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Sudan Secures Over $73m Grant From AfDB To Boost Wheat Production


(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – The Sudanese Government has secured $73.81 million grant from the African Development Bank (AfDB) to finance its emergency wheat production project under the Bank’s African Emergency Food Production Facility.

The project which is tagged, “Sudan Emergency Wheat Production Project (SEWPP)”, is aimed at improving the production of wheat in the country.
Agriculture is the backbone of the Sudanese economy, accounting for 60 percent of total national exports and generating a third of its gross domestic product. It employs more than half of the country’s workforce.

Sudan, the third largest country by land area, has long suffered from extreme food insecurity due to multiple factors, including economic decline and hyperinflation, conflict-induced population displacement, and poor agricultural harvests.

This situation has worsened in the wake of the current global food and energy price hikes which also hit the country severely. Sorghum and millet prices have jumped by 150-200% since 2021while wheat prices have soared almost three-fold.

This is because 60-70 percent of wheat consumed in Sudan is imported, mainly from Russia and Ukraine. Fertilizer prices have also tripled, as has energy, thus fueling inflation.

The funds from the AfDB will help procure at large scale and deliver certified seeds of climate-adapted varieties, fertilizers, and extension services for smallholder farmers. The project is expected to more-than-double wheat́ production from 630,000 tonnes currently to 1.52 million tonnes in two years.

The project targets small-scale farmers, seasonal workers, seed producers, and agricultural traders in Sudan’s main wheat-growing regions, such as Al-Jazira, New Halfa, Upper Nile, and White Nile, which have large irrigated areas and are more resilient to climate change.



Some 400,000 smallholder farming households, 40 percent of them women, will benefit from the scheme. Nearly 800,000 casual workers will also benefit from the spin-offs along the wheat́, seed, and fertilizer value chains.

AfDB’s Director General for East Africa, Nnenna Nwabufo said Sudan, with the largest irrigated area in sub-Saharan Africa, has enormous potential not only to become self-sufficient in wheat, but also to become an exporter.

Similarly, the Bank’s Country Manager in Sudan, Mary Monyau noted that the SEWPP will benefit from the spillovers and lessons learned from previous projects the AfDB has financed in the country.

Notable among the successful projects is the Technologies for African Agricultural Transformation (TAAT) Wheat initiative (2018-2021), which has revamped the Sudanese wheat́ sector and increased yields from 1.5 to 2.3 tonnes/hectare and production from less than 350,000 tonnes to 1.1 million tonnes in just five years (from 2014 to 2019).

The Bank launched the $1.5 billion African Emergency Food Facility in May 2022 to help African countries avert an imminent food crisis due to the disruption of food supplies resulting from the war in Ukraine.

The Bank currently has 19 operations in Sudan, with a total commitment of $486.2 million. The agriculture sector is the largest beneficiary, with $272.3 million in investments (56 percent of the portfolio).


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