An FAO/WFP Crop and Food Supply Assessment Mission visited Sudan from 14 November to 6 December 1995 to forecast production from the 1995 sorghum and millet harvests and from the 1995/96 wheat crop, and assess the national cereal s ituation, including forecasts of import requirements and food aid needs in 1995/96. The Mission visited all states except those in southern Sudan. Information on the southern states was derived from an earlier GIEWS Mission and from data obtained b y WFP/UNDP/UNICEF during relief operations in the South in 1995. The Mission also visited the Northern province of Upper Nile state in the South.

Full cooperation was received from the Government's Ministry of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Animal Wealth (MANRAW) and from the Relief and Rehabilitation Commission (RRC) at both federal and state levels, and from other concerned Ministries and parastatal organizations. In addition, the Mission consulted with all the main bilateral and multilateral organizations, and with NGO representations. Information on cropped areas and anticipated production was obtained at state level, with mod ifications by the Mission from field inspections, discussions with farmers and data on rainfall, pest and weed incidence, input supplies and prices.

The Mission forecasts the 1995 harvest of sorghum and millet at 3.31 million tons, some 26 percent below last year's exceptional crop but 2 percent above the benchmark 5-year average of 1988/89-1992/93. This 1995 forecast includes new information o n production from the southern states which suggests under-reporting in earlier years. Allowing for this discontinuity in the series, the 1995 sorghum and millet crop is very close to the 1988/89-1992/93 average. Compared with last year, sorghum pr oduction will be down by 12 percent, mainly due to drops in planted area in both the mechanized and irrigated sectors. In the case of millet, production will be 46 percent less than last year's record crop, with millet area down by 18 percent and y ields down by 33 percent.

Smaller plantings of both cereals were due to economic factors (less profitable production compared with cash crops, and reduced availability of credit), poor rains at the start of the season and early damage by grasshoppers and rodents. The irriga ted sorghum area was also affected by a change in the crop rotation in some schemes. Yields of all crops were affected by poor mid-season rains, pest damage and more weed competition than normal, partly due to reduced weeding as a means of saving o n production costs. On the other hand, many crops benefited from greater use of improved varieties and from favourable September rains. Irrigated crops have generally yielded well, whilst the mechanized sector has achieved slightly below-normal yie lds. Traditional crop yields were well down on last year, although close to the long term average.

Stocks of both sorghum and millet are lower than expected following the 1994/95 bumper harvest due to higher than normal consumption and exports and a revised sorghum production estimate. With a reduced crop expected for 1995/96, supplies will be tight. This is already reflected in high prices for both cereals which reached record levels in the pre-harvest period of October 1995. Since then there has been some easing of prices but renewed rises are expected early in 1996. The harvest is gen erally late due to heavy replantings caused by pest damage and early rain failures.

By contrast, preparations for the coming wheat crop are well advanced, with an area of 318 000 hectares expected to be planted by mid-December (up 14 percent on 1994/95 and slightly ahead of the long term average). Although there may be some local shortages of fertilizers, the early plantings of wheat are expected to produce average yields, given a normal season. The Mission's tentative forecast for wheat is 0.53 million tons, some 19 percent higher than last year and 2 percent up from the 1 988/89-1992/93 average.

This would put national production of all cereals in 1995/96 at 3.85 million tons, 22 percent down from last year or 2 percent higher than the 5-year average. Bearing in mind the increasing population (consuming an incremental 100 000 tons annually ), supplies are likely to be adequate but tight overall. There will be no capacity for exports in 1996, and seed and feed usage is expected to fall compared with last year. Allowing for a 73 000 ton drawdown in private stocks, imports of 519 000 to ns of cereals are required to achieve normal consumption, 11 percent more than last year's imports. Considering the Sudanese economy and its trade deficit, there are concerns about the country's ability to finance such an import level, given the hi gh world prices for wheat. Some 441 000 tons of imports are tentatively forecast on commercial terms in 1995/96.

A total of 61 396 tons of emergency food aid (48 938 tons of cereals and 12 458 tons of non-cereal foods) will be required for a maximum of some 2 122 000 persons for 1996. The beneficiaries include war-affected and displaced people in the northern sector, the transitional zones and the southern sector; populations along the north-south river and rail corridors whose access to food is likely to be impaired due to the shifting activities of the on-going civil war, and, women and children enro lled in supplementary feeding programmes. Whereas no additional food contributions were required in 1995 due to significant carryover stocks, a quantity of 27 451 tons (24 137 tons of cereals and 3 314 tons of non-cereal food) will be necessary for 1996. International assistance will continue to be required to support the logistics of moving commodities and the initiatives to improve the quality of assessment, monitoring and accountability.

Cereal production will be particularly low in North and West Kordofan and North Darfur and these states will experience severe deficits which must be met from other surplus states. Although the current high livestock numbers, good pastures and reas onable livestock prices suggest that populations should be able to purchase cereals in these three states, the situation should be carefully monitored. If the terms of trade between livestock and cereals deteriorate, assistance may be needed to su pport the movement of grain from surplus areas to the west. Nearly 500 000 tons of cereal transfers into these three deficit states will be necessary for the populations to achieve normal consumption in 1995/96 before allowing for any depletion of stocks.

