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FEATURE - Sugar industry in Sudan

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By Belgees Fager

KHARTOUM, May 26, 2005 (SUNA) — The story of sugar industry in Sudan goes back to the end of the 1960s when the government realized the importance of utilizing the natural resources in manufacturing sugar. Thus in 1959 work had begun in the first Sudanese sugar factory.

Sugar is considered as one of the major strategic commodities in the country.

In the last 10 years the cane and sugar production in the Sudanese company had witnessed a steady increase and the trend still in the rise. Now there are five sugar factories that produce more than 750,000 tons of sugar annually.

Recently held in Khartoum, the 27th meeting of the International Sugar Organization (ISO), with the participation of more than 72 states worldwide tackled aspects and future of sugar industry , in addition to discussing the challenges that face improving and increasing production of sugar.

Sugar production had increased from 290,000 tones in 1990 to 750,000 tones in 2004. Productivity per feddan was only 2 tones of sugar cane, but now and after the continuous efforts, it reached 48 tones in Kenana factory. Regarding to that remarkable success, Sudan assumed the pesidency of the ISO, which was established in 1968 in London.

Sudan is the first African country, that hosted this vital international conference. Meanwhile, a workshop, organizied in cooperation between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Industry, tackled the importance of sugar sector in the social and economic development and the ISO role in utilizing this product.

In a statement to SUNA, the Egyptian member, eng. Hassan Kamel, affirmed that Sudan with its natural resources could cover the world needs from sugar. He added that Arab region is one of the biggest regions that imported sugar internationally, which amounts to 3-4 million tones annually.

He as well pointed out that Sudan and Egypt had signed a protocol to cooperate in fields of sugar industry and benefittinging from Egypt experience in utilizing the by-products of sugar in producing electricity, bagas and paper. Moreover, Egypt will participate in the coming projects of White Nile Sugar factory and Blue Nile Sugar factory.

Some positive advantages of sugar industry are providing work opportunities to more than 15,000 persons in different fields as agriculture, factories and small industries.

In addition to the other social, health and education services, offered by the sugar factories to the population societies in that regions as well as electricity, roads, and telecommunication services.

There are 500 million consumers of sugar in the world. Thus Sudan has the chance to increase its production till it reach 5 million tonnes per a year in the coming five years.

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Kind regards,

The Sudan Tribune editorial team.

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