renk has increased from 81 000 hectares to 200 000 hectares, following financial credit of SP 2.1 billion. The harvest is underway and the yields are expected to be average.

Livestock

Overall conditions in the settled herds and flocks are better this year than last year. Less flooding has made movement easier and reduced the swamp related parasitic infections. Better condition suggests better maternal performance, which should reduce neo-natal mortalities and increase milk production and growth rates of young stock. Unfortunately, there is absolutely no data relating to livestock production parameters. The only hard information details veterinary activities conducted by NGOs for UNICEF. Such data shows that the rinderpest vaccination campaigns using animal health workers and vaccinators have been conducted, and also that there have been no confirmed outbreaks of rinderpest this year. However, outbreaks of East Coast Fever, haemorrhagic septicaemia, black-quarter and anthrax were reported.

In Warwarra, Aweil East, cattle owners had noted a downturn in local cattle prices due a cessation of exports to Saudi Arabia, which suggests that, despite the war, certain trade routes are still extant. The prices of sheep and goats remain similar to previous years or shows a slight increase. Prices late in the year will be more indicative of dry season grazing availability.

Food availability in southern Sudan

Early reports of delayed onset of rains prompted donor concern, particularly with regard to the usually surplus areas of West Bahr el Ghazal, Lakes, and West Equatoria. In the event, subsequent rains, though delayed, were within the normal range of distribution. This, however, does not exclude areas of crop failure or poor production in the north and east. In the north, given the erratic geographic distribution of the rains, general areas of deficit contain local areas of surplus. The long dry-spell in the east has resulted in communities being dependent on late sown second cycle crops which, fortunately, seem to be well-established but will not provide all the cereals required.

Cereal prices vary enormously through the south in most years and this year is no exception. The Mission noted prices ranging from SP 30 per Kg (maize) in Yambio to SP 900 per Kg for sorghum in Juba. Generally, prices are higher in Government-held towns with their dependence on cereals delivered by barge.

The production figures shown in Table 4a relate to production throughout the year 2000 from all cereal crops. With less food deliveries in deficit areas during 2000, it is expected that more home-produced grains will have been eaten earlier, reducing stocks for 2001. By the same token, it is impossible to predict the production of next year's first cycle sorghums or maize crops, dependent as they are on rainfall and the extent of the various types of conflict and civil strife. The supply and demand situation of the combined north and south sectors of the southern states is given in Table 5. In this table, estimated gross production has been adjusted for harvesting and post harvest losses and seed requirements.

Table 5. Traditional Sector Cereal Balances in 2000/2001 by State in (000s)

 
Population
Production
(tonnes)
Less
Losses
& Seeds
Consumption
Needs
Surplus /Deficit
UPPER NILE
1 312
91
76
79
-3
Upper Nile
420
33
28
25
3
Unity
486
34
28
29
-1
Jonglei
406
24
20
25
-5
EQUATORIA
2 230
218
171
199
-28
BAHR EL JEBEL
869
68
53
69
-16
Yei
434
49
38
35
3
K-K
105
12
9
8
1
Juba
330
7
6
26
-20
EAST EQUAT
686
17
14
55
-41
Kapoeta
301
2
2
24
-23
Torit
385
15
12
31
-18
WEST EQUAT
675
133
104
74
30
Tambura
392
79
62
43
19
Yambio
67
18
14
7
7
Maridi
58
13
10
6
3
Mundri
158
23
18
17
1
BAHR EL GHAZAL
2 896
168
141
174
-33
NORTH
1 688
68
57
101
-44
Aweil W
649
15
12
39
-27
Aweil E
527
24
20
32
-12
Abyei
12
5
4
8
-4
Twic
118
9
   
0
Gogrial
382
24
21
22
-2
WEST
580
46
38
35
4
Wau
215
17
14
13
1
Raja
58
5
4
3
1
Warrab
307
24
20
18
2
LAKES
628
54
45
38
7
Rumbek
426
37
31
26
5
Yirol
202
17
14
12
2
Grand Total
6 438
477
388
451
-63

Harvesting and Post-Harvest Losses = 15 percent
Seed use 10kg ha-1
Except West Equatoria + Yei +K-K. Losses 20 percent + Seeds 20 kg ha-1 (maize predominates)

Whereas Table 5 shows an overall deficit of 63 000 tonnes it should be understood that surpluses from West Equatoria and Bahr el Jebel, are unlikely to be available for deficit communities, which means that the actual deficit will be much larger.