There will also be food deficits in the South, despite reasonable crops in some states. However these deficits are unlikely to be met by the commercial sector due to the high cost and limited availability of transportation, and the limited purchasi ng power of the population.


Following an exceptionally large cereal harvest last year, prices for sorghum and millet were low in relation to their growing costs, during the first half of 1995. Many large and small scale farmers perceived coarse grain production to be unprofitable in comparison to cash crops, especially sesame production whose prices had escalated in response to a world shortage. In addition, credit was only available for half the total area financ ed in 1994, despite inflating production costs. As a result, a reduced area of both sorghum and millet was planted in 1995 and, in the mechanized sector, farmers were less prepared to invest in weeding. The situation was exacerbated by poor early r ains in many areas and widespread attacks of grasshoppers, and rodents in the west. Resowings were common, the areas were further reduced and generally the crops are late. Irrigated sorghum areas were also affected by the lengthening of the rotatio n in some schemes. Total sorghum area planted in 1995 was 17 percent less than the previous year, and millet area was down by 18 percent.

On the other hand, more improved seed was used than ever before, particularly in the irrigated sector. During the season, the rainfall pattern was highly variable between regions but, generally, amounts were below last year's good rains, although w ell distributed. Weed competition has been severe, especially in mechanized sorghum, and grasshoppers have continued to damage the crop, together with sorghum midge late in the season. Most crops are late, with less than half the sorghum and millet crop cut at the time of the Mission's visit. Final yields will be drastically below last year in the case of millet but close to last year for sorghum. Compared to the 5-year benchmark average (1988/89-1992/93), 1995 yields are similar for millet and 15 percent lower for sorghum. Irrigated sorghum production will be 21 percent lower than 1994 due to the reduced area, but only 5 percent lower than the 5-year benchmark. Mechanized sorghum production (half of the total volume produced) is 25 p ercent down on last year because of the smaller areas planted, and 26 percent lower than the 5-year average. The biggest change however is in the traditional sector which enjoyed a record year in 1994. Traditional millet production is down 46 perce nt and traditional sorghum down 12 percent compared with last year, although the output is still higher than the 5-year average.

Overall, millet and sorghum production is forecast at 3.314 million tons -- 26 percent less than in 1994 but 2 percent more than the benchmark 5-year average. This includes new estimates of cereal production from the southern states which suggest a degree of under-reporting in the past. This statistical effect amounts to nearly 100 000 tons which, if eliminated, would imply a total crop very close to the 5-year average.

Land preparation for wheat, to be harvested in March/April 1996, is more advanced than usual due to strong price incentives (reflecting world prices) and efforts by Government to encourage planting in the irrigated areas. By mid-December, it is exp ected that 318 000 hectares will be planted, some 14 percent up on last year but not a record. Despite some limits on fertilizer supplies and a lower water table along the Nile, the early planting is expected to boost yields, given an average seaso n without abnormally high temperatures. On this basis, the Mission has tentatively forecast wheat production for 1995/96 at 0.531 million tons, 2 percent up on the 5-year average but still below the record 1991/92.

Total cereal production for 1995/96 is therefore forecast at 3.855 million tons, some 2 percent higher than the 5-year average or similar to this average if allowance is made for new approaches to estimating production from the South.

Table 1 shows the Mission's forecast of crop production by state and sector with 1994/95 comparisons and Table 2 indicates the longer time series.

Table 1. Cereal production forecast for 1995/96 ('000 tons), and comparison with 1994/95

Sorghum 1/MilletWheatTotal grains 1/95/96 over
94/95 (%)


Blue Nile2029

White Nile3626

Gezira and Menagil327315



New Halfa3525




Kassala (other)604

'Total irrigated production715562224455271 1621 091-6
Total harvested area (000 ha)48432843275314764645-16
Mechanized rainfed




White Nile25020131

South Kordofan1216211

Upper Nile684100

South Darfur13

Total mechanized1 935 14441011

1 9451 456-25
Total harvested area (000 ha)3 953 3353230

3 9853 064-23
Traditional rainfed

Blue Nile325411


White Nile565842



North Kordofan521419315

South Kordofan123615332

West Kordofan692916910

North Darfur15018016

South Darfur12199234306 2435740915
West Darfur11478123119
Southern states3617411

Total traditional prod.888788961516 241 8511 308-29
Total harvested area (000 ha)1 856 18353 2012 615 345 060 4 454-12
National prod.3 538 2795973529 4475314 9583 855-22
Nat. harvested area (000 ha)6 294 51983 2372 648 2783189 8088 164-17
1/ Includes small amounts of maize and rice.

Note: Although production figures are given to the nearest 1 000 tons, percentage changes have been calculated on the basis of the nearest 10 tons.

