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Sudanese govt to allow Chinese cos to grow one million feddans of cotton

YarnsandFibers News Bureau 2016-08-18 15:00:00 – Khartoum

The Sudanese government and Chinese companies have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) allowing the latter to grow one million feddans of cotton in Sudan. The feddan is a unit of area equivalent to 1.038 acres (0.42 ha). This was disclosed by the speaker of Gazira state Legislative Council.

On Wednesday, speaker of the Gazira state Legislative Council Jalal Min Allah Gibril said that the Chinese companies would cultivate 450,000 feddans in his state besides building textile and ready-made clothing factories.

Sudan’s Minister of Water Resources, Irrigation and Electricity, Mutaz Musa, pointed out that the ministry is implementing 155 electricity projects with china at a cost of 10 billion dollars. His government will also fund the $10 billion projects from multiple sources, adding that the five-year plan includes power plants and dams.

In 2013, the then Sudan’s minister of agriculture Abdel Halim al-Mutafi, announced that his government signed an agricultural cooperation agreement with Beijing which gives Chinese companies several options to operate in Sudan.

Sudan’s National Assembly unanimously approved a legal framework agreement last June that gives Saudi Arabia the right to cultivate one million feddans of land in Upper Atbara and Setait project for 99 years.

Sudan’s agricultural sector has continued to deteriorate over the years mainly as a result of negligence, drought, mismanagement, high taxes and the overall economic climate.

Sudanese farmers often complain about the high costs of imported materials such as fertilizers. Many of them were sent to jail as their debt piled up.

Even, foreign investors also complain about lack of infrastructure and unfriendly laws which they say deters them from putting money in Sudan’s vast farmlands.

Several ambitious plans enacted to bring life to the sector have failed to materialize and critics say the government forfeited a golden opportunity during the oil boom to boost agriculture.

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