Agricultural Policies and their Effects on the Agricultural Production and Productivity

Wed, 30 Aug 2017



Agricultural Policies and their Effects on the Agricultural Production and Productivity in Sudan - Study of White Nile Schemes


1. Dr. Daffallah Altayeb Yusuf Al- Hussein
2. Tarig Ahmed Hssan Al-Sheikh


Abstract:
In spite of this, we find that in many agricultural production schemes, agricultural production and productivity deteriorated. The importance of this study lies in the importance of the agricultural sector in proving food security for the population. It aimed at recognizing the most important effects resulting from the deterioration of the agricultural productivity and production as a result of the effect of the agricultural policies. The study adopted the historical, descriptive and analytical methodology. It concluded that there is a diminish in the areas cultivated by crops at the percentage of 60% and a change in the crop structure with the dominance of one crop (sorghum) compared to the agricultural pre-privatization period the fact which resulted in less economical agricultural returns.  Consequently, farmers abandoned agriculture and displaced to other areas. The study recommended the rehabilitation the White Nile agricultural schemes and placing them under direct governmental management for their importance as a strategic sector to provide food security.


introduction
Theoretical Spectrum
Analysis and Discussion of Findings
 Recommendations
Sources and References

 

1. introduction:
The agriculture is the oldest human economical activity on the surface od the earth. It aims at providing the most important constituents of living, the production of food for human and animal. From the agricultural point of view, the agriculture produces the necessary cash crops for industry and other products that support the national economy.  Agriculture provides means of sustenance for the most of the population. Agriculture progressed through different stages from a primitive agriculture depending on conventional means of irrigation and agricultural processes to an advanced means using the state of the art of technology, (Alhafian 1995). Agriculture in the developing countries, in general, is a focus of the economical activity and an important source of the national income. Sudan as one of these countries, tries to achieve development in different economical sectors, especially, the agricultural sector, to secure its requirements in food. We notice that the development strategies in Sudan beginning from the ten-year plan 1960-1970 and ending with the comprehensive national strategic plan in 1992-2002 were all directed to towards concentration on the agricultural sector to lead to the economical development process (the annual economical report, 2003).  The agricultural sector plays a pivotal role in the development economies. It is the backbone of the different economical and social activities in Sudan. Agriculture is important due to existence of vast areas of arable lands and suitable climate, in addition to possibilities of different irrigation methods and cheap labor capable of agricultural work. These factors collectively contributed, among other factors, to multiplicity of the agricultural systems in Sudan. Thus, it made it possible to produce many agricultural crops in the greater irrigated agricultural schemes and rain fed agricultural schemes. This study aims at recognizing the agricultural policies and their effect on the decline of the agricultural production and productivity in the area targeted by the study.
1-2. the area target of the study has undergone during the last three scores to a decline of agricultural production and productivity which resulted in economical and social changes represented in the increase of the rates of poverty among the population of the area and decline in the social services in the area and increase of the rates of immigration.
- Did the agricultural policies contribute to the decline of the agricultural productivity in the area?
- Did the decline of the agricultural productivity have an effect on the decline of the economical and social situations in the area targeted by the study?
1-3. Hypotheses of the Study:
The multiplicity of the agricultural policies contributes to the decline of the agricultural production and productivity in the area.
The decline of the agricultural productivity contributed to deterioration of the economical and social situations in the target area of the study.
1-4. Objectives of Study:
Recognizing the most important effects resulting from the decline of the agricultural production and productivity due to the effect of agricultural policies.
Attempt to propose solutions and recommendations that would help in the achievement of integrated and sustainable development in the area.
1-5. Importance of Study:
The importance of the study represented in that the White Nile agricultural schemes have a critical role in the economical development, and, also, the importance of the area in terms of available  qualifications  and resources  that may be invested, their role in the increase of the national income, the share of the individual and setting development in motion  at the level of the area, in particular, and Sudan, in general.