Table 2. Cereal area and production by sector, time series and Mission's forecast (1995/96)

Crop/SectorArea ('000 ha)
Sorghum 1/
Mechanized3 2483 3163 9533 035
Traditional1 0059941 8561 835
Total4 6684 6846 2945 198
Traditional1 3999923 2012 615
Total4541 0613 2372 648
All cereals6 4336 0989 8088 164
Crop/SectorYield (kg/ha)
Sorghum 1/
Irrigated1 4231 5881 4761 715
Wheat1 6741 3041 6101 669
All cereals586503505472
Crop/SectorProduction (000 tons)
Sorghum 1/
Mechanized1 9641 4731 9351 444
Total2 9542 3853 5382 795
All cereals3 7713 0664 9583 855
1/ Includes small amounts of maize and rice.


In Sudan, the rains normally start in April and last until the end of October. The period between May/June and November/December is considered the summer cropping season for rainfed agriculture. This year the rains started late in most areas. Rainf all distribution was generally satisfactory although some marginal areas experienced a dry spell halfway through the season. False starts to the rains necessitated re-seeding in many areas, importantly on some of the large mechanized schemes such a s Renk and Gedaref. Distribution at Damazin, however, was good. North Darfur and North and West Kordofan experienced dry spells during the critical period of mid-to-late August, with a major effect on subsequent crop yields. Um Kedada (in North Dar fur), however, only received 149 mm throughout the season. Rainfall in South Kordofan and West Darfur was above average and was also well distributed. In several parts of South Darfur, good distribution compensated for lower-than-average rainfall. Red Sea State's normally low rainfall was even lower than average this year. In most parts of southern Sudan, the rains arrived later than usual but, except for Eastern Equatoria, the amounts and distribution were satisfactory.

The country's two main delta schemes at Gash and Tokar both received less flooding than usual this year, resulting in a reduction of cropped area on both schemes. The high cost of mechanized levelling and earth-moving for flood-control has also led to inefficient use of the available water. The New Halfa scheme has had to limit its cropped area to accommodate the diminishing capacity of the dam at Khashm-el-Girba due to silting. The Rahad scheme has been partially constrained by the non-func tioning of several of its pumps. Water delivery at Gezira, however, has been satisfactory. On the pump schemes in White Nile State, shortages of lubricating oil, fuel and spare parts resulted in moisture stress and reduced yields. The area under ir rigated wheat in Northern State is to be expanded by approximately 20 000 hectares this winter. As yet, fuel and pumping capacity are considered to be adequate for the increased irrigation requirements through to March 1996.

Field conditions
Striga infestation has been locally more severe this year than usual, especially in areas of mechanized rainfed sorghum production. The high cost of weeding and the low availability of credit have frequently resulted in yield-limiting levels of inf estation by annual weeds. On the irrigated schemes, especially at Tokar, Gash and New Halfa, invasion of productive land by mesquite has been a serious problem this year.

Pests and diseases
1995 was a bad year for grasshopper damage throughout the country and at all stages of crop development. Some locust swarms appeared in Darfur and Red Sea states but these were effectively controlled with little resulting crop loss. In North and We st Kordofan and North Darfur rodent damage was particularly severe resulting in large areas being re-planted several times, and considerable crop loss. The large rodent population would appear to be the result of the unusually large amounts of grai n in the area following last year's extremely good millet harvest. Sorghum midge and blister beetle were significant in several areas. Millet headworm was important in the drier millet-producing areas, less so in areas of higher rainfall.

Levels of most cereal diseases were normal during 1995. The exception was downy mildew which contributed to the serious yield reductions of millet in the west.

Input supply
Fertilizer supplies were generally down on last year in most irrigated areas because of high prices and slow deliveries, but sorghum yields have benefited from other factors such as early planting. Some fertilizer deliveries have still to be receiv ed in the wheat-growing areas, but it is expected that the expanded wheat area will receive adequate amounts on time.

Seed was in good supply, following last year's good harvest, but in the drier and pest-affected areas, loss of seed due to repeated re-sowing was considerable. There was a marked increase in the use of improved varieties, especially in the irrigate d schemes.

National sorghum yields in 1995 were about 4.6 percent lower than those achieved in 1994, and 15 percent lower than the 5-year average for 1988/89-92/93. The main cause of reduced sorghum production in 1995 was the fall in cropped area.

National millet yields were only 66 percent of those of the previous year, and production was again further reduced by the smaller areas planted. Yield reductions were especially serious in North and West Kordofan and in North Darfur. However, desp ite the reduction on last year's exceptional yields, this year's national millet yields were close to the 5-year average (1988/89-1992/93), mainly because of good crops in West and South Darfur.

Wheat yields on established areas are expected to be higher in 1995/96 on account of earlier sowing and adequate fertilizer and seed supplies. Nationally, however, it is expected that the yield increase will be slight, since a large proportion of p lanting will be on new land where only moderate yields can be anticipated because of low organic matter content and possible yield reductions due to salinity.

