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

24 December 2002

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Mission Highlights

  • Cereal production in 2002 is forecast at 3.8 million tonnes, about 30 percent and 15 percent down on last year and the average for the preceding five years respectively.
  • Late and poor distribution of rainfall coupled with reduced cultivated area in the irrigated sector, compared to last year, accounted for the decline in production.
  • Cereal import requirement, mainly wheat, for 2002/03 (November/October) is forecast at about 1.3 million tonnes, of which nearly 1.1 million tonnes are anticipated to be imported commercially.
  • Livestock and pasture conditions are generally stable in most parts of the country and the lifting of the ban on imports of livestock from Sudan by several countries in the Arabian Peninsula is expected to boost pastoralist incomes.
  • Food assistance, estimated at about 230 000 tonnes, is needed for about 3.5 million people including war displaced, drought affected and vulnerable people, mainly in southern Sudan and Nuba mountains, as well as parts of western and eastern Sudan.
  • Urgent assistance is also needed with seeds and other agricultural inputs for the affected population in advance of the next cropping season that starts in April/May in the South and June/July in the north.

1. OVERVIEW

An FAO/WFP Crop and Food Supply Assessment Mission visited southern Sudan from 6 to 29 October 2002 and northern Sudan from 10 November to 1 December 2002 to assess the current season's cereal production, forecast wheat production from areas prepared for planting, and estimate cereal import requirements for the marketing year 2002/03 (November/October). The Mission visited 24 of the country's 26 states both in Government and rebel held areas.

The Mission received full co-operation of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and the Humanitarian Aid Commission (HAC), which assigned senior staff to accompany the Mission. Pre-harvest data on area and yield were provided by the State Ministries of Agriculture and the various irrigation schemes, which the mission cross-checked during field visits 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 (southern sector) were visited from Kenya and cropping data were provided by the Sudan Relief and Rehabilitation Agency (SRRA) Agriculture Co-ordinator, with additional information from FAO Emergency Unit, WFP staff and USAID-FEWS reports. Location specific information was provided by Norwegian People's Aid (NPA), Catholic Relief Services (CRS), Save the Children UK (SC/UK), Action Contre la Faim (ACF), Concern, Oxfam UK, ANV, Tear-Fund and VSF-Holland. In Government held areas (northern sector), data were provided by State Ministries of Agriculture and HAC early warning unit, as well as FAO Emergency Unit field staff and NGOs including ACCORD, ACF, Oxfam-UK, ICRC, IIRA, Sudan Council of Churches, and Geraman Agro-Action.

For the country as a whole, the Mission found that the 2002 cropping season was characterised by a late onset of rains and poor rainfall distribution, especially during the first half of the season.

In Northern Sudan, the most important feature of the 2002 cropping season was the significant reduction in irrigated cereal area, particularly sorghum as compared to 2001. This reduction was largely an adjustment to a more average or normal level of irrigated area under cereals as opposed to the unusually large expansion in 2001 mainly in response to a Government inducement. As a result, irrigated area under cereals in 2002 declined by about 40 percent compared to 2001.

In Southern Sudan, civil conflict and insecurity have continued to hamper agricultural activities. Despite adequate and timely seed supplies for settled farmers and IDPs and a year relatively free from migratory pests, escalation of the civil war in several parts during the 2002 cropping season, cattle raiding and reprisals, and inter-ethnic conflicts have reduced cultivated area by nearly 10 percent, mostly in Bahr el Jebel and East Equatoria. This, coupled with late and erratic rains in most parts, has resulted in a decline of about 20 percent in cereal production as compared to last year.

Overall, the Mission forecasts 2002/03 total cereal production in Sudan at about 3.79 million tonnes, comprising 2.80 million tonnes of sorghum, 618 000 tonnes of millet, 232 000 tonnes of wheat (to be harvested in April/May 2003), and 138 000 tonnes of other cereals (mainly maize and rice). At this level, cereal production is nearly 30 percent below last year's good crop and about 15 percent below the average of the last five years. As a result, the cereal import requirement in the 2002/03 (November/October) marketing year is estimated at nearly 1.3 million tonnes of which about 1.1 million tonnes are anticipated to be imported commercially.

Increased export earnings from oil in the last five years and the recent resumption of livestock exports to countries in the Arabian Peninsula, mainly Saudi Arabia, following the lifting of an import ban on account of Rift Valley Fever, have all resulted in favourable outlook for the economy at both macro and micro-levels. Furthermore, the recent peace talks in Machakos (Kenya) to end the long running civil war in Sudan, including the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding on 15 October 2002, augur well for resolving the conflict peacefully and this would boost agricultural and other economic activities in southern Sudan.

Livestock in northern Sudan are generally in good condition. Poor rangeland productivity in some western and eastern parts is expected to result in some feed shortages. However, the resumption of livestock exports has already firmed-up prices and tilted the terms of trade in favour of livestock producers.

While the overall food situation is relatively stable, regional and local deficits exist in several parts. Most zones in southern Sudan face serious food deficits mainly due to population displacement and poor harvests. The few expected cereal surpluses in the states of West Equatoria and Lakes will be unavailable in deficit areas, within and outside the States, due to market segmentation and the break down of normal trade routes and infrastructure. In northern Sudan, parts of greater Kordofan and Darfur and Red Sea State also suffer from successive poor harvests. Food aid needs in 2003 are estimated at 230 000 tonnes.

Furthermore, timely assistance is required to support the agricultural sector in the next cropping season that starts in April/May in the South and June/July in the North. The emergency support should include early provision of appropriate seeds and other agricultural inputs.

2. RECENT ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENTS

Sudan has increasingly enjoyed favourable macroeconomic climate over the past five years afforded in large part by oil exports which rose from virtual insignificance in the mid-1990s to US$ 275.9 million in 1999, and then quadrupled to reach US$ 1.24 billion in the following year. The country has moved from a chronic trade deficit to a position of surplus, with an overall growth rate averaging 4.5 to 5 percent. Over the past year, inflation has fallen and stabilised at about 6 to 7 percent.

Agriculture is still the mainstay of the Sudanese economy in terms of its contribution to GDP (41 percent in 2001), and is, as the employer of more than two-thirds of the workforce, the main source of livelihood for the vast majority of the population. The sector's dominance in the share of export revenues has, however, been overtaken by oil since 1997. Traditional agricultural export commodities, mostly cotton and livestock, declined from their peak values in 1995/96 and 1997/98 respectively, and both have also been overtaken by sesame which has become Sudan's highest-value agricultural export, reaching a record value of US$ 150 million in 1999/2000. Favourable sesame prices in the current season are expected to stimulate expansion of the area planted. There is a move on the part of the Government to revive the production and export of gumarabic whose exports fell steadily from more than 45 000 tonnes in the 60s to less than 25 000 tonnes at present.

The total value of agricultural exports may be about to rise again, buoyed by increasing livestock exports following the lifting of an import ban previously imposed by Saudi Arabia and other major importers in the Middle East. Recent campaigns to expand the area under cotton in the major irrigation schemes may also boost agricultural exports.

The Strategic Commodity Reserve Authority, which was established in late 2000, has started to build a modest cereal reserve, mainly sorghum, with the principal aim of stabilising prices. However, limitations on storage capacity and the expense involved in maintaining such a stock may pause some difficulties

3. CEREAL PRODUCTION IN 2002

Cereals are the main staple crops of Sudan with sorghum providing about 60 percent of the total quantity of cereals consumed. Only in southern Sudan are other carbohydrate foodstuffs, particularly cassava and sweet potatoes, consumed 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. Small quantities of rice are grown under irrigation in some areas.

3.1 Main factors affecting production in 2002

3.1.1 Agricultural finance and credit

The Government of Sudan's capacity to invest in agriculture has risen substantially with increasing revenues from oil exports. This is reflected in the irrigated sector where special funds have been allocated for rehabilitation of irrigation systems. For instance, in Gezira irrigation scheme the authorities reported improved water management during this production season, and more funds had also been allocated for similar rehabilitation activities over the next three years.

There has been a major shift in the roles of irrigation schemes with respect to the supply of production inputs. As of the current production season, farmers are responsible for independently purchasing the main production inputs (especially fertilizers) with their own resources or through credit from banking institutions. This replaces the old system where these inputs were supplied through the schemes.

Bank credits are mainly used to finance production activities such as ploughing, weeding and harvesting. More than two-thirds of credit goes to irrigated agriculture, approximately one-quarter to mechanised rain-fed agriculture, and less than one-tenth to the traditional sector. About 60 percent of loans are in cash and 40 percent in kind. There are several banks (Agricultural Bank of Sudan, Omdurman Bank, Islamic Bank, Bank of Khartoum, Baraka, French Bank and Commercial Bank) that provide credit to agriculture at seemingly reasonable costs. The reality, however, is that credit is limited to irrigated agriculture and commercial mechanized rainfed farms of more than 500 feddan (over 200 hectares). Small-scale producers in the traditional rainfed sector are totally left out. There is anecdotal evidence suggesting that many farmers who are eligible for institutional credit do not take it, and the main reason for this appears to be a general fear of losing their assets in case of default on repayment. Additional costs to transport fertilizers and other inputs from locations of purchase to the farms are an additional disincentive. Consequently, production this year has to some extent been undermined by the reduced use of fertilizers and other inputs under the new financing arrangement.

Favourable developments in the current production season include the supply of seeds of high-yielding sorghum varieties to small-scale farmers free of charge to encourage adoption and raise production. Fuel was also widely available to the mechanised farming sector.

3.1.2 Rainfall

Annual rainfall in Sudan ranges from almost zero in the north to 1 800 mm in the southern state of Western Equatoria. In 2002 the rains started late over most of the country and many areas experienced false starts to the season and subsequent poor rainfall distribution which often necessitated re-plantings, especially in the drier areas of the north. The end of the season was rather more variable, with rainfall stopping prematurely in some areas but continuing satisfactorily in others. Throughout the country, localised rainfall variation within comparatively small geographical areas appears to have been greater this year than usual.

This year's generally poor rainfall throughout the Horn of Africa has also led to low water levels in the River Nile and its various tributaries. In some chronically drought-susceptible areas of the west (parts of Kordofan and Darfur), the rains continued into October with the result that pasture there was relatively good by the end of the season, compensating to some extent for poor crop production.

In the southern Sudan, annual rainfall increases from north to south and from east to west. During 2002, this basic pattern prevailed, but a generally late start of rainfall and dry periods of up to three weeks were reported during June and, less frequently, during July. Rainfall generally became more regular during August and September, and continued into October. However, total rainfall for the season was well below the average everywhere and especially in Aweil and Upper Nile State

3.1.3 Area planted

The current cropping season has seen a significant reduction, about 40 percent overall, in the area under irrigated sorghum compared with 2001. This was partly the result of poorer rainfall, but mostly an adjustment to the long-term average from the unusually increased area under irrigation for cereals in 2001 in response to Government inducement. This may therefore be regarded as a rational reversion to the Ministry of Agriculture's stated policy of increasing productivity rather than expanding area. The huge reduction this year in irrigated sorghum area in Northern State (from 16 000 hectares to less than 500) was the direct result of the unusually low flood levels on the River Nile. The small area of rice in the north - mostly near Kosti - shrank slightly this year to about 7 000 hectares from more than 8 000 hectares last year as a result of reduced flooding.