1-6. Limits of Study:
Time Limits: Include the period from (1980 to 2013).
Geographical Limits:
Located between latitudes 12°00 and 15°.30 north, and longitudes 31°.30 and 33°.15 east (Developmental Electronic Atlas, White Nile State, 2007).
1-7. In order to achieve its objectives, the study adopted many scientific research methodology, such as the historical methodology, descriptive methodology, regional methodology and analytic methodology, in addition to depending on different sources to collect data, such as observation, interview and questionnaire.
1-8. Previous Studies:
The study of Trilsbach, 1983 focused on the patterns of the rural geographical changes in the center of Sudan, north and west of Duaim.  He chose this area because it went through desertification which swept the region of the African Coast. The study reviewed the theoretical patterns of desertification and rural development and study of changes in the rain quantities, in addition, it tried to recognize the patterns of agriculture and available types of irrigation in the area.
The study of (Davis, 1985): Natural Resources and Rural Development in Dry Lands of the area north of Duaim, treated the changes and effects on the natural environment and attributed such changes in the rural areas to planning from top to bottom which disregarded the structural, cultural and traditional properties of the population which lead to inconsistency between the population and planning programs.
Al- Egaimy’s Study: 1988: Natural and Human Resources in North White Nile. It reviewed the nature of the population and their use of the agricultural land and that the decline of the natural resources is attributed to the large numbers of the animals grazing on narrow pastures that cannot meet their feeding requirements, the fact that resulted in phenomena of drought which affected the economies of the area.
Prasad’s Study, 1991 on the problems of the Indian Countryside  treated agriculture and economical development and asserted that the surplus of the agricultural production leads to economical boom. It treated, also, the distribution of the agricultural lands among the farmers and the role of the governmental and voluntary organizations in the agricultural process. The study, in general, points out the problems of the agricultural production in India which reflect many similarities to the reality of agriculture in the Sudanese countryside.
Ali’s Study: 2004: White Nile Schemes, factors and effects of decline in Kosti Governorate showed the decline of the agricultural schemes in the target area of study is represented in the decline of the natural and human systems in the area which adversely affect the economical and social situations of the population. The study, also, showed that the agricultural schemes in White Nile were successful in the past, agricultural productivity high and cultivated areas were large. The study, also, mentioned the agricultural schemes were subject to decline in cotton productivity from 4 to five kantars per acre in early seventieth to 2 kantars per acre in late ninetieth. The study explained that the decline of the agricultural schemes in the target area of the study is attributed to the interference of the natural, political, economical and administrative factors represented in the drought which struck the area during the years 1984, 1990 and 1995, and the resulting decline in the vegetation, drop of the soil fertility and sand crawling. The study showed that the consecutive of the ruling regimes and management of the agricultural schemes lead to weakness of the government administrations and decline of the agricultural production systems in the target area of the study. The study showed that the agricultural schemes in White Nile State were subject to many agricultural policies the fact which lead to imbalance in different  production relations and poor funding of the agricultural process. Because the investor could not recover the funding he desire to fund agricultural schemes lessened, also, the low return on the agricultural production leas to increases of the rate of immigration among the population of the area which adversely affected the availability of labor for farming and consequently caused a drop in the agricultural production.
Al-Hussein’s Study: 2012: Privatization of White Nile Schemes and its Effects on the Development of Rural Agricultural Communities- Study of Wakra and Areek Schemes in Duaim and Um Ramta localities 1968- 2012. The study aimed at finding the most important motives and reasons of applying the privatization programs to those schemes and the economical, social and environmental effects that resulted from applying such programs to the rural agricultural communities. The study found many findings: the poor funding and the administrative performance are the main reasons of privatizing of the schemes of the target areas of the study, as a result of the policies of the government towards sustenance schemes in the area. Privatization, also, contributed to drop of agricultural and animal production and drop of the farmer’s income level, besides its clear effect on the level of social services (education, health, drinking water). It, also, affected the natural and human environmental properties in the study area. the study recommended the necessity of providing the funding for all stages of agriculture as the farmer is not able to carry out the funding processes by himself. Next recommendation is the administrative separation of the departments of these schemes so that each department may bear its responsibilities towards the farmers. Concerning the social services, it recommended subsidizing the services of education and health and serious contribution to the provision of drinking water by the government. It recommended, also, to fight, the mesquite tree which covered vast areas of such schemes.