Pasture and livestock
The poor rainfall distribution which contributed to serious grain yield reductions in North and West Kordofan and North Darfur did not have the same effect on pasture, and the pasture situation in these predominantly pastoralist areas is considered adequate, with the condition and health of livestock generally good at present. This is not the case, however, in much of Red Sea State where livestock numbers have built up again after the drought of 1991. Here, pasture and fodder are in very s hort supply and the avoidance of a serious livestock situation depends on the arrival of adequate winter rains.

Cereal Production Forecast
With the reduced area planted compared with last year and generally smaller yields, production will be down. The aggregate production of all cereals is forecast at 3.855 million tons -- 22 percent less than 1994/95 but 2 percent higher than the 5-y ear average, 1988/89-1992/93.


Heavy supplies of all cereals from last year's harvest kept prices low in relation to general inflation, in the first half of 1995. But prices began to rise in June and accelerated in September in line with strong world market prices whilse the Sud anese currency weakened. By October, sorghum prices were double the levels of January 1995, peaking in late October at near world prices, before falling by around 15 percent during November as the late harvest got underway. For millet, prices incre ased strongly from September onwards with little evidence of a harvest decline in November. In late November, after half the millet crop had been cut, prices were still 20-30 percent above those of sorghum, more than double the prices of one year a go and rather higher than current world millet prices. The behaviour of millet prices reflects the generally poor harvest in the west and suggests that the stocks from last year's heavy crop have been partially depleted and are not now being releas ed. Sorghum prices suggest low stocks from 1994/95, average production this year and a strong export demand with a falling Sudanese pound. The Government banned sorghum exports at the beginning of December and this may ease the pressure on prices. Nevertheless, prices for both coarse grains are expected to rise during the first few months of 1996, giving further incentives for planting next year.

Prevailing wheat prices also reflect world levels since half of national wheat consumption is normally imported. With world prices at record levels and a depreciating currency, internal wheat prices are approaching _Sud 200 000 per ton -- 30 percen t higher than the floor prices set by the Government two months ago to encourage wheat plantings. Farmers are responding to this strong incentive by planting large areas for harvest in March/April 1996.


Sudan is sub-divided into 26 states (including ten in the South) and the Mission has forecast production at this level before aggregating into the six "regions" considered below. Table 3 shows the time series and forecasts on this regional basis. Table 3. Cereal area, yield and production by crop and region

Area ('000 ha)

Average 88/89-
Eastern1 5391 6221 9841 623
Central2 1172 0192 6342 139
Subtotal4 6684 6846 2945 198
Kordofan7574531 6971 290
Darfur6335291 4721 266
Subtotal1 4541 0613 2372 648
All cereals 6 4336 0989 8088 164

Yield (kg/ha)

Average 88/89-
Northern1 4881 667948859
Northern2 5362152 3962 205
Eastern1 6099691 2821 429
Central1 5521 1821 3801 444
Darfur1 1900794952
Subtotal1 6741 3041 6101 669
All cereals586503505472

Production (000 tons)

Average 88/89-
Eastern1 0388311 111698
Central1 4791 2011 6061 432
Subtotal2 9542 3853 5382 795
All cereals3 7713 0664 9583 855
Note: Subtotal of sorghum and total cereals production for 1995/96 include 10 000 tons of maize and rice.

Eastern Region: This region comprises Red Sea, Kassala and Gedaref states and includes the spate irrigation schemes of Tokar and Gash, part of Rahad, New Halfa and the large mechanized areas around Gedaref and Sam Sam. The region is normally a larg e surplus producer of sorghum with supplies to Khartoum and for export. Production is well down on last year and one-third below the 5-year average. Areas planted were reduced in the mechanized schemes as farmers shifted to sesame, and more than 20 percent of planted area was lost due to poor rains and early grasshopper damage. Multiple resowings were common and many crops are consequently very late. In turn, late crops have suffered damage from sorghum midge and, locally, from birds. August rainfall, so critical to sorghum, was poor but September was exceptionally wet and benefited late-sown crops. At Sam Sam, the season's rainfall was 740 mm (23 percent above normal) and yields are above average but flooding was serious along the up per basin of the Rahad river. Weeds, including striga, have been a more serious problem than usual in many areas. Over the whole eastern mechanized area, sorghum yields are 25 percent down on last year and well below average. Plantings of sorghum i n the Rahad irrigation scheme (half of the area is in Eastern region) were at normal levels but yields have been affected by reduced fertilizer applications and by water shortages due to pump failures at Meina. Rahad production is down by 10 percen t on last year.

Flooding at Gash and Tokar delta schemes was poor this year, leading to a reduction in cropped area. Other factors contributing to this reduction include the invasion of productive land by mesquite and poor flood water control resulting from the hi gh cost of earth-moving and levelling. Cereal area was also limited by the Government's obligation to plant a proportion of all irrigated land to cotton. Gash's sorghum yields are generally higher than Tokar's as a result of better irrigation contr ol and weeding. This year the schemes are expected to yield 1 670 and 643 kg/ha respectively.