Total areas under both mechanised and traditional rainfed production in 2002 were similar to those of 2001. However, because of the late arrival of the rains and their frequently early cessation, rather more cultivated area gave either no economic yield or no yield at all than was the case last year. The total areas, however, mask large localised differences. For instance, Malakal reported a reduced area of mechanised production, whereas Renk reported an expansion, again reflecting the local variations in rainfall this year.

3.1.4 Agricultural inputs

The principal users of fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides and improved seed in Sudan are the farmers in the irrigated sector. Use of fertilizers is reported to have declined this year as a result of both increased (unsubsidised) prices and a policy change concerning the purchase and distribution of fertilizer through the scheme management bodies. Fertilizer - predominantly urea - used to be provided at favourable rates to registered farmers through the corporations managing the schemes. The corporations have now withdrawn this service, with the result that farmers must find and negotiate their own credit and identify suppliers if they wish to purchase fertilizer. This extra logistical burden on farmers, and, in many cases, their lack of conviction concerning the benefits of fertilizer use, has contributed to the reduced use of fertilizer that is evident this year. In contrast, the use of improved seed is reported to have increased this year, with many scheme corporations providing their farmers with seed either free or at cost. Improved sorghum varieties used this year include 'Wad Ahmed', 'Gadam Hamam', 'Arfa Gadamek', while the premium-priced 'Tabet' continues to be widely planted. The main wheat varieties being used this year are 'Wadi Nil', 'Nilein', 'Dibera', 'Shamsix' (all 120 days) and 'Kundur' (100 days). The traditional sector has benefited to some extent from seed distributions through various NGOs and UN agencies including FAO.

Fuel costs (which rose last year with the removal of subsidies) continue to act as a disincentive to improved cultivation and planting in the mechanised sector, although fuel availability was good this year. The mechanised sector is also experiencing an unchecked decline in numbers of operational tractors and in the level of maintenance of those tractors and other implements which are still used.

3.1.5 Weeds, pests and diseases

Levels of crop pests and diseases have been relatively low during 2002, with several state ministries carrying out extensive control campaigns during the year. For instance, Gedaref mounted a programme of aerial spraying to control birds and tree locusts over areas of 32 000 and 3 500 hectares respectively.

Striga contributes to production losses in sorghum and millet especially in the drier, less fertile areas of the west of the country. However, it is also reported to be becoming more troublesome in Government-held areas of the south where shifting cultivation has been abandoned as a result of land pressure and cropping intensity has increased with a concomitant loss of soil fertility. In White Nile State, the area of millet in the mechanised sector has been increased in the belief that it is less susceptible to striga-related yield reduction than sorghum. Although locally serious, the incidence of Striga countrywide this year can be regarded as no more than moderate. At Toker spate irrigation scheme, the mesquite tree continues to colonise cultivable land. It is now estimated that almost 25 percent of the scheme's 16 500 hectares has been lost to the tree.

Low flood levels along the River Nile in Northern State have contributed to increased weed infestation in winter vegetable crops. Weeds which would otherwise have germinated following flooding and then been removed during cultivation have this year germinated with the crop following irrigation. Grasshoppers and tree locusts appear to have been, overall, the most troublesome pests this year. In Gedaref, despite the state's control campaign mentioned above, sorghum seedlings were attacked by grasshoppers, often necessitating several re-plantings. Suki scheme in Sennar State also suffered losses from grasshoppers, as did several parts of Kordofan and Darfur. Termites were a problem in some of the drier areas of the country where they attacked both seedlings and growing plants. Sorghum midge and millet head-worm were widely reported, but incidence levels were generally not serious.

Last year's watermelon crop was devastated in many areas by the watermelon bug. This year's very low incidence of the pest is assumed by some state agriculture ministries to be a secondary benefit of their locust and grasshopper control campaigns. In other states the pest was specifically targeted, using mechanical means; in North Kordofan, for instance, more than 280 tonnes of watermelon bugs were reported to have been collected manually in a WFP-sponsored food-for-work programme. Grain losses to birds (especially to Quelea quelea, which is classified as a national pest) have been reported in various localities in the north, but they have been minor compared with other years. This is at least partly the result of the continuing control measures being taken by state authorities. At the beginning of December there is still the possibility of losses to birds, but these are not expected to be serious this year. In the south, security concerns preclude control by aerial spraying, and late-maturing sorghum varieties in the eastern parts of Upper Nile State are particularly vulnerable to attack.

Covered smut is common in both sorghum and millet, its incidence being highest in the traditional sector where untreated seed is used. Long smut was also evident on millet in many areas. Downy mildew was apparent on some millet, but generally not at serious levels. In the south, groundnut continues to be affected by rosette virus and leafspot, and cassava by mosaic virus, but levels of both diseases appear to be normal.

3.2 Cereal production forecast

Total national cereal production for Sudan in 2002/03 is forecast at 3.79 million tonnes, comprising 2.80 million tonnes of sorghum, 618 000 tonnes of millet, 232 000 tonnes of wheat, 107 000 tonnes of maize and 31 000 tonnes of rice. Total cereal production will be about 30 percent below that of last year and 15 percent below the average for the preceding five years. Production figures by state for 2002/03, and comparisons with those for 2001/02, are given in Table 1. Cereal areas, yields and production by region for the last five years are given in Table 2.

3.3 Other crops

This year a very significant expansion in the area under watermelon, especially in Kordofan and Darfur and the very low incidence of watermelon bug has resulted in a large increase in production. Near urban centres, varieties are usually grown for their fruit, while in more remote areas seed varieties are generally preferred. Both fruits and seed represent cash crops, but the plant has the added advantage of being a survival crop under adverse conditions; it can provide a limited amount of clean water and carbohydrate for human consumption, and it can be used as a source of fodder for livestock. Watermelon is comparatively easy to grow and is often inter-cropped. Groundnut areas in the north are generally down on those of last year, but yields are satisfactory at about 650 kg (unshelled) per hectare. In the south, where groundnut is often very important in the household economy, yields are poorer than they were last year. Sesame prices were low following very good production in 2001, with the result that farmers reduced their sesame area in 2002. With reduced production, prices have risen again. This year's crop is considered to be good, with yields of up to 300 kg per hectare in some areas such as West Darfur. Karkadi (roselle, Hibiscus sabdariffa) has also performed well this year, with an expansion of area in many places; the market for the crop is good. In the south, cassava yields are expected to be in the region of 15 - 25 tonnes fresh weight per hectare.

3.4 Livestock

At the end of November 2002, livestock condition was average to good throughout the country. In the south, the Rinderpest Campaign appears to have been successful, and vaccination has now been phased out except in a few areas of Jonglei and Eastern Equatoria. Pasture is plentiful in the south, and in the west it is generally good, especially in those parts where the rains continued into October In such areas, pastoralists estimate that the supply of fodder should be sufficient until April or May 2003. However, those parts of the west where the rains stopped early are already grazed down, as are many pastoral areas of the east. Livestock water supplies follow a similar pattern, with hafirs already dry in some areas but still almost full where there was good continuation of rain. Livestock prices have remained more competitive with those of grain than has been the case in recent years. This is partly due to the lifting, at the beginning of 2002, of the ban imposed by Gulf states (most importantly Saudi Arabia) on the importation of livestock from Sudan and other countries in the Horn of Africa on account of Rift Valley fever.

Table 1. Sudan: Cereal production forecast for 2002/03 and estimates of 2001/02 (`000 tonnes)

State/Scheme
 
Sorghum
Millet
Wheat
Total
2002/03 production as % of 2001/02
2001/02
2002/03
2001/02
2002/03
2001/02
2002/03
2001/02
2002/03
 
Irrigated
                 
Northern
38
1
0
0
85
65
123
66
54
River Nile
320
98
0
0
77
90
397
188
47
Sennar
76
59
0
0
0
0
76
59
78
White Nile
68
49
0
0
8
4
76
53
70
Gezira
655
424
0
0
58
65
713
490
69
Rahad
154
74
0
0
0
0
154
74
48
Suki
43
40
0
0
0
0
43
40
93
New Halfa
64
40
0
0
15
3
79
43
54
Gash
24
43
0
0
0
0
24
43
179
Tokar
4
2
2
3
0
0
6
5
77
Kassala
6
11
0
0
0
0
6
11
190
Upper Nile
13
15
0
0
0
0
13
15
117
Sub total
1 465
856
2
3
243
228
1 710
1 087
64
Mechanised
                 
Kassala
144
81
0
0
0
0
144
81
56
Gedaref
368
390
12
5
0
0
380
396
104
Blue Nile
235
87
3
1
0
0
238
88
37
Sennar
277
46
3
2
0
0
280
48
17
White Nile
76
113
2
16
0
0
78
129
165
N.Kordofan
5
4
0
0
0
0
5
4
81
S.Kordofan
245
131
0
0
0
0
245
131
53
W.Kordofan
20
6
0
0
0
0
20
6
31
Upper Nile
50
80
0
0
0
0
50
80
160
Sub total
1 420
940
20
24
0
0
1 440
964
67
Traditional
                 
Gezira
97
47
0
0
0
0
97
47
48
Blue Nile
40
24
2
0
0
0
42
24
57
Sennar
37
16
6
6
0
0
43
22
51
White Nile
43
92
9
7
0
0
52
99
190
Kassala
7
3
0
0
0
0
7
3
43
River Nile
11
8
0
0
0
0
11
8
71
Red Sea
0
1
1
1
0
0
1
2
135
N.Kordofan
56
21
64
18
0
0
120
39
33
S.Kordofan
122
61
50
16
0
0
172
77
45
W.Kordofan
80
140
63
131
0
0
143
271
190
N.Darfur
8
7
66
79
0
0
74
86
117
S.Darfur
144
163
106
228
3
3
253
394
156
W.Darfur
328
105
191
105
1
1
520
210
40
South
505
315
0
0
0
0
505
315
62
Sub total
1 478
1 003
558
591
4
4
2 040
1 598
78
TOTAL*
4 363
2 800
580
618
247
232
5 358*
3 788*
71
* The cereal Grand total includes maize, mainly produced in southern Sudan and small amounts of rice.
Source: Ministry of Agriculture and Mission forecast.

