FAO in Sudan

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations signs a USD 10 million agreement to halt deterioration in Arabic gum from climate change


Khartoum—Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) today signed an agreement with Sudan government, represented by the National Forestry Corporation, toenhance adaptive capacity of local communities and restoring carbon sink potential of the Gum Arabic belt, expanding Africa’s Great Green Wall in major states of Kordofan and set a five-year term for the Agreement.

The Green Climate Fund (GCF) funds the project with USD 10 million grant to be implemented jointly by FAO and the Forest National Corporation (FNC), in collaboration with the Higher Council for Environment and Natural Resources.

The project will support smallholder farmers who depend on gum Arabic for up to 38% of their annual income but who are hindered by their currently weak position in the value chain, which leaves them with little incentive to support the sustainable management of Acacia Gum trees. Gum trees play a crucial role in diversifying incomes while also protecting annual crops against climate extremes, thereby contributing to food and nutrition security.

FAO representative in Sudan Babagana Ahmadu in his welcome address expressed the appreciation of FAO to the government for according the Organization an opportunity to be part of this important initiative and reiterated the commitment of FAO to provide all the technical supported required for smooth implementation of the project.

Recent reports classified Sudan as one of the most vulnerable countries to the impact of climate change in the world. This project focuses on the Kordofan States, where average temperatures increased by almost 2° C from 1989 to 2016 – more than double the global average. The rise in temperature is compounded by decreasing soil moisture – due to elevated evapotranspiration – and increasingly erratic precipitation, all of which are expected to continue according to climate projections by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

 “We are very pleased to be associated with this important project, it’s an important milestone in the history of our relationship with the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, to us it represents a major accomplishment in our joint efforts to access funding to Sudan from the GCF, this is really remarkable”, Ahmadu said.

 “The benefits associated with this project activity are clearly visible, farmers and pastoralists – who are particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate change – will benefit from restored gum agroforestry systems, and improved livestock mobility. Pastoralists will become more resilient to climate shocks with increased livestock mobility and rangeland restoration, while better distribution of livestock pressure will reduce damage to gum trees and enhance natural regeneration of pasture, thus increasing carbon sequestration in the targeted area of Kordofan which is one of the worst areas affected “ Ahmadu added.

The Minister of Agriculture and Forests, Al Tahir Harbi expressed his gratitude for FAO’s achievements in the field of agriculture and food security.

  “ In the framework of technical cooperation, the agreement was signed on the Arabic gum project for adaptation and mitigation of climate change, it is an achievement that goes  with the policies of the state to move towards the revival of irrigation and irrigation reconstruction and stop the deterioration resulting from climate change and improper practice by identifying alternative projects with regard to Arabic gum, that it is considered a pilot project and it is considered a good opening for major projects that will follow this project”, Harbi said.

Targeted climate change action is needed to support local food security, enhance income-generating opportunities and improve livelihoods. The GAMS Simplified Approval Process (SAP) project will enhance the climate resilience of livelihoods and agro-silvo-pastoral ecosystem services, while reducing GHG emissions from land use in Kordofan by achieving the following:

  • The restoration of smallholder gum agroforestry systems and the improved position of smallholder farmers in the gum Arabic value chain.
  • The establishment of livestock routes, restored rangelands and strengthened regulations and cross-sectoral coordination for improved climate change adaptation at landscape level.