New Halfa has had an average year, with satisfactory input supplies and irrigation. Planted areas, however, have been diminishing over recent years as a result of the reduced capacity of the Khashm-al-Girba dam due to silting. Mesquite has also bec ome a serious problem in parts of this scheme. Sorghum yields of 1 070 kg/ha are expected to produce 25 000 tons. The timeliness of wheat planting in November and early December gives rise to an expectation of better-than-average yields of 1 670 kg /ha and a total production of almost 40 000 tons.

In total, Eastern region is forecast to produce only 700 000 tons of sorghum leading to a drastic fall in the surplus available for populations in central Sudan and in the deficit areas of the west.

Central Region: This region normally accounts for half of national sorghum production, with more than 2 million hectares of rainfed and irrigated sorghum. The five constituent provinces include part of the Rahad scheme and all of Gezira, Suki and t he pump schemes of Blue Nile and White Nile. There are large areas of both mechanized and traditional sorghum production.

The sorghum areas planted in Gezira were reduced this year because of a change in crop rotation, but crops benefited from following groundnuts (instead of cotton). Sorghum was planted early, mainly with improved varieties and there was evidence of better weeding because more herbicides were available for cotton. Yields in Gezira were above average despite some shortages of urea. The production of 300 000 tons amounts to half of Sudan's irrigated sorghum output. The much smaller Suki scheme a lso achieved good yields but on a sharply reduced area. The pump schemes along the Blue and White Niles have reduced planted areas in recent years in line with increasing difficulties of water supplies caused by shortages of fuel, lubricants and sp are parts. Sorghum areas in these two schemes totalled only 40 000 hectares in 1995. Yields were favourable in Blue Nile but down in the White Nile scheme because of moisture stress in mid-season.

The mechanized production in the Damazin, Sennar and Kosti areas (amounting to 1.5 million hectares) generally benefited from well-distributed rainfall, although total amounts were lower than last year. Some diversion of sorghum area to cash crops occurred, and reduced credit facilities also led to smaller plantings. Grasshoppers were widespread and resowings have caused late and variable crops in most of the mechanized schemes. Yields in Damazin and Sennar are above average and overall prod uction of mechanized sorghum is close to the 5-year average.

Central region includes large tracts of traditionally-grown sorghum, especially in Gezira and White Nile states. Crops in Butana (Gezira state) were very poor this year, with widespread failures resulting from low rainfall, inadequate run-off water and grasshopper attacks. Early planted crops in White Nile state have yielded at average levels, but late crops are poor and are being attacked by sorghum midge. Traditional crops in Blue Nile and Sennar states are generally good, mainly due to ea rly planting and well-distributed rainfall. Overall, traditional sorghum output in Central region is less than in 1994 but above the 5-year average. Millet is relatively insignificant.

Total sorghum production is forecast at 1.4 million tons for the region as a whole, which leaves some scope for surpluses to be moved westwards and south to deficit areas.

Wheat production in Gezira and Rahad is expected to be close to last year's levels, following a strong campaign by the schemes' authorities and the currently strong price incentives for farmers.

Northern Region: Cereal production in Northern and Nile States consists of wheat in the winter under irrigation and sorghum in the summer, both rainfed and irrigated. The cool winter climate is very suitable for wheat but the suitable period is com paratively short, necessitating timely planting to avoid high temperatures which return in April. Last year, much of the wheat was sown late (up to early January) and it may be assumed that this contributed to a reduction in average yield. This yea r, however, farmers have planted their crop much earlier, with the state ministries encouraging the completion of sowing by mid-December at the latest. The anticipated increase in fertilizer use this season is expected to raise yields. There is to be a 50 percent increase in area sown to wheat in Northern State (from 40 000 to 60 000 hectares) but most of this expansion is onto land that has not been cropped in recent years, which will have low levels of organic matter and may be slightly sa line. It is consequently expected that, while yields will be high on the established wheat land, low yields will be obtained on the new land, giving an overall average yield for the Northern states, slightly below that achieved last year.

Most of Northern region's sorghum is produced in Nile state. Attacks by grasshoppers were estimated to reduce production of rainfed sorghum (on a total of about 80 000 hectares) by about 10 percent, but irrigated sorghum (planted on 29 000 hectares in Nile and 8 000 hectares in Northern) was generally free of pests and diseases.

The Northern region is expected to produce 500 000 tons of cereals surplus to local consumption requirements.

Kordofan Region: Kordofan comprises the three states of North, South and West Kordofan. The main cereal of North and West Kordofan is traditionally-grown rainfed millet. This year, rainfall in North Kordofan was very variable and, in many areas, po orly distributed, with a dry spell during the critical period of mid-late August. In some parts of North Kordofan, useful rains ended in August. In addition, the large rodent population, resulting from last's year's good grain harvest, consumed the seed from large areas, necessitating re-seeding, often several times. Throughout the growing season, grasshoppers were a problem, and yields were further reduced by downy mildew. The resulting crop is extremely sparse, with non-uniform maturation and very few good heads. Yields are expected to be only about 31 kg/ha over an area of more than 400 000 hectares. The situation in West Kordofan was even worse with regard to millet, but here it was partly compensated by good groundnut and waterme lon yields.