Table 2. Sudan: Area, yield and production forecast by crop and region for 2002/03, compared with previous years

 
Harvested area (`000 ha)
Yield (t/ha)
Production ( 000 t)
Region
98/99
99/00
00/01
01/02
02/03
98/99
99/00
00/01
01/02
02/03
98/99
99/00
00/01
01/02
02/03
Sorghum
                             
Northern
64
107
58
171
70
1.45
1.74
2.14
2.16
1.51
93
186
146
369
106
Central
2 027
1 348
1 084
1 749
1 256
0.86
0.66
0.89
0.99
0.83
1 738
886
920
1 732
1 039
Eastern
2 377
1 355
1 431
1 407
1 429
0.78
0.34
0.50
0.49
0.42
1 860
456
734
687
605
Kordofan
627
813
1 003
1 046
1 026
0.65
0.32
0.17
0.50
0.36
406
261
196
528
365
Darfur
299
462
193
753
591
0.67
0.53
1.24
0.64
0.47
200
245
236
480
275
South
917
550
768
672
430
0.58
0.57
0.54
1.00
1.20
535
313
434
567
410
Sub-total
6 311
4 635
4 537
5 798
4 802
0.77
0.51
0.59
0.75
0.58
4 832
2 347
2 666
4 363
2 800
Millet
                     
     
Northern
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
Central
92
125
76
84
91
0.46
0.40
0.34
0.30
0.35
42
50
27
25
32
Eastern
19
35
34
32
23
0.68
0.40
0.44
0.47
0.39
13
14
16
15
9
Kordofan
1 061
1 079
775
1 146
863
0.13
0.11
0.14
0.15
0.19
140
123
123
177
166
Darfur
1 571
1 138
1 197
1 660
1 460
0.30
0.27
0.27
0.22
0.28
468
309
328
363
412
South
20
6
5
0
0
0.35
0.50
0.60
0
0
7
3
3
0
0
Sub-total
2 763
2 383
2 087
2 922
2 437
0.24
0.21
0.24
0.20
0.25
670
499
496
580
618
Wheat
                             
Northern
55
63
92
60
67
1.96
2.87
2.39
2.70
2.31
108
181
262
162
155
Central
55
19
31
38
37
0.65
1.21
1.71
1.74
1.89
36
23
51
66
70
Eastern
28
6
11
2
2
0.75
1.17
2.00
7.50
1.50
21
7
17
15
3
Kordofan
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
Darfur
3
3
4
3
3
1.00
1.00
1.00
1.33
1.33
3
3
4
4
4
South
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
Sub-total
141
91
138
103
109
1.19
2.35
2.42
2.40
2.13
168
214
334
247
232
TOTAL*
9 215
7 109
6 762
8 820
37 348
         
5 670
3 139
3 472
5 358
3 788
* Includes maize, mainly produced in southern Sudan, and small amounts of rice.
Source: Ministry of Agriculture and Mission forecast.

4. AGRICULTURAL SITUATION BY REGION

4.1 Northern Region (Northern and Nile)

The population of Northern Region, which comprises Northern and Nile States, is predominantly settled along the banks of the River Nile. Cereal production is mainly based on irrigation, with maize and sorghum being produced in the summer and wheat being grown during the winter months. Summer cereals are grown on pumped irrigation schemes along the Nile as well as on low-lying flood plains during the "demira" season (August to October). Sorghum in this region is produced mainly as a cash or fodder crop, the preferred staple being wheat. By virtue of its comparatively cool winters and its access to irrigation, Northern Region is the country's main wheat producer, with irrigation being provided by pumps. Large areas of broad bean and vegetables are also grown during the winter, and a significant amount of alfalfa is produced throughout the year.

This year, the level of the Nile during the summer cropping season was reported to be lower than it had been for about 100 years. Consequently the area of summer cropping was greatly reduced and winter cropping may be adversely affected too. In Northern State, for example, 18 000 hectares of sorghum and 16 000 hectares of maize were planned, but only 450 and 375 were realised.

Sowing of wheat started on 20 November in Northern State and a few days later in Nile State. Northern planned 60 000 hectares this year, and Nile planned 40 000, both figures representing an increase on last year. However, it would appear that, given this year's low water levels in both the Nile and the Atbara, these areas will not be achieved. This year, the latter half of November was warmer than in the previous two years, suggesting that the cool winter may be shorter than usual. If this is so, the crop may be subjected to unfavourably high temperatures at the time of flowering, with a consequent reduction in yield.

Total cereal production for the region in 2002/03 is expected to be about half that recorded for 2001/02. Most of this reduction is attributable to the poor figures for sorghum, production of which is down by more than 70 percent on last year.

The area under broad beans is smaller this year than last, largely as a result of difficulties in the timely procurement of credit. 30 000 hectares were planned, but by 15 November only 18 000 had been achieved. Further planting then ceased as crops planted after that date are progressively susceptible to attack by whitefly and thrips.

4.2 Central Region (Gezira, Sennar, Damazin, Blue Nile, White Nile)

Central Region is the most important grain-producing area of the country, with about half of its production coming from Gezira State. This year the region's total production is expected to be less than two-thirds of last year's, largely as a result of a significant reduction in the mechanised farming area and the area under irrigation. For instance, on the Gezira Scheme the area under irrigated sorghum was less than 60 percent of last year's area; some compensation, however, is expected with a slight increase in the area under wheat. In Sennar, mechanised sorghum production, which last year covered more than 450 000 hectares, accounted for only 170 000, a reduction of almost 65 percent. Effective rains did not start until mid-July in Sennar, Blue Nile and White Nile. This poor start to the season was compounded in Sennar by dry spells in September and in Blue Nile by early cessation of rainfall in October. In White Nile, however, the rains continued satisfactorily into October in many areas. In most of Gezira, effective rains started even later than elsewhere in the region, in August.

On the Gezira Scheme, more money has been invested this year in cleaning irrigation canals, with the result that water management has improved. With regard to sorghum, there was in increase in the use of improved varieties, which accounted for about 90 percent of the crop; fertilizer use was also fairly high (in contrast to some other schemes), with the result that yields, at about 2.4 tonnes per hectare, showed some improvement on last year. However, with the reduction in cropped area, production is forecast to be down to about 65 percent of last year's total.

Pasture condition is generally below average in the east of the region this year, but in White Nile it is good, reflecting the continuation of rains in that state into October. Likewise, livestock water supplies are better in the west of the region than they are in the east.

4.3 Eastern Region (Gedaref, Kassala, Red Sea)

Eastern Region includes one major irrigation scheme (New Halfa), one rather smaller one at Kassala, 45percent of another (Rahad), two spate irrigation schemes (Gash in Kassala State and Tokar in Red Sea State), and the largest rainfed mechanised farming area in the country.

The irrigated areas of summer crops at New Halfa, Kassala and Rahad were all smaller this year than last. At New Halfa there is expected to be a major reduction of the area under wheat (from 10 000 hectares in 2001/02 down to 2 000 hectares this year) as a result of the low levels of water in the Khashm el Girba dam on the Atbara River. In addition to wheat, about 2 500 hectares of sunflower are planned. The area under spate irrigation planted to sorghum at Tokar also shrank relative to last year, but there was a larger area planted to millet. Despite the satisfactory floods received at Tokar, the advance of the mesquite tree into cultivable areas imposes an increasing constraint on cropping. At Gash, however, the spate-irrigated area expanded as a result of a good first flush of the Gash River during August.

Fertilizer use was generally down on last year's levels, especially at New Halfa where it was estimated that less than half of last year's amount was applied. However, there appears to have been more widespread use of improved varieties and certified seed on the irrigation schemes.

The rainfed mechanised area under sorghum in Gedaref remained similar to that of last year, as did sorghum yields. Despite its very low average yield of just over 300 kg per hectare, Gedaref is one of the country's main sorghum-producing areas (superseded only by Gezira), and satisfactory production from there is nationally important. Grasshoppers were troublesome at Gedaref and Kassala, especially at the seedling and milky stages, despite an extensive (32 000 hectares) aerial spraying campaign to control them. The area under mechanised farming at Kassala increased this year, but sorghum yields, at about 450 kg per hectare, were substantially lower than last year.

In the north of the region, in Red Sea State, winter rains along the littoral have started, but these are notoriously unreliable and may, as has frequently been the case in recent years, be insufficient for satisfactory crop production. Further inland, the Red Sea Hills are an area of chronically low crop production, with only about one year in five producing a minimally acceptable crop. 2002 is the fourth consecutive year of poor rainfall, with a late start to the season and low total precipitation.

Total cereal production for Eastern Region this year is forecast at 86 percent of that for 2001/02, which, considering the generally poorer rainfall this year is very acceptable.

The condition of pasture in the region is poor to average. Hafir levels vary widely, with some quite full and others already dry.

4.4 Kordofan (North, South and West)

Agricultural production in North and West Kordofan is predominantly traditional, while South Kordofan's production is mainly from the rainfed mechanised sector. Production was very variable this year in Kordofan, with many southern areas (the extreme south and south-east of North Kordofan, much of South Kordofan, and the southern half of West Kordofan) having a relatively good agricultural season, though not always as good as last year. In the more favoured areas, there was a reasonably timely start to the rains, which often continued, with occasional but relatively harmless breaks, into October. Further north, however, the rains came late, only to be followed by prolonged dry spells in August and September. For example, Sodiri, in North Kordofan, reported only four light showers - one per month from June to September.

Security in South Kordofan has improved over the last twelve months, and this contributed to a slight increase in the area planted to sorghum in the mechanised sector, in spite of a shortage of tractors. This increased area was further supplemented by about 7 000 hectares which were cultivated for households by the National Petroleum Company on land that would normally be cultivated traditionally. However, the poorer rains of this year led to a higher proportion of sown land not being harvested (25 percent), lower yields, and substantially lower production than last year. Traditional crop production in the south of West Kordofan has done better this year with an expansion of area for sorghum and increased yields for both sorghum and millet. Although the northern part of the state was less fortunate with regard to rainfall, the state as a whole is expected to produce about 90 percent more grain than it did last year. Where there was a poor start to the rains, as in many parts of North Kordofan, farmers were obliged to replant frequently. With poor rainfall continuing throughout the season, many farmers in the worst-affected areas reported that they had harvested less than they had sown.

Grain prices are high in the drier parts of Kordofan, reflecting the poor production year in those areas. In North Kordofan, sorghum and millet were selling for up to 4 500 SD and 6 500 SD respectively per 90 kg bag during November. There has been a very large increase in the area under watermelon this year in Kordofan, especially in the north, and the crop has not been struck, as it was last year, by the watermelon bug. Watermelon planting density is usually very low, with average productivity between 1 000 and 2 000 fruits per hectare. Apart from its financial benefits, the plant is a useful survival crop providing clean water for human consumption and fodder for livestock. The area of karkadi is said to have increased. Sesame and groundnut yielded well on some of the lighter soils of South Kordofan where rainfall was adequate, and an increase in traditional area planted to sesame was reported.

Pasture condition reflects the differences in rainfall over the region, ranging from very good in the south to very poor in the north, where pastoralists have started to migrate earlier than usual and to sell more stock than they would normally sell at this time of the year.

