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Sudan production of gum arabic up to 49,000 tons

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March 20, 2010 (KHARTOUM) – Sudan, the world’s largest producer of gum arabic, has reached output of 49,000 tons, state media reported. The Secretary-General of the Gum Arabic Council, Abdul-Majid Abdul-Gadir Abdul-Majid, announced the increase of productivity.

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A man sells gum arabic at Omduruman market in Khartoum, July 23, 2007 (Reuters)

Gum arabic is a resin that is used as an emulsifier in sodas, a thickener in candies, a binder in some inks and drugs, and as even a foam stabilizer in beer.

The national government largely holds an export monopoly on the product, which is produced mainly in the Kordofan, Kassala and Darfur regions.

The figure of 49,000 tons, if accurate, would account for some 80% of the combined gum arabic exports of all Arab and African countries, and it brings in a reported return of 75 million US dollars.

Mr. Abdul-Majid, in a statement to the official Sudan News Agency (SUNA), said that the Council aims to support producers and product the gum arabic belt from fire. He explained that the Council agreed with the Bank of Savings and Social Development to provide funding for smaller producers of gum arabic in states with the guarantee of the producers’ associations.

He also referred to efforts to do new research and open new markets for the promotion of the gum arabic. The Council recently worked with 16 local banks to establish a micro-finance bourse capitalized at 50 billion Sudanese pounds. It will finance factories, exporters, and an international exchange for the commodity.

The official also explained that the sector faces problems such as climate, drought and locust infestations in addition to the problem of lack of funding for small-scale producers due to lack of guarantees, instability and tribal conflict.

He said that the Council has prospective plans establish a special project for the housing and stability of producers in cooperation with the National Fund for Housing and Reconstruction, as well as the introduction of gum Arabic in the manufacturing of sweets and local food, in cooperation with the Ministry of Industry and the Federation of Industries Sudan.

The importance of the crop to the Sudanese government has been highlighted by occasional threats by Sudanese officials and ex-officials to initiate export ban for policy reasons. For instance, last year in March, a former economic advisor to President Al-Bashir urged that countries supporting the International Criminal Court should not be permitted to import Sudan’s gum arabic.

Consumers of the product include the United States, which imports about one fourth of the Sudanese output under a rare exemption of otherwise fairly strict US economic sanctions.

(ST)

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  • 21 March 2010 08:49, by Abednego Majack Macharial

    Idiot Arabs in Khartoum. Who told you to call that acacia tree gum "gum arabic"?. Does Arabs produce gum or it the tree that produce?. It now time for Kordufan people to take up arms against you hypocrites like what has been done in Darfur. You have disgraced Sudan for long time with your opportunistic policies. May God reward you for your ill behaviors toward other Sudanese.

    repondre message

  • 21 March 2010 16:08, by Time1

    north Sudan should upgrade the production of gum arabic, this will be their oil after 2011 incase the south take their oil in a seperation.

    repondre message

    • 21 March 2010 20:50, by Cherninco

      Brother Time,

      The Gum is produced in areas both in Upper Nile State and Unity State the North is doing its best to annex. My area being one of these areas, I contend that the Gum is ours and our government in Juba should work to develop it as one of our main resources. The Gum is used in the production of numerous products that I would go as far as arguing that it’s more valuable more than the oil itself.

      Cheers

      repondre message

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