South Kordofan differs from the other two states in that it has significant areas of mechanized, rainfed sorghum production near Dilling, where the area planted in 1995 was sharply down on account of economic factors and a shortage of tractors. Tra ditionally-grown millet is also important in South Kordofan. Rainfall in the state was generally good this year and yields are expected to be in the region of 430 and 290 kg/ha for sorghum and millet respectively. Some grasshoppers were reported, b ut in general the pest situation was good.

Notwithstanding the good production in South Kordofan, the region as a whole is expected to have a cereal deficit of nearly 300 000 tons.

Darfur Region: Darfur comprises three states, North, South and West Darfur where the region's staple is millet, although West and South Darfur also produce significant amounts of sorghum. North Darfur had a very similar season to North and West Kor dofan, with variable and often poorly-distributed rainfall, serious losses to rodents and grasshoppers, and localized losses due to downy mildew. Yields, estimated at only 36 kg/ha, are similar to those for North Kordofan. With 25 percent of the pl anted area of nearly 800 000 hectares abandoned, North Darfur cereal production is expected to be only 16 000 tons, less than 10 percent of last year's production.

In contrast, the season in West Darfur was good, with millet production about the same as last year. Sorghum yields, although lower than last year, were nevertheless very satisfactory at 880 kg/ha. Grasshoppers, stemborers and millet headworm were reported but infestation levels were not exceptional.

Although total rainfall in South Darfur was less this year than last, its distribution was better. Millet yields, at 480 kg/ha, are expected to be the best rainfed millet yields in the country and sorghum is expected to give 750 kg/ha. There has be en a move away from sorghum this year in favour of cash crops, especially groundnut which accounts for more than one million feddans.

Southern Region: The Mission visited the area around Renk in the North province of Upper Nile state and consulted WFP staff concerned with relief operations into southern Sudan. Use was made of a detailed WFP/UNDP/UNICEF survey of 1995 household pr oduction in 24 sub-areas of the South, in order to build up estimates of aggregate production.

The area of mechanized sorghum planted at Renk was reduced sharply from last year due to late rains, high costs of production, lower credit availability and some diversion to sesame. There were further losses of area due to poor rains and strong we ed competition, and overall yields were poor. Production from Renk, at 41 000 tons, was the lowest of recent years. Traditional sorghum at Renk yielded better than the mechanized crop due to more timely planting, but production (at 23 000 tons) was down on last year.

In most of the remaining nine states of southern Sudan, rain was spasmodic at the start of the season in April and May, and more consistent from June onwards. Although there was much replanting, the late crop generally benefited from a favourable s eason, except in the drier parts of Eastern Equatoria. Insecurity restricted plantings in Bahr el Ghazal and central Jonglei. Labour is a constraint in many areas, restricting cultivation and weeding, but shortages of seeds and tools have only been a problem for displaced communities in Western Equatoria and parts of Wau.

Production (mainly of sorghum but also some maize and millet) has been particularly high in the "green belt" of Western Equatoria and some surpluses could be available for wider distribution if the security and logistical problems can be overcome. In other parts of the South, crop production is above recent average levels although insecurity is still restricting cultivation, cereal transport and marketing. Excluding the mechanized Renk scheme, cereal production in the South is estimated at 1 80 000 tons -- well above previous estimates, largely due to the more complete information available to the Mission.


A summary of the Mission's forecasts of cereal availability and utilization for 1995/96 is shown in Table 4.

Table 4. Food grain balance, November 1995 - October 1996 ('000 tons)

All cerealsSorghumMilletWheatOther
Production3 8552 78552953110
Stock draw-down734745
Stock build-up

A. TOTAL AVAILABILITY3 9282 83257450913
Food use3 7862 31850993326
Feed use1251141001
Other uses43630055801
B. TOTAL UTILIZATION4 4472 8325741 01328
Commercial imports4410042615
Emergency food aid requirements2400240
Project food aid/FFW2000200
Programme food aid/NGO 1/3400340

1/ Estimated.
Opening Stocks: Although 1994 produced a very large harvest (particularly for millet) the Mission found that carryover stocks at 1 November 1995 were disappointingly low. Government stocks, mainly held by banks as repayment for loans under the Sala m system, were very small, and restricted mainly to the levels of exports made in November/December 1995. Private stocks, held by farmers and traders, were at more normal levels. The heavy production of 1994 led to increases in exports, food consum ption and feed usage, with only a 200 000 ton build-up of total stocks in 1994/95, whilst Government stocks declined. The Mission estimates a November 1995 carryover of 250 000 tons of millet held privately in Darfur and Kordofan which will become an important reserve for populations affected by poor millet crops in 1995. Private stocks of old crop sorghum (estimated at 350 000 tons at 1 November 1995) are now flowing on to all markets and are expected to be depleted by the end of the year a s a result of the late and only average harvest.

Production and Cereal Availability: The Mission's estimate of total cereal production is 3.86 million tons for 1995/96, including 2.79 million tons of sorghum, 0.53 million tons of millet and 0.53 million tons of wheat -- the latter figure subject to revision as the wheat growing season evolves.