4.5 Darfur (North, South and West)

Agriculture in all three states of Darfur is overwhelmingly in the traditional sector. Like Kordofan, Darfur this year has seen marked differences in production, with some limited areas, such as the south of South Darfur, recording their best results since 1985 with excellen tyields of millet, sorghum and groundnuts. Elsewhere, however, production was often very low, and in many places, such as in some of the northern parts of South Darfur, partial crop failure was widely reported.

In North Darfur there was a sporadic start to the rains, but many areas received higher total rainfall than they did in 2001. Much of the state experienced a dry spell during August, with some parts experiencing excessively drying winds which burnt up seedlings, but rains resumed and continued in many places into October. In the north of South Darfur, effective rainfall did not start until July, and this was followed by a dry spell in August. In contrast, the south of the state received its first rains in May and rainfall then continued with good distribution until October. Total seasonal rainfall of up to 750 mm was reported at some stations in this area. A similar but less pronounced pattern was evident in West Darfur where rains arrived slightly late in the north but were more timely in the south. Dry spells in August and September set crop production back in the north of the state. In general, areas harvested this year were similar to those of last year, with South Darfur even showing a slight increase. Of the other two states, West Darfur exhibited the larger reduction in area harvested compared with last year.

In those parts of the region where rainfall was poor, farmers frequently had to replant and then harvested only part of what they had sown. For instance, in North Darfur it was estimated that only 52 percent of the land sown to sorghum and 56 percent of the land sown to millet was harvested. Nevertheless, as a reflection of this year's rainfall variability, there were some areas in North Darfur, such as Kabkabiya province, where production was good. Agricultural production is constrained by continuing conflict in the highly productive Jebel Mara area. As in Kordofan, there has been a very substantial increase in the area under watermelon this year, especially in North Darfur. Where rainfall was moderate to good, especially on the lighter soils, groundnuts did well.

Livestock condition is generally good throughout the region, but there is wide variation in the state of pasture. In those areas where rainfall continued into October it is better than usual, but in other areas where the rains stopped early it had already been grazed down by the end of November. Water for livestock shows a similar pattern, ranging from very adequate provision in the more favoured areas to almost dry wells in those areas that received poor rains.

4.6 Southern Sudan

Southern Sudan, with an area of 640 000 km2 and a population of 6.5 million people, has been in a state of continuous conflict since 1983. Its diverse resources traditionally support agro-pastoralist systems which include farming, livestock production, fishing, hunting, gathering, charcoal-making and trading in various commodities, according to location-specific agro-ecology and household demographics. Over the past twenty years, such complex systems have been seriously disrupted as a result of the major conflicts associated with the civil war. Conscription for the armed forces, terror and scorched-earth tactics, looting, cattle-raiding, inter-factional and inter-tribal clashes and the unconstrained actions of marauding groups has further exacerbated the situation. As a result, the integrity of the region has been shattered. The outcome is a series of Government-controlled townships with a limited hegemony, accessible for the most part only by air or by protected river and rail convoys located in a matrix of rebel-held countryside.

Administratively, three distinct zones exist, encompassing GOS-, SPLA- and SSLA-held areas. Positive developments emanating from the temporarily stalled Machakos peace talks, such as the 15th October Memorandum of Understanding, bode well for a continuing cease-fire between the GOS and rebel protagonists. These have already led to the emergence of an agreement on 25 October 2002 (Nairobi) between GOS, SPLM/A and UN/OLS, on procedures to allow opportunities for coordination and improved understanding of activities.

Despite these positive developments, the overall socio-economic situation remains as described in previous years, with most communities depending on humanitarian aid for food security. The virtual absence of safe communications outside the GOS townships restricts large-scale commercial interchange between agro-ecological zones. Whereas the Sudanese Dinar is the currency in the GOS towns, a range of currencies pertain elsewhere, with exchange rates seemingly unconnected to other realities. Nevertheless, trade routes fostered by some road improvement may be discerned between a) Uganda-Western Equatoria and Lakes; b) Northern Bahr el Ghazal and the north of Sudan; and c) Jonglei -Upper Nile and Ethiopia. However, with the exception of Farmers' Associations in Western Equatoria, the bulk of transactions along these routes are opportunistic, and individual actions are easily disrupted by insecurity and lawlessness.

The agro-ecology of the south provides a growing season varying from 130-150 days per annum in the north to 280-300 days in the south-west. Consequently, agricultural performance varies considerably from place to place and from year to year, ranging from the regular possibility of at least two consecutive harvests from the same area in the so-called "Green Belt" located from Tambura to Yei, to crop failures in the marginal areas of Eastern Equatoria and Bahr el Ghazal.

Agricultural production is, for the most, part based on some 900 000 small, hand-cultivated units presently farmed by women-headed households belonging to larger family aggregations reflecting the polygamous nature of most communities. In the southern sector, animal traction is presently being re-introduced on a small-scale by FAO and a new generation of NGO-based extension agents in Lakes and Bahr el Ghazal and is making some headway. Large-scale tractorized farming is restricted to areas close to GOS-held towns. However, it is only in the Upper Nile State district of Renk that tractor-farming is conducted at a level equivalent to the commercial farms of South Kordofan, Gedaref, Kassala and Sim-Sim. This reflects the better security for investment in Renk and a better and constant access to inputs and markets. Regarding cereals, in all smallholder systems farmers grow a wide range of sorghum landraces with minor crops of maize, pearl millet, finger millet and rice according to location. Other crops grown include, in the northern sector of Operation Lifeline Sudan (OLS), groundnuts which make a significant contribution to the household food economy, beans, sesame, pumpkins and tobacco. In the south and central areas, cassava is the most important non-cereal crop, providing half or more of the carbohydrate ration. Minor crops of sweet potatoes, yams, rice, coffee, mangoes, papayas and teak are also grown for home and some localized commercial use. As a result of such variations and variable access to wild foods and animal products, according to WFP food economy estimates, annual cereal use of the farming population ranges from 60 kg to 110 kg per caput per annum according to location.

4.6.1 Cereal production, 2002

The disruption of the civil war has led, over the past 20 years, to a complete breakdown of the official gathering of agriculture statistics in all but limited areas surrounding GOS towns. Even here, the lack of equipment, simple materials and transport, compounded by insecurity and land access difficulties, undermines any intention of serious information collection. In the rebel-held areas, SRRA and RASS district offices are equally without the most basic supplies, precluding any reliable information gathering and analysis. Further, at field level, the volunteer workers lack the practical numeracy and experience necessary for objective assessment. Information gathering is, therefore, based on verbal exchanges between farmers and MOA staff in GOS areas, and SRRA-RASS agricultural extension agents and farmers elsewhere.

Against this background, the Mission visited a total of seventeen locations, conducted more than 50 case studies/key informant interviews. Aerial observations from altitudes of less than 2 000 feet were possible during the Mission's movement from location to location. This added a new dimension to the assessment, placing case studies of single farms into the general context of the areas concerned. Such activities enabled the Mission to obtain an independent picture of the agricultural production this year.

Cereal production this year from the traditional sector is expected to be some 20 percent lower than last year's comparatively good harvest and slightly lower than the average for the past 4 years. This is mostly due to the reduced quantity and unhelpful distribution of rainfall in Bahr el Ghazal and Upper Nile. The failure of the rice harvest in Aweil and reduced production of rice in Wau is a severe setback to the communities involved, and demonstrates the vulnerability of the systems practised, despite the close proximity of rivers and streams.

Preliminary estimates indicate a mixed cereal harvest of 422 000 tonnes of which some 75 percent is sorghum. The earlier Table 4 provides a breakdown of production by locality based on disaggregated population statistics adjusted by this year's factors for area and yield. Table 6 presents the time series of area and production over the past 5 years. It shows that production is less than the estimated average.

4.6.2 Area estimates

Given the data situation noted above, Mission area estimates have, for the last four years, been compiled from Mission-audited State Ministry returns for the Northern sector, added to Southern sector area estimates calculated from best-bet estimates of numbers of households farming, multiplied by estimated area farmed per household, adjusted for seasonal changes in areas cropped to cereals, as observed by or reported to the Mission teams. This year's estimates are again based on the same system. Population estimates used are from UNICEF's Multi-indicator Cluster Survey (MICS), Southern sector, supplemented by State MOA information from Juba, Renk, Bentiu, Raja, Aweil and Wau and adjusted by UNFPA regional population increases for 2002/2003.

Table 3 indicates the first stages of the calculation resulting in total population and total households by location. Household totals have been estimated using the Southern sector norm of 6 persons per household unit (defined as a group of people eating together and living under the same roof).

Table 3. Population and Household Estimates in Southern Sudan, 2002/03

Region/State/County
GOS
South Sector
MICS
Total
2001/02
Total
2002/03
Total Households (HH)
2002/03
UPPER NILE
723 000
789 518
1 512 518
1 526 584
254 431
Upper Nile
603 000
445 503
1 048 503
1 058 254
176 376
Unity
120 000
100 000
220 000
222 046
37 008
Jonglei
 
244 015
244 015
246 284
41 047
BAHR EL GHAZAL
202 000
2 728 000
2 930 000
2 999 378
499 896
Aweil town
22 000
0
22 000
22 521
3 754
Aweil East
 
419 000
419 000
428 930
71 488
Aweil West
 
494 000
494 000
505 708
84 285
Twic/Abyei
 
283 000
283 000
289 707
48 285
Warab (Gogrial)
 
382 000
382 000
391 053
65 176
Warab (Tong)
 
307 000
307 000
314 276
52 379
North sub-total
22 000
1 885 000
1 907 000
1 952 196
325 366
Wau town
120 000
 
120 000
122 844
20 474
Wau
30 000
215 000
245 000
250 807
41 801
Raja
30 000
 
30 000
30 711
5 119
West sub-total
180 000
215 000
395 000
404 362
67 394
Rumbeck
 
426 000
426 000
436 054
72 676
Yirol
 
202 000
202 000
206 767
34 461
Lakes sub-total
0
628 000
628 000
642 821
107 137
EQUATORIA
360 000
1 592 809
1 952 809
1 973 909
328 985
Juba
360 000
 
360 000
363 960
60 660
Yei; Kajo-Keji
 
509 809
509 809
515 417
85 903
Bahr-el-Jebel sub-total
360 000
509 809
869 809
879 377
146 563
Kapoeta
 
100 000
100 000
101 100
16 850
Torit
 
200 000
200 000
202 200
33 700
East Equatoria sub-total
0
300 000
300 000
303 300
50 550
Tambura
         
Yambio
         
Maridi
         
Mundri
         
West Equatoria sub-total
0
783 000
783 000
791 232
131 872
TOTAL
1 285 000
5 110 327
6 395 327
6 499 872
1 083 312
Source: MICS - Multi-indicator Cluster Survey and Government of Sudan
UNFPA population growth rates: Upper Nile 0.93percent, Bar el Ghazal 2.37percent, Equatoria 1.01percent. Based on 6 members per unit household.

