As a continuation of his support to wheat production in Sudan, His Excellency the Federal Minister of Agriculture and Forestry Mr. Ibrahim Adam Ahmed Al-Dekhairi attended a seed wheat harvest day coordinated by SARD-SC Wheat component and its local partner, the Agricultural Research Corporation, ARC Sudan at Elbasatna in the Gezira region. A total of 35 hectares of seed wheat fields, planted by farmers in the Elbasatna Innovation Platform were harvested.
A key factor to wide adoption of the newly-released high yield heat tolerant varieties is an effective seed system that makes seed available to farmers in a timely manner and at an affordable price. Seed system, combining the public sector, private and the community sector, is the most effective system and this harvest of community based seed multiplication set an enviable example.
This harvest day was also attended by His Excellency the State Minister of Agriculture in Gezira State, M.Y Ali, the Undersecretary of Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, the Governor of Gezira Scheme, the D.G of ARC Sudan, and more than 200 farmers and officials and was extensively covered by the media. The Federal Minister restated the commitment of the government to support the wheat production through timely provision of credit and inputs and paying a profitable price to all farmers who handed their product to Agricultural Bank of Sudan. His Excellency the State Minister of Agriculture confirmed the Ministry support to the wheat production in the Gezira Scheme, saying that his ministry had seconded more than 50 extensionists to the scheme. He also emphasized the importance of collaborative efforts of all stakeholders to reduce wheat imports and eventually become self-sufficient in wheat.
The SARD-SC Wheat Project Coordinator Dr. Solomon Assefa praised the commitment of the Sudan Government and all stakeholders towards local wheat production and added that seed harvested from the 35 hectares is a significant contribution to seed supply for next season.
The Sudan wheat seed setup for wheat seed production has been critically reviewed by a SARD-SC wheat consultant. His report recognizes the high cost of seed production that cannot be covered by a high seed selling price as is the case for hybrid crops. This implies a need for government support, especially for equipping and staffing a national seed center for the production of breeder seed and the need for devolving wheat seed production and supply to community and local institutions, with some limited government support to enable quick access by farmers. The Sudan Government has a clear price agreement of 400 pounds (USD 66) per 100 kilogram sack of wheat as a directive of the President of the Republic. In 2015 the county cut subsidies on imported wheat to boost local production.