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Sudan: Fuel shortage means crops are suffering

The lack of fuel in the Sudanese districts of Darfur, Kassala and Kordofan has caused large tracts of cultivated land to dry up because irrigation pumps cannot be operated. A shortage of food is looming after a poor crop season in these states.

The fuel shortage has led to a situation where farmers have to spend two days in long lines to obtain a gallon of diesoline at about 60 Sudanese Pound ($3.30).

Last week, a number of vegetable and fruit farmers from around the city of Kutum reported that the lingering thirst damaged large areas of their crops, as irrigation pumps did not run. Okra, potatoes, tomatoes and onions in particular are damaged. Kutum is one of the few localities that supply the entire North Darfur state with vegetables and fruit.

The fuel crisis has also halted the sorghum harvest on several agricultural projects, and affected transportation of the staple food. The situation is similar in Saraf Umra locality where members of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) prevented sorghum and millet to be transferred out of the locality. They impose a fee of SDG 100 ($5.50) for each sack of sorghum or millet that is moved out.

According to, the ban on the transport of sorghum and millet is described as "an unjust policy, contradicting the liberalisation declared by the state. It damages the interests of the farmers.”

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