IFAD Promises to Develop Rural Areas, Support Anti-Poverty Programs in Sudan
The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) along with Sudan’s Transitional Government have promised to implement more projects in the country’s rural areas.
These projects are aimed at developing rural areas, supporting anti-poverty programs, and providing sufficient food.
IFAD President Gilbert Houngbo stressed that Sudan is an African country that is very rich in natural resources in terms of its vast fertile lands and water.
He told Asharq Al-Awsat that the Fund has many projects to be implemented in Sudan, adding that there is an office from which work on these projects is supervised.
According to Houngbo, IFAD is communicating with the new Sudanese government and Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok in this regard.
He also expressed hope to benefit from the Premier’s great visions and economic experience gained throughout his work with the United Nations to reform the agricultural sector, regional integration, and management of agricultural resources.
It is noteworthy that Hamdok had formerly served as Secretary-General of the UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA).
The area of arable land in Sudan occupies more than 200 million acres, of which only 20 percent are exploited, making Sudan an international center for planting heat-resistant wheat. Agriculture in Sudan also represents only 33 percent of the country's economies.
According to the UN and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Sudan is one of the four largest countries in terms of agricultural potential that can be relied upon to contribute to solving the food crisis in the world in general, and the Arab region in particular.
It is also one of the world’s largest sesame producing countries, ranked third after India and China.
It is one of the world’s most corn-producing countries, while cotton is a major export crop.
Sudan possesses about 24 million hectares of pasture and 64 million hectares of forests. These areas are sought to be benefited from and used in various related industries, including paper making, as well as timber and other industries.
The country is ranked the sixth in the world and first in the Arab world in terms of the size of livestock. It has about 37 million cows, 38 million goats, 46 million sheep, three million camels and four million horses.