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Hamdok appoint committee to settle Sudan’s Gezira scheme problems

December 12, 2019 (KHARTOUM) - Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok Thursday formed a high emergency committee to ensure the success of the winter season in the Gezira scheme and Managil extension in central Sudan.

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A Sudanese farmer stands in a field of sorghum in Gezira state (Photo: AFP/File, Jose Cendon)

The decision comes 24 hours after a demand by the FFC to sack the agriculture minister who was accused of by the farmers of causing the failure of the agricultural season for wheat.

The channels were not opened to allow the flow of water into the tenants of the Gezira Scheme, said a leading figure of the Sudanese Communist Party on Wednesday.

However, the prime minister declined to sack his minister and appointed a committee headed by the Undersecretary of the Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources to consider the irrigation constraints and to remove it, according to a statement released on Thursday.

Also, the ad hoc panel has to ensure the flow of cash from the Agricultural Bank to finance the farmers and payment of production inputs.

The scheme, which was a major source of hard currency earnings of the country, has seen its production drastically decreasing during the former regime of Omer al-Bashir due to the deterioration of the irrigation and drainage infrastructures.

Also, the irrigation project faces other problems linked to the delayed funding by the Agricultural Bank to the small farmers who do not own their lands.

(ST)