1-10-2. Reports, Workshops and Papers:
In the report of the agricultural production study committee for the schemes of White Nile and Blue Nile corporations in 1983, the committee found that both corporations suffer from several problems of a local nature. The most important obstacles facing the two corporations are of common nature and arising from common causes and factors that lead to the drop of the agricultural production. These factors are represented in the economical physical problems, such shortage of petroleum materials and funding. As both corporations were not founded on public capital, they resorted to bank funding with high interests to fund the agricultural crops and processes.
Report of the World Bank 1990 related the causes of the problem to deep rooted weakness in the Sudanese economy, unjust income distribution,  the agricultural policy in mechanizing the conventional agricultural sector, high rates of increase in population growth, labor, fast urban growth, immigration and drought and desertification.
Report of Arab Organization for Agricultural Development, 1994 related the drop of the agricultural production to instability of the macro, micro and sectoral policies, weak infra-structures, continuous volatility of prices and marketing policies, poor services of agricultural extension, agricultural research, increasing seeds and scarcity of laborers who migrated to cities. We find that the immigration to cities is of the major problems that face the agricultural sector in the Sudanese countryside. Arab Organization for Agricultural Development 1995 held a symposium on “Agricultural Extension the Arab World” and discussed the role to be played by the agricultural extension to achieve food security, stop the desert migration and environmental deterioration. A paper presented about Sudan dealt with the beginning of the problem of desertification, environmental deterioration and displacement in Sudan in comparison with other African countries, in addition to the internal migration to cities and causes of the environmental imbalance. The workshop of features and characteristics of the agricultural sector in White Nile State 1999 treated the problems and obstacles of the agricultural production, through four topics: natural and environmental problems, agricultural problems, financial and economical problems and social problems. It. Also, tackled the previous relations of the State with the Agricultural Research Authority. In this paper directives were given to the proposed White Nile Research Station (Hamed: 1999).
The report of “ Obstacles of Strategic Grains Crops Production in Arab World” held by Arab Organization for Agricultural Development 2002 proved that the food gap in the grains crops and oil grains in the Arab World varies from a country to another. It proved, also, that the drop of the agricultural productivity of food grain crops such as sorghum, millet and wheat in Sudan during the period between 1994 to 2003, and also the drop of cash crops, such as cotton and reasons of drop of agricultural productivity. It reported the lack of integration and harmony of policies that guarantee the stability of producers in the production department where there is poor expenditure on the agricultural sector, poor funding,  non-availability at the desired time and place, inappropriateness of its terms to small producers, high cost, absence of policies that protect the producer in the situations of crises, poor use of modern technologies in production, not linking funding with technology transfer, poor human element, lack of production inputs and requirements of the agricultural sector, poor agricultural mechanization and irrigation  blockage (Arab Organization for Agricultural Development: 2002).
Report on Addressing Issues of Productivity Decline in Agricultural and Industrial Sectors, 2006, dealt with evaluation of the current situation of productivity, reasons of agricultural productivity decline and provision of treatments. It showed that the acre productivity of some agricultural crops experienced some improvement in different periods.  The productivity of many other crops were characterized by great fluctuation and tendency towards decline besides their meek levels of rates compared to realized productivity in other similar countries and compared to tendency of Sudan’s natural resources represented by the productivity realized by the country using modern technologies and improved seeds.
Most of the studies handled the decline of the agricultural sector in Sudan and decline of the irrigated schemes in White Nile State. Most of the studies focused on the decline of schemes in the South White Nile. Due to the shortage of such studies in the area of the study, especially,  North While Nile, this study handled the reasons of decline of the productivity in North White Nile Schemes, Areek scheme.