The second stage of the calculation resulting in cereal area, which is considered to be 70 percent sorghum is shown in Table 4, is calculated based on Mission and local estimates (MOA, SRRA) of the percentage of households actually farming and are farmed by households in the areas visited or observed during aerial transects.

Table 4. Cereal Area and Production Estimates in Southern Sudan in 2002/03

Region/State/County
Total HH
% of
Average
Yield
Area
Production
 
2002/03
farmers
ha/HH
(t/ha)
(`000 ha)
(`000 tonnes)
UPPER NILE
254 431
     
132.83
73
Upper Nile MICS
74 941
80
0.70
0.50
42
21
Upper Nile GOS
101 435
65
0.70
0.44
46
20
Unity GOS
20 186
20
0.70
0.66
3
2
Unity MICS
16 822
90
0.70
0.60
11
6
Jonglei
41 047
90
0.85
0.75
31
24
BAHR EL GHAZAL
499 896
     
312
162
Aweil town
3 754
10
0.40
0.33
<1
<1
Aweil East
71 488
95
0.66
0.32
45
14
Aweil West
84 285
90
0.66
0.22
50
11
Twic/Abyei
48 285
95
0.66
0.50
30
15
Warab (Gogrial)
65 176
95
0.70
0.44
43
19
Warab (Tong)
52 379
95
0.80
0.60
40
24
North sub-total
325 366
     
208
83
Wau town
20 474
20
0.60
0.40
2
1
Wau
41 801
95
0.70
0.75
28
21
Raja
5 119
40
0.60
0.75
1
1
West sub total
67 394
     
31
23
Rumbeck
72 676
80
0.80
0.75
47
35
Yirol
34 461
95
0.80
0.80
26
21
Lakes sub-total
107 137
     
73
56
EQUATORIA
328 985
     
186
187
Juba
60 660
35
0.80
0.60
17
10
Yei; Kajo-Keji
85 903
80
0.80
0.90
55
49
Bahr el Jebel sub-total
146 563
     
72
60
Kapoeta
16 850
50
0.40
0.20
3
1
Torit
33 700
50
0.60
0.60
10
6
East Equatoria sub-total
50 550
     
13
7
Tambura
           
Yambio
           
Maridi
           
Mundri
           
West Equatoria sub-total
131 872
76
1.00
1.20
100
120
TOTAL
1 083 312
     
631
422

Despite a poor start to the season, farmed area in Bahr el Ghazal increased. Cereal area per household was higher this year as farmers took advantage of improved access to agricultural land that a drier season afforded. The situation was similar in Jonglei, where there was much less water-logging of the heavy clay soils than there was last year. By contrast in Kapoeta, Torit, Lafon, Gumbo and Juba, various forms of insecurity have reduced the number of farmers harvesting and area farmed, as the mission was unable to visit these areas, a conservative estimation of area farmed has been included this year as reports indicate that farmers abandoned farms, when the hostilities increased in the middle of the season. Further, the larger farms in West Equatoria were reported to have cut back on area planted, due to disappointing marketing opportunities for their surpluses.

In Raja, in contrast to the major conflict during the growing season of 2001, the stability encouraged the return of some 30 000 people to the town. It is estimated that 40 percent of these have resumed farming. Therefore, the area cultivated in Western Bahr el Ghazal is greater this year than last year's estimate.

The Southern sector's cereal area is therefore estimated to be 622 000 ha this year. This is some 6 percent below last year's estimate of 658 000, due mainly to a 30 000 ha reduction in Bahr el Jebel.

4.6.3 Rainfall

Annual rainfall usually increases from north to south and from east to west ranging from less than 300 mm in the dry lands of Eastern Equatoria to 1 800 mm in the Green Belt of West Equatoria. During 2002, the basic pattern was adhered to but false starts and breaks in precipitation for periods from 7 to 21 days are noted during June and, less frequently, in July. Generally, more regular rainfall is noted in August and September, with the rains continuing into October in all three Regions.

At the same time, the quantity of precipitation has been much less than the heavy rains reported last year, and in Aweil and Upper Nile State in particular, precipitation was way below the long-term average. Table 5 shows rainfall data as collected by the Mission from rain gauges located in both the South and North sectors.

Table 5. Rainfall, 2002. mm per Month in Southern Sudan

Location
Mar
Apr
May
June
July
Aug
Sept.
Oct.
Total
Qualitative Comments
Aweil (Town-GOS)
70
6
53
112
123
87
77
N/A
528
Very poor
Wau-GOS
47
25
73
174
126
188
156
N/A
789
Below average
Rumbek-FAO
0
92
121
286
139
143
81
N/A
862
Below average
Pochalla-WR
47
66
56
61
125
66
36
119
576
Poor
Malakal-MOA
0
1
52
32
137
104
74
174
574
Very poor
Bentiu-GAA
N/A
16
35
29
187
162
93
N/A
522
Average
WR = World Relief. GAA = German Agro-Action. MOA= State Ministry of Agriculture

The semi-arid nature of the regions north of the Green Belt, is also reflected in the highly variable nature of precipitation within limited geographical areas. The general effects of this year's low and poorly-distributed rains were:

4.6.4 Inputs

Traditional sector

The traditional sector depends predominantly on family labour and hand power. As such, farm sizes are limited to the area of land the farm families can clear, cultivate and weed with the ubiquitous flat-bladed long-handled hoe, the maloda. There is no use of fertilizers, pesticides or herbicides and there remains a firm reliance on local landraces, either farm-produced and carried over from one year to the next, supplied by kinship connections, or purchased in local markets. This year, in the Southern sector of OLS, such redistributions were eased in long-standing IDP areas through FAO-supported, NGO-implemented, seed distribution linking minor surpluses to family demands. This would seem to have been a very useful tactic in areas where re-planting was needed. Seed distribution through FAO, to farmers in the Northern sector of OLS, was on time and accounted for the supply of 249 tonnes of maize and sorghum, 21 tonnes of rice and 6.5 tonnes of vegetable seeds, 124 tonnes of groundnut seeds, 96 tonnes of maize, 228 tonnes of sorghum, 21 tonnes of rice and 40 000 cassava cuttings and sweet potato vines to a total of 45 235 households in Wau, Aweil, Raga, Juba, Torit, Upper Nile, Jonglei and south and west Kordofan.. Limited amounts of sorghum seed were distributed in similar towns by the MOA (GOS). FAO (northern sector) supplied the sorghum varieties Wad Ahmed and Godam el Hamam which were noted to be doing particularly well at the time of the Mission in Raga. This year relatively unsuccessful performance of early-season sorghum and maize suggests that some seed will be in short supply next year. Similarly, there will be little rice seed available for local re-distribution in Wau and none whatsoever in Aweil. Further, if the peace process continues at the present rate it is expected that many IDPs currently in North Sudan will return home, and it is highly unlikely that the supply of local seed will be adequate to meet the demands for planting material for the substantially increased farming population.

Seed distribution through FAO and its partners, to farmers in the Southern sector of OLS, was on time and accounted for the supply of one tonne of vegetable seeds, about 188 tonnes of sorghum seeds, 144 tonnes of groundnuts, 26 tonnes of cowpeas, 28 tonnes of maize, 20 tonnes of sesame, 12 tonnes of rice for a total of 73 375 households in Wau, Bor, Rumbek, Aweil East, Tonj, Phou, Abyei, Shiluk, Rubkoana counties as well as in the Nuba mountains. About 95 percent of the seeds distributed were locally purchased (and tested through the FAO seed laboratory), thus enhancing local grain marketing capacities. Accordingly, the total amount of seeds distributed by all humanitarian agencies is estimated at about 1 500 tonnes.

Hand tools generally used throughout the south are the locally fashioned `Maloda' and imported `Jembe' (African hoe). IDPs are still being supplied with regular issues of such tools. This year, FAO alone furnished 97 600 assorted items in the northern sector of OLS. In the southern sector, NGOs provided steel, augmented by locally-found scrap, to produce locally-crafted items for sale through the regular markets. Items from Uganda brought by traders travelling north to the main centres, when conditions allowed, were also available for purchase in limited quantities. Next year, any large-scale movement of IDPs back to farming will create a demand for tools which is unlikely to be accommodated by current programmes. It is also difficult to conceive of local market forces being able to encourage large-scale trading from neighbouring centres, given the probable impecunious circumstances of returnees. Therefore, if peace prevails, large numbers of tools will be needed to re-establish family farming activities amongst the returning groups.

For the Southern sector of OLS, FAO and its partners, provided 75 896 pieces of assorted farming hand-tools for the same number of households mostly located within the areas targeted for the seed distributions except for Wau, Tonj and Rubkona counties.

Mechanised sector

This year, seed provision was adequate from carryover and locally purchased stocks of `Agono'. FAO-supported testing of Red Ferita produced positive results despite poor rains, with yields of 900 kg per hectare.

Regarding other inputs, few commercial farmers dressed seed this year, apparently because of a lack of availability of the chemical on the local market. The tractor force in Malakal was again drastically reduced to 4 tractors this year, compared to 8 in 2001 and 19 in 2000. Credit was only offered to two farmers, due to poor debt repayment, and with fuel at 500 SD per gallon coupled with tractor rents of 1000 SD per feddan (2 passes), only 6 000 feddans (2450 ha) have been sown. Due to delays in obtaining the limited tractor services, much of this area has been sown late and in many cases only one pass (discs with seed box) has been used. Consequently, yields, still contingent on more rain, are not expected to be more than 400 kg per hectare and may well be less.

4.6.5 Pest and diseases

No migratory pests were noted or reported this year. Common non-migratory pests reported include: birds, rodents, millipedes, foxes, monkeys, grasshoppers, termites, stem-borer, and stainer-bugs. Striga was a major concern in GOS areas and is increasing in the South sector in locations where shifting cultivation seems to have been abandoned for the benefits of settled societies. Weeding, probably once, twice and even three times, was conducted throughout the traditional sector to get the best possible crops from the poorer conditions. Long-cycle sorghum crops, particularly in the East are still vulnerable to the Quelea quelea migrations. No possibility of aerial or ground spraying of nesting sites in the eastern areas of Upper Nile State border means that the vulnerability, so clearly demonstrated in 1998/99, still pertains.

Regarding plant diseases, the major problems remain the same as last year and include rosette virus and leaf spot (Cercospora personata) of groundnuts and mosaic virus of cassava.

4.6.6 Security

Insecurity persists in the South sector this year due to front-line activities, the general breakdown of law and order that allows marauding bands of horsemen to wreak havoc at will. Tribal clashes and cattle raiding also continue to create high levels of uncertainty, reduce the likelihood of agricultural expansion in both the mechanized and the traditional sectors. This year, frontline activities increased in Bahr el Jebel and East Equatoria causing a major displacement of communities and an estimated reduction in harvested area. Militia activities in the strategic areas (oil) in Unity State and movements of the Militia and the Murahaleen disrupted agricultural operations in Bahr el Ghazal Region. Cattle raiding with associated reprisals have discouraged farmers from planting fields far from the homesteads in Upper Nile and Jonglei.

