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Sudan’s Gezira government to compensate farmers for rotten wheat seeds

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December 6, 2013 (KHARTOUM) - The government of Sudan’s Gezira state on Thursday has announced commitment to compensate all farmers who have been affected by the issue of rotten wheat seeds imported from Turkey.

The undersecretary of the federal ministry of agriculture, Mohammed Al-Hassan Ahmed, admitted that bad storage was one of the reasons which had led to the problem. He mentioned other reasons as having part of the low germination rate including inappropriate preparation and flattening of land.

last Sunday, a committee formed by the Sudanese parliament to investigate the rotten wheat seeds at Gezira Scheme held the federal ministry of agriculture and the Agricultural Bank responsible for the slow germination of the wheat seeds.

The committee pointed in its report that of the 21.000 acres which were initially cultivated using the seeds, 16.500 acres showed slow germination, stressing that the percentage of the seeds’ low germination ranged from %10 to %50.

The report concluded that Turkey was not responsible for the slow germination of the wheat seeds, adding that seeds purity percentage amounted to %99.6 according to the certificates of origin.

It also mentioned that there was a shortage in the quantity of seeds, saying that 300.000 acres were due to be cultivated while the available seeds only suffice for 160.000 acres.

The investigation committee recommended compensating farmers after the end of the agricultural season besides localizing wheat seeds cultivation and offering standard-compatible storehouses.

The minister of agriculture, livestock, natural resources in the Gezira state, Abdalla Mohamed Osman, had earlier announced the cultivation of 101.000 acres of wheat in the Gezira Scheme compared to 70.000 acres last year besides cultivating more than 26.000 acres of sunflower at Al-Rahad agricultural scheme.

Sudan currently imports more than 2 million tonnes of wheat annually at a cost of $900 million.

(ST)

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