Food Consumption: Cereal consumption as food in 1995/96 has been estimated using the average "status quo" figure of 140 kg/caput on a mid-1996 population of 26.953 million, assuming 2.6 percent annual growth. Other non-cereal components of the diet are assumed to provide the difference in calorie intake necessary to meet minimum nutritional requirements. For 1995/96, total food consumption needs are estimated at 3.79 million tons of cereals, comprising 61 percent sorghum, 13 percent millet a nd 25 percent wheat, based on previous trends and the expected balance of cereals available in 1995/96.

Non-Food Use: The use of cereals for feed and seed is expected to decline to more normal levels in 1995/96, reflecting tighter supplies and higher real prices. An estimated 15 percent of cereal production, or 585 000 tons, is used for these purpose s, including an allowance for waste.

Exports: Cereal exports in 1995/96 will be severely curtailed by: limited supplies, the Government export ban (recently announced), tight cross-border controls to the east, and by high internal prices. At present, Sudanese prices for millet and whe at are above world levels, and exports are unlikely to be drawn across borders. Sorghum prices are also high (although slightly below world levels) and may well increase further in February/March 1996 as the tight supplies become evident. Some unof ficial exports to the west may occur but amounts are likely to be small. Similarly, cross border trade of sorghum into western Ethiopia will be much more limited than last year since cereal production in Ethiopia is expected to be above normal. The movement of cereals from western Equatoria (a surplus region) into northern Uganda and Zaire will also be limited because of favourable crop-producing conditions in those countries.

Despite the pressing need to earn foreign exchange, the Government is unlikely to encourage cereal exporting in 1996 because of the supply situation and the consequent effect on domestic prices for staple foods. Export earnings will be focused on c ash crops -- oilseeds, cotton, gum arabic. Overall, an export figure of 100 000 tons of cereals is forecast (solely sorghum) -- well below any recent year.

Closing stocks: A 73 000 ton drawdown of private stocks is anticipated during the year -- mainly of millet in western deficit areas. Government stocks are not expected to build up during the year, remaining at a low level equivalent to only ten day s' consumption.

Cereal import requirements in 1995/96: On the above assumptions, imports of cereals of 519 000 tons will be required in 1995/96, comprising mainly wheat (some sorghum will be imported as food aid). This estimate will require revision after the outc ome of the wheat harvest is forecast with more certainty. In view of the country's trade deficit and the high prices for wheat on world markets, Sudan could find difficulty in financing imports at this level. Some 440 000 tons of this volume is ant icipated as commercial imports, the remainder as food aid.

Deficit and Surplus Areas: The forecast difference between cereal production and consumption is shown in Table 5, by region. Consumption requirements are calculated using population figures based on the April 1993 census, assuming a 2.6 percent ann ual growth for most of Sudan, but, for the South, recent estimates of population by WFP were used. The national deficit is around 0.47 million tons, with anticipated surpluses in Central (including Khartoum) and East, and large deficits in the Sout h, in Kordofan and Darfur. The western deficit regions (especially the provinces of North and West Kordofan and North Darfur) will be supplied by the movement of sorghum from the surplus regions further east, and from imports of wheat. The South wi ll draw a limited amount of cereals from other parts of Sudan and will be partly supplied by food aid programmes.
Table 5. Regional cereal production and consumption, 1995/96 ('000 tons)

RegionSorghumMilletWheatAll cerealsNet prod.PopulationConsumptionBalance
2133082611 41121546
Eastern6987117166083 201488120
Central1 432233031 7581 4948 9761 368126
2241903 191486-296
Darfur17944146245315 016764-233
2251925 158464-272
Total2 7855295313 8553 27626 9533 786-509

Note: Annual per capita requirement: South: 90 kg, rest of Sudan: 152.4 kg.


Emergency Food Aid Requirements

Under Operation Lifeline Sudan (OLS) a total of 61 396 tons of emergency food aid (48 938 tons of cereals and 12 458 tons of non-cereal foods) will be required for a maximum of some 2 122 000 displaced and war-affected people in 1996. In calculatin g the net requirements, carryover stocks from 1995 and outstanding pledges including the ones from NGOs have been considered. Whereas no additional food contributions were required in 1995 due to significant carry-over stocks, a quantity of 27 451 tons (24 137 tons cereals and 3 314 tons of non-cereal food) will be necessary for 1996.

Funds will also be needed for the transportation and handling of these food aid quantities.

The above emergency food aid needs are in addition to 54 000 tons of programme and project food aid that are expected to be imported to the Sudan partly under on-going development programmes and partly under relief and rehabilitation programmes out side OLS. Moreover, the needs for Eritrean and Ethiopian refugees currently living in the Sudan are covered by a separate programme.

Food situation

Following the bumper crop in 1994/95, the national food security situation improved significantly and the level of food assistance was down-sized and programmes re-focused on restoring self-reliance. However, trade and productive efforts have been disrupted by the on-going insecurity and population displacements in the south and transitional zones. In these areas relief efforts were also often impeded.