In the North sector, farming communities located around the GOS-held towns are all in the front line. Opportunities for expansion of agricultural operations are limited, and access to grazing and water for livestock is restricted. Water supply for livestock is a major cause for concern this year in Aweil, where the communities suggest they may have to slaughter stock unless a solution is found to allow access to water and pasture.

Table 6. Trends in Traditional Cereal Production in Southern Sudan by State, 1998-2002

Region
1998
1999
2000
2001
2002
 
Area
(`000 ha)
Prod.
(`000 t)
Area
(`000 ha)
Prod.
(`000 t)
Area
(`000 ha)
Prod.
( 000 t)
Area
(`000 ha)
Prod.
(`000 t)
Area
(`000 ha)
Prod.
(`000 t)
Upper Nile
133
85
120
83
127
91
111
92
132
73
Upper Nile
52
41
34
23
44
33
47
41
*88
41
Unity
40
17
21
14
40
34
40
32
*13
8
Jonglei
41
27
65
46
43
24
24
19
31
24
Bahr el Ghazal
94
70
158
112
273
168
286
195
312
162
North
22
15
34
23
127
68
180
109
208
83
West
30
22
29
22
70
46
26
21
31
23
Lakes**
42
33
**95
67
**76
54
80
65
73
56
Equatoria
194
166
190
175
250
218
261
242
185
187
Bahr el Jebel
39
28
24
15
91
68
102
87
72
60
East
55
39
45
37
45
17
45
22
13
7
West
100
99
121
123
114
133
114
133
100
120
TOTAL
421
321
468
370
650
477
658
528
629
422
* Population data adjustment between the 3 states.
** Warrab district is included in Lakes in 1999 and 2000.

4.6.7 Other crops

The agriculture potential of southern Sudan is high. A wide range of field crops other than cereals, including vegetables and tree crops may be grown successfully in all states. Presently, small quantities of oil seeds, tobacco and, less regularly, cotton, are grown in the traditional sector for household consumption and for occasional sales of small surpluses in local markets. Two other crops, groundnuts and cassava are grown in quantity. Householders in Bahr el Ghazal grow groundnuts as both a shorter-cycle, later alternative to sorghum and as a supplementary food crop. They are usually planted separately in the northern locations, in weed-free units of some hundreds of square metres, depending on family labour availability. With the emergence of animal traction, a few entrepreneurs are now growing groundnuts for sale or, apparently, for traditional food security support mechanisms. In Lakes, groundnuts are inter-cropped with cassava, sesame and sorghum, as well as in small mono-crop plots. Cassava provides a family food security safety net throughout the Green Belt, Lakes and Western Bahr el Ghazal and is also traded in local markets in the form of tubers, dried cassava chips and cassava flour. The cassava area varies from location to location. In Rumbek, the crop is planted around plots and along household boundaries. In Wau and Raga, cassava is planted as a single culture at centres ranging from 1.0 to 1.5 m apart, as well as being inter-cropped with sorghum and sesame at a much wider spacing. In Western Equatoria, cassava is intercropped with a wide range of cereals, sesame, groundnuts and beans. It is also planted at the end of a shifting rotation. Digging of tubers takes place after two years. Yields of 5 to 7 kg per plant are expected this year in Wau (FAO), suggesting a fresh weight harvest of 15-25 tonnes per hectare.

The mechanized sector incorporates large-scale sesame and guar production in Renk. Both oilseeds are sold, as is the sorghum, through Kosti to traders in the North.

4.6.8 Livestock

With 8 million head of cattle and 8 million head of small ruminants estimated to be kept in south Sudan (OLS), the contribution of animals to household food economies is considerable. If evenly distributed, this would suggest holdings of 16 head per household. Under current methods of husbandry and terms of trade, family holdings of 15 head of cows or 40 head of ewes or does are required for pastoralist- based food security. Therefore, by extrapolation, 16 head of mixed stock per household provides a substantial contribution to the food economy in most areas. However, the animals are not distributed evenly, holdings ranging from hundreds of head per family to zero. Nevertheless, in all places except Western Equatoria, more than 75 percent of families have their own livestock.

Numbers of livestock are similar this year to last. Cattle raiding may have altered local distribution patterns in Jonglei, Upper Nile, East Equatoria and Bahr el Jebel, but no migration out of the country, except for normal transhumance and movement of slaughter stock, were reported. Animal body condition is good this year, and the disease profile is lower than last year with no major outbreaks of diseases. The Rinderpest Campaign appears to have been successful to the extent that vaccination is no longer carried out, except in a few areas in Jonglei and Eastern Equatoria. A rinderpest surveillance system has been introduced to monitor progress. Vaccination for other endemic diseases continues on a cost-recovery basis through the Community Animal Health workers. Unfortunately, no production data relating to birth patterns, birth indices, birth percentages or mortalities exist for GOS or SRRA territories. Mission case studies suggest that this year they conform to the annual norms. Pasture is presently in plentiful supply except where access is restricted by the frontlines (around GOS-held towns) and by raiding threats.

Lack of water supply due to poorer rainfall, is already cause for concern in Aweil and Malakal and is likely to get worse as the dry season progresses.

4.6.9 Food availability in southern Sudan

The poorer performance of cereals is reflected in cereal deficits predicted in Upper Nile State, Unity State, North and West Bahr el Ghazal, Bahr el Jebel, Kapoeta and Torit. Only in Jonglei, Lakes (Yirol) and Western Equatoria are measurable surpluses expected. This creates an overall deficit of 138 000 tonnes, which if the probably unmarketable surpluses in Western Equatoria are excluded from the balance, suggests that some 158,000 tonnes will need to be provided as food aid. The reduced food security in Bahr el Ghazal, Upper Nile and Bahr el Jebel suggests that food-aid deliveries will also be required earlier this year to account for the reduced production of the long-term landraces in those areas. This situation also presumes that other aspects of the annual food economy (livestock, fisheries, wild fruits etc) will operate as normal in the communities outside the GOS towns as indicated by estimated cereal use based on the standard WFP food economy contributions of cereals.

Table 7 provides a disaggregated summary of Mission estimates of production matched against the traditional demand. The overall deficit does not take into consideration wheat imports to GOS-held towns or any contribution from the mechanized sector in Malakal or Renk. Further, requirement calculations are based on the same population estimates used to estimate production. Any increase in population in the deficit areas would increase the requirement of food aid.

Table 7. Southern Sudan - Traditional Sector Cereal Balances by State in 2003

Region/State/
County
Population
2003
Gross production
(`000 tonnes)
Net production
(`000 tonnes)
Use
(kg/yr)
Consumption
(`000 tonnes)
Surplus / Deficit
(`000 tonnes)
UPPER NILE
1 526 584
73
65
 
106
-42
Upper Nile MICS
449 646
21
19
60
27
-8
Upper Nile GOS
608 608
20
18
80
49
-31
Unity GOS
121 116
2
2
80
10
-8
Unity MICS
100 930
6
6
60
6
-0.5
Jonglei
246 284
24
21
60
15
6
BAHR EL GHAZAL
2 999 378
162
143
 
225
-82
Aweil town
22 521
<1
<1
140
3
-3
Aweil East
428 930
14
12
73
31
-19
Aweil West
505 708
11
9
73
37
-28
Twic/Abyei
289 707
15
13
73
21
-8
Warab (Gogrial)
391 053
19
17
73
29
-12
Warab (Tong)
314 276
24
21
73
23
-2
North sub-total
1 952 196
83
73
 
144
-71
Wau town
122 844
1
1
100
12
-11
Wau
250 807
21
18
73
18
0.2
Raja
30 711
1
1
100
3
-2
West sub-total
404 362
23
20
 
34
-14
Rumbeck
436 054
35
31
73
32
-0.9
Yirol
206 767
21
19
73
15
4
Lakes sub-total
642 821
56
50
 
47
3
EQUATORIA
1 973 909
187
166
 
182
-15
Juba
363 960
10
9
80
29
-20
Yei; Kajo-Keji
515 417
49
44
80
41
3
Bahr el Jebel sub-total
879 377
60
53
 
70
-17
Kapoeta
101 100
1
1
80
8
-7
Torit
202 200
6
5
80
16
-11
East Equatoria sub-total
303 300
7
6
 
24
-18
Tambura
           
Yambio
           
Maridi
           
Mundri
           
West Equatoria sub-total
791 232
120
107
110
87
20
TOTAL
6 499 872
422
374
 
512
-139

5. EMERGENCY SUPPORT MEASURES TO HOUSEHOLD FOOD SECURITY

There is an urgent need for the early purchase, testing, storage and transport of local seeds (sorghum, millet, groundnuts, maize and rice), for distribution to needy farmers, IDPs and returnees, in time for the next main cropping season, that starts in April/May 2003 in the South and in June/July 2003 in the North.

The FAO Emergency Coordination Units in Khartoum and Nairobi estimated that some 425 750 households
(representing 2.55 million people) will require livelihood sustaining and emergency household food security support measures. Seed requirements for the 2003-cropping season have been estimated at 4 541
tonnes of various crop seeds1 (sorghum, maize, millet, rice, groundnuts, cowpeas), 10 940 kg of various vegetable seeds
2 (tomato, pumpkin, watermelon, jewsmellow, okra, onion, etc.), and 501 100 sets3 of basic farming hand tools (malodas, rakes, sickles, hoes, axes, pangas, etc.).

In addition, the provision of basic fishing inputs will also contribute to making cheap animal proteins available to the most destitute households. The FAO Emergency Coordination Units estimated that 490 300 sets1 of fishing tools will be required for household food security in support of the people's

6. FOOD SUPPLY SITUATION

6.1 Current market situation

Figure 1 indicates the price of sorghum in Gedaref (a major cereals market in the country) over a three-year period (1999-2002). Average monthly prices in 2002 are shown to be lower than in the previous year reflecting the good harvest of the previous year. However, there are significant variations in price levels between different markets, where traditionally deficit areas (Red Sea State and North Darfur) show relatively higher price levels than the surplus areas (Gedaref and Gezira). This is broadly consistent with expected transportation costs to move supplies from surplus to deficit areas.

However, the large variation in prices over the three years masks a general price rise in the current marketing year. A gentle rise in cereal prices is discernible from May/June for most markets, reflecting declining levels of supply to the market. Price levels begin to fall mildly from September/October, with the expectation of increased market supply from the new harvest.


One important exception to the price trends is Red Sea State (Figure 3), where cereal prices have shown a consistent decline during the current season, albeit at relatively higher levels than in other states. The cause of the downward trend appears to be the influence of cereal supply by relief agencies on local market conditions.

