Climate Change in Sudan, Dark Shadows on Food Security

Shawgei Salah Ahmed

Geographically, Sudan is located in northeastern Africa and occupies an area of 1,865,813 square kilometers, it is the third-largest country in Africa after Algeria and democratic Congo, and the third in the Arab world after Algeria and Saudi Arabia, Sixteenth in the world Sudan is one of the vast countries with diverse natural resources such as agricultural land, livestock and mineral wealth, forests and wealth Fish and freshwater. Sudan relies mainly on agriculture, which represents 80% of the population’s activity, in addition to the industry in particular Industries that depend on agriculture.

Agriculture contributes close to 40 percent of Sudan’s GDP. An overwhelming proportion of the nearly two-thirds of the Sudanese who live in rural areas depend on agriculture for their livelihood. Seventy percent of the labor force is principally employed in agricultural activities. It is evident that in the foreseeable future the welfare of Sudan’s population, especially of the poor who are largely located in rural areas, will to a substantial degree depend on the performance of the agricultural sector.  

Agricultural road map in Sudan:

Crop production contributes approximately 45 percent of the GDP originating in agriculture, livestock contributing most of the remainder, with forestry and fishery contributing just over 5 percent. of this vast country, only about 40 million feddans of land – less than seven percent of the surface area – is used for crop cultivation. Except for less than one percent of it cultivated by registered private farmers, the remaining land is owned by the government and allocated for use under three distinct systems of farming.

The area of ​​arable land was estimated in 1998 AD, at about 16,900,000 hectares (41.8 million acres), of which about 1.9 million hectares (4.7 million acres) of irrigated land, especially on the banks of the Nile and other rivers in the north of the country.

Cotton is one of the main export crops. Sudan is one of the largest sesame-producing countries in the world, ranking third after India China, which is also one of the world’s largest producers of corn. There are four main types of agriculture in Sudan, and their classification depends on the type of irrigation or Production method: rain-fed agriculture, which depends on rainfall and covers about 25% of the cultivated area, and agriculture irrigated with artificial irrigation (25 percent) The Nile and its tributaries (which in turn are divided into agriculture by flow irrigation) from dams and reservoirs), pump irrigation (pumps for drawing water from the river), and spatio-irrigation (Lands flooded with periodic floodwaters) as in the Gash River Delta, and mechanized agriculture (12%) i.e. those that use the machine in their production processes, then traditional agriculture in the outskirts villages and valleys by the people.

Sudan is the world food net, the way forward:

Desert lands: Its area is estimated at 668,000 square kilometers, and it consists of hills, rocks, and sand. The rainfall is less than 100 millimeters annually. The economic activity in it is limited to grazing herds of camels and goats, and irrigated agriculture is practiced in the regions parallel to the Nile River.

Semi-desert lands: their area is about 289,000 square kilometers and it consists of rocks and bare spaces. The amount of rain varies; it has between 100 and 225 millimeters per year. And practiced grazing and cultivation of drought-resistant crops such as millet.

Coastal lands: It is located adjacent to the coastal strip on the Red Sea, and its area is estimated at 68 square kilometers. It consists of plains and a series of hills dominated by winter rains and used for grazing livestock.

Al Quoz lands: It is the land, in which dunes are spread, and its total area is estimated at 240,000 square kilometers, and it includes, its economic activity is animal grazing and rain-fed and mixed agriculture.

Central mudflats: their total area is about 119,500 square kilometers. It is characterized by its cracked clay soil and is considered one of the most important pillars of agricultural production in Sudan, where irrigated agriculture, rain-fed agriculture, and animal husbandry are practiced.

Southern Mud Plains: It extends over an area of ​​about 247,000 km. Most of the lands in it are subject to inundation by the floodwaters of the Nile the forests are scattered. Irrigated agriculture, rain-fed agriculture, and grazing are practiced there. Traditional rain-fed agriculture Traditional agriculture for the people of the Nuba Mountains, Wilayat, South Kordofan.

Southeast lands: estimated at 104,500 square kilometers. It consists of mountains, hills, plains, and swamps. It rains It has between 600 and 1500 mm annually. Coffee, tea, fruits, and forests are grown in it, and it is also used for animal grazing.

Mountainous lands, including The land of Jebel Marra, which is located at an altitude of 1,000 meters above sea level, and its area, is estimated at 29,000 square kilometers. And the quantity ranges, Rainfall is between 600 and 1000 mm annually. It has a Mediterranean climate, which is characterized by cold, rainy winters Suitable for growing crops that are not suitable for cultivation in other areas of Sudan, such as strawberries and apples, and grazing and agriculture are also practiced in it, the machinery is on a small scale as well as forestry. Nuba Mountains lands: It consists of several intermittent sloping hills in the middle of clay plain lands, with an estimated area of ​​about 65,000 km. Square. It is suitable for mechanized agricultural production and grazing.

 In conclusion, Sudan needs to review the map of crops in each region, because climate change requires thinking about other crops according to the increase or lack of rain, and the important point is to plan to introduce new areas in which the amount of rain has increased, which were previously unexploited areas, such as Desert and semi-desert areas and mountainous areas that need agricultural mechanization. In any case, agricultural planning for the future of sustainable development in Sudan needs the intervention of many authorities with effective decisions while working to follow up on decisions to reach the desired goals.

Back to top button