The mechanized sector is expected to produce some 100 000 tonnes of which only 2 000 tonnes from Malakal and some 7 000 tonnes from the State schemes in Renk are likely to be available within the southern states. The remainder is likely to be marketed through Kosti and so is not likely to affect the balance and food aid requirements.

-------

5. EMERGENCY SUPPORT MEASURES TO THE AGRICULTURAL SECTOR

From the above the following emergency measures warrant serious consideration:

-------

6. FOOD SUPPLY SITUATION

6.1 Current market situation

In contrast to 1999, when cereal prices were low and stable, 2000 has seen high and fluctuating prices in most parts of the country. This was mainly due to the low level of cereal production in 1999, depletion of stocks in 2000, and farmers' shift to producing more cash crops in response to relatively better prices.

Monthly price movements in all markets observed indicate a price hike for sorghum and millet from May 2000 as stocks from last year's poor crop dwindled. Figures 1 and 2 below indicate that the average monthly prices of sorghum and millet in 2000 in Nyala, a major trading centre in South Darfur, have been higher and fluctuating than in 1999, reaching a peak of SP 40 000 per 90kg bag in June and then in November at SP 50 000.

Undisplayed Graphic

Undisplayed Graphic

Furthermore, livestock prices, mainly sheep and goats, dropped by up to 3 times compared to last year as farmers started to get rid of their animals in anticipation of hard times ahead. The livestock import ban imposed by countries in the Arabian Peninsula due to suspected Rift Valley Fever has also contributed to the glut in the local livestock market. As a result, the terms of trade for pastoralists have deteriorated sharply.

6.2 Cereal supply/demand balance for 2000/01

The cereal balance shown in Table 6 is based on the following assumptions:

Table 6. Sudan: Cereal Balance Sheet for 2000/01 (`000 tonnes)

 
Cereals
Rice
Sorghum
Millet
Wheat
Other
Availability
3 653
5
2 700
524
334
90
Stock drawdown
62
0
34
28
0
0
Production
3 591
5
2 666
496
334
90
Utilisation
4 855
35
2 700
524
1 373
223
Food
4 372
35
2 373
479
1 335
150
Feed
220
0
160
10
0
50
Seed
83
0
34
10
21
18
Losses
180
0
133
25
17
5
Export
0
0
0
0
0
0
Import Requirement
1 202
30
0
0
1 039
133
Commercial
1 030
30
0
0
1 000
0
Food Aid pledged
34
0
0
0
11
23
Uncovered deficit
138
0
0
0
28
110

6.3 Nutrition Situation

Nutrition surveys were conducted this year in 15 out of the 226 WFP distribution sites in Sudan. During 2000, malnutrition rates varied between and within regions. In areas where insecurity and lack of access have significantly limited relief supplies, such as parts of Bahr El Ghazal, Unity, and Kassala (Hamashokreib), malnutrition is usually high, ranging from 15-45 percent. However in more accessible areas food aid has helped in bringing down malnutrition rates to less that 10 percent, as evidenced in IDP camps located in Garrison towns. Transitional zones of South Durfur, Khartoum and Kordofan have long term IDPs, whose nutrition status is linked to poor basic services. Disease is a major cause of malnutrition in these zones averaging 20 percent. In the Sahel states of Red Sea States and Northern Sudan, where chronic food insecurity exists, the rate of malnutrition is consistently high at 23 percent and increasing.

Figure 3 indicates that, overall, nutrition status in most parts of Sudan remain fragile, above 15 percent. In Upper Nile, Durfur, Kordofan and most parts of Unity State, the nutrition status is expected to deteriorate due to current poor harvest.

Undisplayed Graphic

6.4 Emergency Food Aid Needs in the Year 2001

Insecurity is the major cause of food aid need in the Sudan. Under these volatile and largely unpredictable food crop production and changing security circumstances, WFP continues to meet the food aid needs of the internally displaced and war-affected Sudanese people through the provision of emergency aid. In 2000, WFP planned to provide 103 453 tonnes of emergency food aid to about 2.5 million IDPs and war-affected persons in Sudan. By the end of December 2000, a total of 100 000 tonnes will have been distributed contributing significantly towards saving lives and reducing human suffering. Rates of malnutrition were significantly reduced in many parts of Sudan, from levels as high as 45 percent global malnutrition recorded in 1998 to levels under 15 percent in late 2000. This Emergency Operation is being extended until March 2001.