The trend of sorghum prices is in marked contrast to that of livestock prices, which shows an upward trend and effectively translates into improved terms of trade for livestock owners (see Figure 2 which shows convergence of grain and livestock prices at Nyala and Port Sudan). In some areas, such as Butana, this is a reflection of the fact that livestock numbers have declined as a result of poor pasture conditions in recent years. In such cases, the improvement in terms of trade does not translate into increased food security for the whole of the local pastoralist community, since viable livestock holdings are now concentrated in fewer hands. Elsewhere the improved terms of trade in favour of livestock can be attributed to the lifting of the ban on imports of livestock from Sudan to the Gulf countries.

In southern Sudan cereal prices broadly reflect the poor supply that is exacerbated by civil strife. This is especially the case in Wau where sorghum prices of 13 000 SD per 90 kg sack in October were higher than they had been six months earlier. This is far above the levels recorded last year in Wau (5 500 SD), and the highest price recorded last year (7 200 SD) in Juba.

The Mission to the south also noted that prices tend to reflect food releases to the garrisons or food aid arrivals. An important exception to the above is in Malakal, where the Mission found that prices had been remarkably stable at about 4 000 SD per sack throughout the year despite anticipated poor harvest. The explanation for this has been the regular supply by barges in the course of the year.

6.2 Cereal supply/demand balance for 2002/03

Table 8 shows the cereal balance for Sudan computed on the basis of the following assumptions:

Table 8. Sudan: Cereal Balance Sheet for 2002/03 (`000 tonnes)

 
Total cereals
Rice
Sorghum
Millet
Wheat
Other
Availability
4 203
31
3107
623
307
135
Opening stocks
415
0
307
5
75
28
Production
3 788
31
2 800
618
232
107
Utilisation
5 487
51
3107
623
1 571
135
Food
4 590
46
2482
495
1 492
75
Feed
417
0
327
50
0
40
Seed
108
3
53
20
17
15
Losses
195
2
145
31
12
5
Closing stocks
177
0
100
27
50
0
Import Requirement
1 284
20
0
0
1 264
0
Commercial import capacity
1 054
20
0
0
1034
0
Uncovered deficit
230
0
0
0
230
0

Total utilization of cereals for the year is estimated to be nearly 5.5 million tonnes against availability of 4.2 million tonnes, leaving import requirement of nearly 1.3 million tonnes. With total commercial imports forecast at about 1.05 million tonnes, the uncovered gap is estimated at 230 000 tonnes.

Several areas in southern Sudan are expected to experience cereal deficits, largely due to population displacements associated with insecurity. Moreover, stocks of cereals in the surplus regions will be largely unavailable to the deficit areas due to poor transport infrastructure and insecurity. Furthermore, some parts of western Sudan and of Red Sea State have suffered crop failure as a result of erratic rainfall. In some cases this represents the third or fourth consecutive year of poor harvest. Higher cereal prices are characteristic of such areas, with the highest prices currently prevailing in Red Sea State.

More generally, even within surplus states, the Mission anticipates constraints to economic access for some vulnerable groups due to low purchasing power. Food assistance will be necessary for these groups. In view of food deficits in some regions co-existing with surpluses in others, the Mission recommends where feasible, local purchases of cereals to meet the food assistance needs and to support local production.

6.3 Nutrition Situation

Malnutrition rates across the country have increased significantly since 1999, from 10-15 percent in most states to 15-30 percent with a national average of 19 percent. In 2002, unprecedented high and constant malnutrition rates were evident countrywide and remained high throughout the year, more so in conflict areas. The worse off areas are Unity/Leer State, Upper Nile, Jonglei (old Fanjak and Sobat) were global acute malnutrition range from 22 percent to 39.9 percent. In Red Sea up to 29.9 percent malnutrition was reported (Halieb; 28.3 percent, Sinkat and Tokar; 24.4 percent). Bhar El Ghazal (home to fleeing or returning IDPs) recorded about 21 percent and this is expected to rise (ANA 2002). The recent increase in malnutrition level in Kassala is due to a large and sudden influx of refugees from Eritrea in 2001.

The main causes of such malnutrition rates are the escalation of conflict in the South, debilitating drought, extended hunger gaps due to late rains that coincided with pipeline deficits. Unmet needs for health, water and sanitation and child-care will continue to influence and to offset the benefits of food. It is likely that the situation will remain critical during 2003, and will need periodic monitoring.

Table 9. Sudan: Trends in Selected Malnutrition Rates 1999 - 2002.

 
Malnutrition rates: Trends 1999 -2002
(<2 weight for height z- score)
 
1999
2000
2001
2002
Trend
Conflict Prone Zones
Unity
26.3
25.1
38.4
22.4
High
Upper Nile (Sobat ( IDP camps)
0
16
20.5
27.3
Rising
Jonglei (Bieh, Lankien, Nyirol)
24
27
31
39.9
rising-critical
Bahrl El Ghazal camps
0
10
7
9.5
OK but high risky
Bahrl El Ghazal surroundings
 
17.8
19.6
21
high and stable
Equatorial
 
9
12
0
no latest data
Kassala
8.8
7.5
5.8
17.9
Rising
Drought Prone Areas
South Durfur
20
9.3
23
24.4
Rising
NorthDurfur
15
25
23.4
27
Rising
North Kordofan
15
23
18.8
23
Rising
West Kordofan
29
0
18.8
0
no latest data
Red Sea State (all)
19
17.8
23.1
29.6
rising-critical
Sinkat
18
0
17.8
23.9
Rising
Tokar
28
0
23.2
24.4
Rising
Halaib
20
0
28.3
28.3
Rising
* Data compared for same/similar (July/August) months across the years using Z Scores
** Severe malnutrition (<-3 SD) for all areas is high and ranged from 1.6 percent in Upper Nile to 8.2percent in Red Sea State.
*** Data compiled from partner NGO, Ministry of Health and UNICEF reports

6.4 Emergency Food Aid Needs in the Year 2003

For most vulnerable groups, the food situation for 2002/2003 season is not encouraging. This takes into account possible erosion of agricultural wages, likelihood of rising cereal prices, harvest losses in the mechanised and traditional agricultural sectors in the East, and continuing chronic food insecurity in parts of the West (North Kordofan and North Darfur). Despite the positive developments in the wider economy, improved food security for many poor households will be limited and to a large extent will hinge on whether there will be increased government support.

The role of food aid in Sudan including saving of lives, improvement of nutrition, income transfer, asset creation, promotion of education, market stabilization) is intricately linked to the high cost of food aid delivery. Conflict and lacking infrastructure render many areas inaccessible by land and currently about 40 percent of all food aid has to be transported by aircraft. In addition, the great distances to remote food insecure areas in the west and the southern transition zone also increase delivery costs considerably. Targeting therefore remains a major tool for optimizing the impact of food aid. Special nutritional interventions through food aid would be highly desirable with malnutrition rates varying between 15-30 percent. Since a combination of unmet needs in health, child-care, water and sanitation continue to hamper the benefits of food aid, nutritional rehabilitation programs will be linked to other health and sanitation interventions. While distribution of emergency food assistance through active participation of local communities through Food For Work, emergency school feeding is sought, the remoteness of several of the areas most in need does not favor such activities.

The absence of strong implementing partners who can oversee the implementation and offer the required technical support currently prevents more development-type interventions in remote target areas. Nonetheless, such activities are on the increase, particularly in the Western states and in IDPs camps. In certain localities where good supervision by a community structure or an NGO exists, village grain banks can be very helpful in avoiding the depletion of assets of the poor during critical periods of food shortages. Grain banks can also help to stabilize local food prices.

About 95 percent of all food aid to the Sudan is channelled through WFP. In 2002 (January to November) WFP delivered 116 667 tonnes of Emergency Food Aid against a target of 166 156 tonnes. Insecurity and bad weather conditions made interruptions in delivery unavoidable. For example, averse road conditions affected the Koboko Corridor, allowing only half of its projected capacity of 20 percent of deliveries to the South to be met.

At the beginning of the 2002/2003 marketing year (1 November 2002) WFP had about 48 570 tonnes of cereals in the country. At the same time there were undelivered pledges for the ongoing WFP programmes standing at about 78 500 tonnes. Taking into consideration the situation described above, the mission recommends a total food aid of 229 122 tonnes for 3 542 000 beneficiaries in the whole of Sudan. If the cease-fire holds or a peace agreement is reached that would allow access to a large severely malnourished population presently outside the reach of humanitarian efforts and a contingency need of additional 5 400 tonnes for 100 000 beneficiaries would be required.

The food aid needs have been calculated based on the household food economy approach where not only agricultural production elements, but also all other incomes and expenditures affecting food security are incorporated. A baseline need of 2 100 kcal/day, out of which 80 percent are covered by cereals, has been set. On that basis, the cereal deficit for the number of months not covered by the household income has been calculated. Non-food expenditures, which are with poor households in the range of 20 - 30 percent on top of the value of food consumed, have not been taken into account in this calculation. These expenses are assumed to be covered by additional incomes through work, cash crops or kinship support.

Table 10: Sudan - WFP Estimated Emergency Food Aid Needs in 2003

Region
Beneficiaries
Number of Months
Allocation in kg
Amount in tonnes
White Nile
9 000
3
54
486
South Darfur:
       
IDP
60 000
4
72
4 320
Drought
100 000
3
54
5 400
North Darfur
320 000
2
36
11 520
Kassala State
       
IDP
54 000
6
108
5 832
Red Sea State
260 000
9
162
42 120
North Kordofan
100 000
3
54
5 400
West Kordofan
170 000
2
36
6 120
Nuba Mountains
290 000
2
36
10 440
Jonglei Region
218 000
3
54
11 772
Bahr El Ghazal
 
 
 
 
IDP
35 000
9
162
5 670
War affected
865 000
2
36
31 140
Upper Nile
700 000
4
72
50 400
Equatoria
170 000
6
108
18 360
SUBTOTAL
3 351 000
-
-
208 980
Contingency
100 000
3
54
5 400
TOTAL
3 451 000
   
214 380

6.5 Other WFP Programmes

The Country Programme approved in October 2001 plays an important role in disaster mitigation, strengthening recovery through peace building and development. On average, development projects account for 10-15 per cent of the total WFP current contributions to Sudan, with the remainder going to relief operations. The Country Programme consists of two inter-linked activities: school feeding and food-for-work. It focuses on education; food security and improved water access, with a total tonnage of 76 000 tonnes of food during the period 2002/06.

In 2002/03 WFP, the School Feeding project has been expended to six chronically food deficit states (Northern, Western Darfur, Northern and Western Kordofan, Red Sea and Kassala), where enrolment rates are low and dropouts are high. In 2002, about 360 000 schoolchildren were provided with meals amounting to 12 000 tonnes of mixed food commodities. During 2003, in addition to the regular School Feeding, WFP will cater for 9 000 malnourished pre-school children and 5 000 pregnant/nursing mothers under a mother and child nutritional component to address the food/nutritional needs of this vulnerable group. For the 2 components, WFP will needs approximately 16 000 Metric Tonnes of mixed food commodities during the year 2003.