2. Theoretical Spectrum
2-1. Concept of Agricultural Policy:
Agricultural policy is a set of processes and laws used by the State in the agricultural sector. It represents, at the same time, the way in which the State manages the agricultural sector to achieve specific objectives  in the agricultural plans. (Mohamed: 2000). One of its main objectives is addressing the difficulties faced by the rural areas in adapting to the new agricultural plans. sometime, it may be represented by adaptable interventions with a single aim of  development orientation, and sometimes, by sudden interventions which radically invert  the previous structure. These policies inexorably share   the character  of the existing regimes, whether capitalism or socialism. The agricultural policy in all countries must have balance between three objectives in the structure of the agricultural process. These objectives are:
1. the farmer whose objective is to improve his productivity and consequently, his income.
2. the consumer whose objective is the reasonable price of the agricultural products and that requires high efficient marketing policy to achieve the utmost advantage for the producers and consumers.
3. The State whose targets will be completely different from former two in terms of adopting a policy to improve the balance sheet and consequently, its desire to expand export crops.
2-1-1. Requirements of the Agricultural Policy:
The agricultural policy which is part of the general policy cannot improve national economy, raise the standard of living and achieve general welfare unless the following requirements are met:
1. the agricultural policy shall be issued by a governmental or Para-governmental power of a national character  aiming at the public interest and shall have a scientific approach it supervises and implements.
2. the agricultural policy shall have specific objectives and or goals intended to be achieved represented in the hopes and desires of the individuals.
3. the agricultural policy requires techniques to achieve the set objectives at a minimum  cost and effort (Al_Dahry:1987)
2-1-1. Types of Agricultural Policies:
Not coping of the agricultural production with the requirements of the society, irregular inflow of the agricultural crops to the markets, volatility and sudden rise of prices and the natural change lead the governments to develop specific policies to guarantee the progress of the productive, trading and marketing processes in an appropriate way. In order to address these problems, governments adopt agricultural policies that can be divided as follows:
1. Productive policies which are concerned with organizing agricultural production process.
2. Marketing policy which is concerned with organizing marketing processes and construction of silos and refrigerated warehouses and other important marketing processes.
3. Credit policy which is concerned with organizing the financial processes, borrowing and other processes.
4. Pricing policy which is concerned with organizing, determining and fixing prices (Al_Dahry: 1987).
2-1-3. Agricultural Policy Objectives:
It is difficult to identify the agricultural policy objectives in a limited number objectives. These objectives are consequential to the society whose members the agricultural policy serves, and these objectives differ in nature and in degree of their inclusiveness, as there are general objectives and special objectives. Some of these objectives may combine with each other, such as production increase and efficiency increase or contradict with each other, such as determining the area cultivated with cash crops and increase of farmers’ income. It is not easy to draw  a dividing line between objectives and techniques in terms of the agricultural policy. For example, the policy of raising prices of some crops will be considered a technique of increasing production and at the same time and objective of improving the relative   level of the farmer’s income. The agricultural policy objectives, in general, are represented in  some general objectives such as:
Firstly: Efficiency Increase: efficiency is defined as ratio  between the outcome and input of the production process or the ratio resulting from the division of the final outcomes by used techniques. The simplest case in which  the efficiency is measured is the case in which the production input is measured and production output with a physical measurement. Efficiency increase benefits the society, in general, in two ways:
a. increase of laborers supply outside agriculture
b. increase of food stuffs production
secondly: Increase and Stability of Agricultural Income: due to fact that agriculture is characterized by a large number of workers and difficulty of leaving this work for other professions, agriculture, in most cases has a surplus of agricultural workers and imbalance between the size of the labor force needed and that actually present. For this reason, the average income in agriculture is less than the similar in the rest of other economical sectors. This problem is a great significance in drawing general policies. This significance is represented in the following:
a. low income is an indicator of inefficiency, and if the low income farmers, who do not  produce but a little had  increased  their efficiency, they would have raised their general living standard.
b. the low income farmers hinder the social or economical reformation, and some programs that lead to income increase, such as production organization and trade restriction programs may cause some  shortcoming of public service programs and become in appropriate for some objectives such as efficiency increase and increase the size of trade or production.
c. low income farmers do not much contribute to the community  development or the health and education services as they ought to (Al Gusaimi et al, without a date). Efforts to improve the agricultural income was the first priority when drawing the agricultural policy at the level of the State, because the problem aggregated after the population began increasing at rates higher than the increase of the resources, especially, agriculture.
