Sudan sees significant increase in cereal production
Assessment conducted by UN Food and Agriculture Organization
A report from the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has demonstrated a significant increase in cereal production in Sudan. Conducted in 2022/23, the Crops and Food Supply Assessment Mission (CFSAM) revealed an estimated national cereal production of 7.4 million tonnes, incorporating sorghum, millet, and wheat crops. This amounts to a 45% increase when compared with 2021. The increase is attributed to improved seeds, favourable weather conditions, and a good performance during the rainy season.
Costs of agricultural inputs have risen
Despite the increase in production, the cost of agricultural inputs such as seed, fertiliser, herbicides, fuel and labour remained high in 2022. With some farmers forced to utilise seeds from the previous year’s harvest, the increased production does not necessarily equate to a reduction in food insecurity at a household level.
Impact on national and international food security
The production forecast for wheat, estimated to be 476,000 tonnes when harvested in March 2023, is a 30% decrease from 2021. This is due to a reduction in the area allotted for wheat growth in favour of legumes and spices. Consequently, Sudan will require an import of 3.5 million tonnes of wheat to cover domestic consumption, putting food security for millions of people at risk as international prices increase and the national currency weakens.
Continued efforts essential for reducing food insecurity
Despite the challenges, Adam Yao, the FAO representative in Sudan, stressed the importance of continuing to enhance domestic cereal production to support vulnerable households, and increase food security and resilience in Sudan.