5-6 October 2021
Regional Consultation

Enhancing the resilience and sustainability of Sudan's agricultural sector

  • Khartoum, Sudan

Within the framework of the project on enhancing the resilience and sustainability of the agricultural sector in the Arab region, ESCWA, in cooperation with the Arab Organization for Agricultural Development, organized a national consultation session on enhancing the resilience and sustainability of the agricultural sector in Sudan. The session is part of a series of five national consultation sessions in Arab countries.

The consultation session considered ways to bolster Sudan's agricultural sector in the face of climate change, the unsustainable use of natural resources and the COVID-19 pandemic. The session, which gathered key national stakeholders from the agriculture sector, resulted in practical recommendations and the identification of national priorities. Representatives from the ministries of Agriculture and Forestry, Animal Resources, Irrigation and Water Resources, as well as the Higher Council for the Environment and Natural Resources and the International Fund for Agricultural Development, participated in the national session, in addition to specialists in agricultural, environmental, and academic fields, from the public and private sectors and civil society institutions.

It is expected that these five national consultation sessions in the targeted countries will result in a comprehensive document that identifies priorities and recommendations for the region's agricultural sector.

Outcome document

The national consultation session aimed at identifying ways of enhancing the agricultural sector’s resilience and sustainability in Sudan in the face of climate change, the unsustainable use of natural resources and the COVID-19 pandemic. Main key messages that resulted from the consultation session included:

  • Promoting the adoption of water harvesting technology by increasing the number of Hafairs and the use of supplemental irrigation
  • Encouraging the use of resilient agricultural varieties and techniques that lead to increased productivity, such as improved drought and heat resistant, the adoption of modern irrigation systems and supplemental irrigation in rainfed and water scarce areas.
  • Following specific price policies to enable market access, providing marketing information, encouraging contract farming, regulating laws, and increasing agricultural practices according to value chains in the agro-food sector (production - assembly - processing - marketing)
  • Endorsing laws that regulate disputes and encouraging the provision of inputs through cooperative associations
  • Activating the role of agricultural extension
  • Improving financing policies and raising the capital of institutions involved in the agricultural sector
  • Activating investment laws and creating an attractive investment environment

This paper presented an overview of the most important factors that affect agricultural development and food security in the Arab region, especially those related to water and land conservation, and to climate change impact. The paper also included a conceptual framework on resilience and sustainability, and a guide for following up and evaluating the state of sustainability in the Arab agricultural sector. It also addressed the main requirements for enhancing the resilience and sustainability of agriculture in the Arab region.

This paper presented the context of the agricultural sector in Palestine, Jordan and Lebanon and the challenges faced by rural agricultural communities in these countries, mainly climate change, decline in areas of agricultural lands and water scarcity. Additionally, the paper addressed vulnerabilities of rural agricultural communities in the three countries and presented a number of proposed measures to enhance the resilience of the rural agricultural communities in each country.

Given the water scarcity problem in the Arab region, this paper focused on the high potential of rainfed agriculture to improve production and productivity levels in several countries of the Arab region. The paper also presented agricultural strategies and practices that allow improving water and land productivity in rainfed agriculture through adopting rainwater harvesting, supplemental irrigation, conservation agriculture, genetic improvement, integrated disease and weed control, among other good practices. Additionally, the paper noted the need to increase investment, capacity building and research in rainfed agriculture.

During this session a brief introduction to the agriculture sector in Egypt was presented, in addition to efforts made in agricultural development and main risks and challenges facing the sector and its sustainability, especially in relation to water and land resources and climate change impacts. The presentation also covered main interventions and trends towards enhancing resilience and sustainability of the agricultural sector in Egypt.

This session presented the project’s objectives that aim at enhancing food security, increasing income and building the capacity of poor rural families to withstand shocks. In addition, the session covered main project activities (providing agricultural inputs, building technical capacities, technical assistance, institutional organization of producers, etc.) and main results, such as increasing the production of sorghum, sesame and milk, as well as enhanced capacities of beneficiaries in managing daily farm businesses.

Participants were separated into three working groups, and each group was assigned to study one dimension of enhancing the resilience and sustainability of the agricultural sector, as follows:

  • Socio-economic dimension
  • Environmental dimension and climate change
  • Women and youth empowerment

For each dimension, participants were specifically requested to identify the main challenges facing the agricultural sector in Sudan, and to propose for each challenge a number of solutions and indicators to measure improvement.

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