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Sudan plans too boost wheat production to cut imports

The Sudanese government has announced it will cultivate 600,000 acres of wheat as it aims to cut importations of the crop, which have been setting the country back US$900mn annually

Sudan currently imports more than two million tonnes of wheat annually and the recent wheat plantation project set-up by the government will be expected to begin in the winter season, stated Salah Hassan, deputy director of Sudan’s agricultural bank.

The finance minister Ali Mahmoud Abdel-Rasool added that any hold-up in producing wheat locally would mean the government would resort to importing at a higher cost due to international prices increasing. 

"We have to reduce imports through domestic production of wheat," Abdel-Rasool said.

Sudan's minister of agriculture, Abdel Halim Al-Mutafi, who was testifying before the Sudanese parliament, said that agricultural finance in the country was not readily available.

Al-Mutafi referred back to funds that were distributed last year, saying that they did not exceed US$3.9bn, which is only two per cent of the total loans issued by the banks nationwide.