Food for Work (FFW) Activities continue to focus on the drought-prone states of Darfur, Kordofan and Red Sea where food and water shortage is chronic. The objective of FFW is twofold. First, to provide employment through FFW to the most vulnerable villages. Secondly, to improve domestic water sources, with special focus on reducing women's workload in collecting water from remote sources. It focuses on the construction and rehabilitation of improved hafirs (water reservoir), earth dams and hand-dug wells. In 2002, work was completed on 17 hafir sites carried over from 2001 and initiated in 13 new hafir sites, of which excavations were finalized in 4 sites. Other activities included the completion of 24 hand dug wells, training of 85 women on food hygiene and nutrition in addition to environmental rehabilitation activities. A total of 50 000 households are expected to benefit from increased domestic water access, while approximately 19 000 households received about 2 540 metric tonnes of food aid. Similar activities are planned for 2003, with an expected distribution of 2 590 metric tonnes of food.

Under the ongoing Protracted Rehabilitation and Recovery Operation - (PRRO), 91 000 Eritrean refugees receive WFP food assistance. It was foreseen that the repatriation programme undertaken by UNHCR would leave a residual caseload of 55 000 people, but voluntary repatriation did not proceed as foreseen, leaving a higher residual caseload of 91 000 throughout 2002. Furthermore, recent hostilities have resulted in the closure of the Eritrean border, hence drastically slowing down the repatriation process. The presence of this large unforeseen number of refugees calls for an additional 11 000 tonnes of food to cover the needs of the refugees up to end 2003. Within the PRRO, the WFP collaborates with UNHCR and other NGOs to support training programs in income generating activities and nutrition and hygiene.

As part of its 2003 strategic priorities, WFP will aim to support the local market though procurement from local farmer organizations whenever and wherever possible and beneficial to local communities. WFP uses local purchases to transfer food from surplus to deficit areas thus supporting farmers as well as vulnerable communities. The lower production of this year and perceived high regional (Eritrea and Ethiopia) demand for grain, resulted in a price increase. Nevertheless, WFP already purchased 6 000 tonnes of sorghum; depending on availability, it may continue to buy small quantities of Sorghum until February 2003.

6.6 Logistics

The Sudan emergency operations are some of the most difficult of food relief programmes. Extremely difficult road conditions in the South, long distances in the North and interruptions during the rainy season constitute some of the challenges. The foremost constraint is the constantly shifting security situation that necessitates air delivery of about 40 percent of the food aid. Airlifting costs about 450.- US$/ton from the North (WFP-base El Obeid) and about 900.- US$/ton ex Lokichokio for deliveries to the South. However, with 60 percent of the food transported by surface means, we have an average rate of 386.- US$/ton, which is nearly 10 percent less than last years ITSH rate. In the southern sector, only 5 percent of the relief can be delivered by road.

About 70 percent of the WFP food aid to the Sudan enters via Port Sudan, with the remainder shipped through Mombasa/Kenya and transported to Lokichokio airbase of the OLS in Northern Kenya. Local procurements would be highly cost effective, especially if imported wheat would be swapped at a favourable exchange rate for local cereals. However, policy obstacles with major food aid donors do not allow this on a larger scale.

Fortunately, a large transport capacity in the North, which at present exceeds the demand, results in a strong competition amongst the transporters and consequently leads to favourable road transport rates. On a ton/km-basis, the rates in northern Sudan (below US$ 0.04/ton/km) on the main roads are nearly half of those charged in Kenya for the deliveries in Mombasa. The use of rail transport by all freight forwarders in Sudan continues to decline mainly due to maintenance problems with the locomotives and rolling stock. Rail transport (as block trains) has its benefit especially for deliveries to the West during the rainy season.

The river Nile and its tributary, Sobat River, has been a very important transport corridor in Sudan before the outbreak of the civil war in 1983 but conflict along the corridor did not allow secure transport of food aid and barge transport has been greatly reduced. Only recently, in December 2002, the WFP was able to attempt to resume barge transport with an assessment-cum-food delivery barge operation from Kosti, along the Sobat corridor.

6.7 Household Food Security Situation By Region

As a general approximation, one can distinguish rather different food economies in the South, West, East and North of the country. The North with its low population density and mostly nomadic population is - in food security terms - only significant as producer of wheat during the winter season in the Nile valley. West Sudan is characterized by a dominant smallholder food production combined with rearing of livestock and the increasing production of a variety of cash crops like sesame, groundnuts, karkadet and water melons. In contrast, by far the largest portion of agricultural production in East Sudan (Eastern and Central Regions) takes place within large irrigation schemes or on large, mechanized farms. Although weather conditions naturally are of great significance to the food security of the rural population in the East, it is foremost their opportunity to find employment in the agricultural schemes and on large farms, as well as the level of wages they are able to secure, that determine their food security. Household food security in the South traditionally depended on a particular complex system of food production, livestock, seasonal migration, informal trade and fishing as well as the collection of "wild fruits". For nearly twenty years, this system has been severely disrupted by the ongoing war. Western Equatoria produces a surplus of food but insecurity and extremely difficult road conditions hamper the marketing of this surplus and hence tend to discourage higher output.

The following paragraphs give a short description of the food security situation in those states where food assistance is most required.

Red Sea State

This state has a predominant pastoralist rural community and a high percentage of population depending on urban employment. Only in the South Tokar Delta there is a significant food production. The pastoralist food economy has never recovered from the devastating livestock losses during the 1984 drought and consecutive droughts have worsened the situation. Reduced demand for manual labour in the port also has negatively affected incomes. For many, the production of charcoal has become the most important source of cash income. Coupled with food assistance, other employment alternatives and development programmes have to be introduced in order to reach a sustainable solution to growing household food insecurity.

Kassala State

This state is inhabited by agro-pastoralists who rely more on livestock and less on subsistence agriculture. Food production takes mainly place in the "Gash-Delta" (an area with seasonal river flooding controlled by an irrigation scheme) and in the New-Halfa irrigation scheme. The state still accommodates refuges from Eritrea (91 000) and an increasing number of IDP due to the renewed conflict in the border area with Eritrea. Food assistance will have to cover these populations and a contingency reserve should be kept for a possible escalation of the conflict.

South Darfur State

Considered a safe haven, South Darfur accommodates IDPs (over 75 000) and migrants both from the war torn South as well as from the drought affected North. IDPs rent land from the local population, but in doing so have to enter into a vicious debt cycle caused by the lease agreements. Their remaining harvest covers only 20 percent of their food needs. In the northern part, the agro-pastoralists suffered from a third consecutive year of drought and from tribal conflicts hindering the movement of people and cattle. Petty trade, wild fruits and kinship support are other important income sources.

North Darfur State

This is a chronic food insecure state that relies on the surpluses from neighbouring West and South Darfur. In the pastoral zones, livestock contributes 80 percent to food security. Recurrent droughts in the past decade have devastated the livestock population. Many men migrate for labor during the months November to April. The 2001/2002 season was affected by a third consecutive year of drought, leading to 30 percent less planting and a 50 percent reduction of millet yields. Early migration was a clear sign of additional stress on the communities.

West Darfur State

The food security situation in this state continued to be stable with most locations in the south producing a surplus. Cereal prices and the terms of trade with livestock remained stable (2-3 goats/bag millet).

Upper Nile Region

The Upper Nile Region currently exhibits a complexity of problems and a diversity of livelihoods more pronounced than in other conflict-affected areas of southern Sudan. The region is resource rich, with oil exploration now gaining importance over fishing and has good agricultural land. Unfortunately, this area is also the most conflict affected, with mushrooming rebel splinter groups trying to get their slice from the growing oil economy. Even when peace talks should succeed at the higher political levels, these deeply rooted banditries will be very difficult to eradicate. In 2002, a further escalation of the conflict in the western part of the region has seen about 230 000 people fleeing their homes. Farm production is thus severely affected and losses of livestock are high. Unfavorable rainfall conditions this year and the reduced availability of grain from Ethiopia have worsened the situation. The possible signing of a peace agreement in 2003 will see many people return and therefore the programme focus will shift from emergency orientation to rehabilitation.

Bahr El Ghazal Region

This region for many years has been a scene of intensified fighting between rebels and government troops and between rebel groups. Looting of livestock is regular and deprives the population of an important source of food and income. Previous strong market links with neighbouring towns and South Darfur are interrupted. Recently a notable, albeit insufficient, improvement in food security has been achieved in the more accessible areas, particular in the southern areas of the Lakes Area (Rumbek, Cueibet, Yirol and Tonji). In August/September 2002, an influx of about 144 000 IDPs from Leech occurred, putting the total number of IDP in the region at 315 000. Further population movements are anticipated. The absence of river flooding in the entire region reduced pasture and access to fish.

Jonglei Region

The region is inhabited by a wide variety of tribes with very diverse livelihood systems (agro-pastoralists, pastoralists, agriculturalists) which all depended on each other through trade. Strong trade links also existed with Ethiopia. In 2002, late and poorly distributed rains have exacerbated an already poor food security situation caused by previous droughts. Global malnutrition rates ranging from 28 to 40 percent have already been observed. As in other regions of Southern Sudan, the interruption of trade-links and impeded migration of cattle prevent traditional coping mechanisms from having a significant impact.

North & West Kordofan States

These states are inhabited by agriculturist and agro-pastoralist populations. Recurrent drought is common in the North and in parts of West Kordofan, where about 2/3 of the population experience seasonal food shortages and acute water problems. Considered as save havens, populations from Northern Bahr El Ghazal seek refuge there (about 10 000).Being a chronically food insecure area with very high malnutrition rates, the localized drought of 2003 will have a notable impact on food availability in affected provinces. An improvement of the situation cannot be expected through agriculture. Similarly, food aid should be combined with other long-term development intervention in order to yield maximum benefits. Any reduction of food assistance would only worsen an already high malnutrition (up to 23 percent).

Nuba Mountains

The cease-fire agreement of January 2002 is now extended to December 2002. As a result, 23 000 people returned from displaced camps to their places of origin. Landmines are a serious obstacle for cultivation The food situation has markedly improved and - provided the security situation remains stable - continued food assistance is mainly required for returning IDPs.

Equatoria Region

The West of this region is very fertile and usually produces surpluses. Bad roads and severed trade links due to the insecurity prevailing in the neighboring regions hinder agricultural development. In the center part, agricultural conditions are good, but constant fighting resulting in population displacements creates very high food insecurity. In the eastern part, rainfall is usually low and pastoralists are dominant. Insecurity causing population displacements and looting of assets is the main reason for food insecurity. In case the peace process will take hold, this region will require large-scale rehabilitation assistance, including food aid and agricultural inputs.

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.

Henri Josserand
Chief, GIEWS, FAO
Fax: 0039-06-5705-4495
E-mail: giews1@fao.org
Holdbrook Arthur
Regional Director, ODK, WFP
Fax: 00256-41-255115
E-mail: Holdbrook.Arthur@wfp.org

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1 A set of fishing tools is comprised of two 0.5 spools of fishing twines and one box of 100 hooks.