Table 7. WFP Emergency Food Requirements in 2000 and 2001 (Planned)

 
Year 2000
Year 2001
Southern Sector
   
Bahr El Ghazal
20 915
21 722
Equatoria
5 588
10 454
Upper Nile/Jongelei
22 178
30 210
Nuba Mountains SS
2 543
2 543
Sub Total
51 224
64 929
Northern Sector
   
Greater Khartoum
869
1 019
White Nile
835
723
Kassala/Red Sea Hills
5 356
9 165
West Kordofan
812
701
South Kordofan+Nuba Mountians
2 739
2 661
South Darfur
6 153
2 963
Bahr El Ghazal
10 625
11 950
Unity
4 562
7 529
Upper Nile
2 221
1 809
Jongelei
2 512
2 810
Equatoria
5 887
6 170
Food for Work Projects
517
Incorporated
Feeding Projects
2 374
Incorporated
Sub Total
45 462
47 500
Contingency
6 768
4 497
Grand Total
103 454
116 926


Note
: Anticipated emergency food aid requirements in North Kordofan and North and West Darfur are not included.

6.5 Other WFP Interventions

School Feeding Programme: Funded by WFP and implemented by Ministry of Education, the Sudan school feeding programme, valued at about USD15 million, provides mid-morning meals to 300 000 primary school students in the States of Red Sea, Kordofan (North and West) and Darfur (North and West). As the current phase is scheduled to terminate in December 2000, WFP is planning to extend and focus the project on the urban and commercial centres where people fleeing the effects of the drought and insecurity are expected to conglomerate in the next few months. With further nutritional deterioration anticipated, due to the current poor agricultural season, further expansion of the school-feeding programme to reach children below the age of 5 who are not yet enrolled in primary schools may be necessary.

Food-for-Work: Implemented in the States of Kordofan (North, West and South), Darfur (North, West and South) and Red Sea, the aim is improving access to water in semi-arid areas through the construction and rehabilitation of Hafirs (or water catchments). The activities provide seasonal employment and improve the food security of approximately 300 000 beneficiaries who would otherwise migrated to other areas. In 2001, WFP plans to expand the Food-for-Work interventions to cover new areas such as the construction and rehabilitation of schools, health clinics, tree planting (around the Hafirs), and gathering of row building materials.

Protracted Refugee Operations: The programme provides assistance to about 133 000 Eritrean and Ethiopian refugees and IDPs in eastern Sudan until October 2001. The extension of such an operation will depend upon the prospect of peace and stability in Sudan and in the Neighbouring countries

Logistics

Decades of civil war and economic hardships have taken a toll on roads and bridges throughout the country. WFP uses a combination of air, rail, road and river transport to deliver food commodities in more than 250 locations. It has main operational and logistics bases with adequate storage facilities in Sudan (Khartoum, Port Sudan, Kosti, and El Obeid), Kenya (Mombasa, Lokichoggio) and Uganda (Kampala and Koboko). Commodities are transported from Mombasa by road or rail to Lokichoggio or by rail to Kampala and onward by road to Koboko in northern Uganda. From Koboko, food aid is transported by road to Bahr el Ghazal using commercial transport companies. From Lokichoggio, Khartoum and El Obeid, deliveries to secondary storage facilities in all locations where WFP has operating sub-offices or to final distribution points (FDPs) in the southern sector are primarily made by air.

Due to the bad road networks and continued insecurity, up to 75 percent the approximately 50 000 metric tons of food deliveries into the Southern sector in 2000 was effected by air. However, the increased use of Khartoum and El Obeid air bases in the Northern sector (in lieu of Lokichoggio in Kenya) to airlift/drop food to the neighbouring states of the southern sectors has resulted in a cost saving of about US$350 per tonne. In 2001, WFP plans to increase the proportion of deliveries originating from the north to a minimum of 35 percent of the southern sector requirements through the operational base of El Obeid.

This report is prepared on the responsibility of the FAO and WFP Secretariats with information from official and unofficial sources. Since conditions may change rapidly, please contact the undersigned for further information if required.

Abdur Rashid
Chief, GIEWS FAO
Telex 610181 FAO I
Fax: 0039-06-5705-4495
E-mail:GIEWS1@FAO.ORG

M. Aranda da Silva
Regional Director, OSA, WFP
Telex: 626675 WFP 1
Fax: 0039-06-6513-2839
E-Mail: Manuel.ArandadaSilva@WFP.ORG

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1 The exchange rate to the dollar in early December was USD 1 = SP 2 570.