The level of malnutrition has fallen and no hunger-related deaths were reported in 1994/95. However, given the fragile economic situation in large parts of the country and the on-going insecurity in the south and the transitional zones, emergency f ood aid will be required in 1996 for the following categories of beneficiaries:

- War-affected within their own communities;
- War-affected internally displaced people;
- War-displaced in camps; and
- Vulnerable groups.

Following the household food economy assessment approach, which takes into consideration own crop production and other food and income sources at household level, no exceptional food aid intervention is foreseen in 1996. The situation particularly in the north-western part of the country will however require very close monitoring in view of the poor crops achieved in the region. Consequently, a contingency for rapid interventions that may be necessary due to localized crop failures or break- downs in the local economic structures has been included in the food aid requirements. Generally, however, the regional economic structures should be able to cope with localized shortfalls.

The livestock situation as well as the pastures in the northern parts of the two States are good and prices for livestock are relatively stable. The need for food relief is likely to occur during the period April to July, which is the traditional l ean period when food supplies are low and people need energy for land preparation and planting.

The contingency would also cover the needs of new population displacements in 199/96 which may occur as a consequence of the civil war and tribal conflicts in the southern sector. Should military activity increase during the dry season, further dis placement of populations are expected.

1996 Planning and Implementation Strategies
Adjustment of food basket

Edible Oil: The reduced ration of edible oil of 15 grams per person per day will be continued.

Addition of iodized salt: To combat the endemic iodine deficiency, especially prevalent in western and southern Sudan, a ration of 5 grams of salt with a recommended level of iodine of 25 to 50 ppm (micro-grams per gram) per person per day should b e added to the food basket.

Food aid intervention strategies

In collaboration with other UN agencies and NGOs, implementation strategies will be increasingly focused on food security and strengthening the involvement of communities and regional Government authorities.

Use of food aid: Vulnerable and needy groups will be identified through intensive monitoring on community level and will be assisted as appropriate through special feeding programmes or small scale food-for-work projects. Support to food security a nd rehabilitation initiatives should be emphasized and, where appropriate, as an incentive to community self-help activities.

Combination of food and non-food inputs: Non-food inputs, as a cost-effective way of supporting food security objectives should increase in relative importance and will be supported by food inputs when appropriate. Thus in seeds and tools programme s assisting in resettlement of returnees until the next harvest and projects aiming at improvements in community infrastructure such as water supply, sanitation and health care facilities, food inputs could be used to complement the non-food inputs from other sources.

Ration size and frequency: Over recent years, many households of displaced persons have found opportunities to earn some income either as cash earnings or as food-in-kind (share cropping). Based on local assessments, WFP has therefore reduced the r ation size and the frequency of distributions in accordance with the earning/cropping patterns of the beneficiaries. This trend will continue.

Frequent monitoring and continued vulnerable group and supplementary feeding programmes, however, will ensure that the most disadvantaged receive the attention they require.

Table 6: Food aid requirements in 1996 - Northern sector operation

Expected beneficiaries: 1 042 033

FOOD REQUIREMENT (tons) Cereals Pulses Oils Sugar DSM Salt Total
ASSESSED 1996 REQUIREMENTS 31 338 5 171 1 645 381 572 864 39 971
WFP CARRYOVER STOCKS end '95 9 875 3 516 3 226 256 575
17 448
WFP pledges in transit shipments etc. 3 200

3 200
NGO CARRYOVER STOCKS end '95 1/ 754 930 448 3 3 2 138
NGO pledges, in transit shipments etc.2/ 5 246 990 369

6 605

TOTAL AVAILABLE 19 075 5 436 4 043 259 578 0 29 391
(SHORTFALL) / SURPLUS (12 263) 265 2 398 (122) 6 (864) (10 580)

1/ SCC has an additional 1 148 tons to be used for other programmes.

2/ ADRA has an additional 8 395 tons in the pipeline to be used for other programmes.

Table 7: Food aid requirements in 1996 - Southern sector operation

Expected beneficiaries: 1 079 880

FOOD REQUIREMENT (tons) Cereals Pulses Oils Sugar DSM Salt CSB/
ASSESSED 1996 REQUIREMENTS 17 600 2 640 660 5 220 300 21 425
end '95 (provisional)
4 700 290 190 0 0 0 77 5 257
WFP Pledges in transit shipments loan repayments 1 026 730 210

1 966
TOTAL AVAILABLE 5 726 1 020 400 0 0 0 77 7 223
(SHORTFALL)/SURPLUS (11 874) (1 620) (260) (5) 0 (220) (223) (14 202)

Note: The carryover stocks and pledges available to NGOs operating in the southern sector are expected to amount to 27 541 tons comprising 22 550 tons of cereals and 4 991 tons of non-cereal food items.

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

Abdur RashidB. Szynalski
Chief, ESCG, FAODirector, OP, WFP
Telex 610181FAO ITelex: 626675 WFP I
Fax: 0039-6-5225-4495Fax: 0039-6-5228-2837
E-mail: INTERNET: [email protected]

Return to Menu