The variation of income from one year to another results from several factors, the most significant of which is the variation in supply and demand, if they are not adaptable. The result will be a relatively big variations  in the prices of the agricultural crops, and consequently, in the incomes in addition to the marketing variations which take place in the production itself. Therefore, it is necessary to fix the agricultural income for the following reasons:
1. Instability of income creates difficulty for the agricultural families  
2. instability of income creates lack of economical efficiency in using the resources and in agriculture itself.
3. Insatiability of income, sometimes, affects the family income, and for all these disadvantages which result from variations in incomes, the most important agricultural policy objectives  are to raise and fix the agricultural income by studying and analyzing the prices of the agricultural crops to predict the prices in the future and inform the farmers. The agricultural credit programs shall be so flexible and sizable to adapt to all developments in the agricultural setting.
Thirdly: Improvement of Social Conditions: increase of efficiency and increase and fixture of income are considered important economic objectives, but addressing them with agricultural policy will be in a small scale if some other objectives are not taken into account. An example of that is the social and political objectives of far-reaching impact, such as the family farm, individual freedom protection, improvement and expansion of education opportunities,  community service development, rural health service and means of entertainment may be considered as an objective of the agricultural policy (Al _Gasimy et al: without date).
2-2. Agricultural Policies in Sudan:
We find that after- independence agricultural policies in Sudan included plans and policies of the economic development in Sudan based on the programs that started with ten-year plan of development 1960-1970 – and the last plan adopted by the government was the comprehensive national strategy 1992-2002. During the period 1960- 200, the existing regimes in Sudan succeeded and varied and though this period, the agricultural policies can be divided into four phases:
1/ the period from 1960-1970:  during this period there was  a clear focus on the irrigated agriculture sector as an important point in developing the agricultural policies. During this period the Managil Extension Scheme was set up, as well as Khashm El Girba scheme, building sugar factories in Jenaid and Halfa, the beginning of work on Rahad scheme and development of pumps schemes in Blue Nile and White Nile (Numary: 1978). The policy  of development in that period helped the diversification of the agricultural production by introducing new crops, such as peanuts, sorghum  and wheat and expansion in the production of sugar, rice and coffee beans. in spite of such developmental plans which were developed, we find power struggle between the new and traditional powers. in addition to the war in the South which became fiercer during that period. There was no care for the process of planning and economic development, in general, and agricultural  development plans, in particular.
2/ The period between 1970-1980: the period which included five-year plan programs 1970-1975 and six-year  plan 1074-1980 for the economic development in Sudan. The focus was, also, on the irrigated agriculture sector on a large scale by rehabilitating and modernizing irrigated schemes and expansion of social; services ( with date, Al-Hassan:1998).
During this period, the government followed the strategy of the world basket of food and gave opportunities to the Arab investment. In spite of that, this period is characterized by instability of commercial and investment policies, in addition to environmental conditions, like drought and desertification. Consequently, Sudan needed to receive many foreign food aids, such as the American aid of wheat (Mohamed: 2002).
3/ The period 1980-1990: The period which included plans of the triple investment programs 1980-1990. That was the period of reformation and reconstruction by the assistance of the World Bank. The government followed a policy that aimed at increasing the involvement of the private sector in the agricultural investment by providing investment opportunities, create the proper atmosphere to attract and promote the investment of this sector (Arab Organization for Agricultural Development, 1998).
Notwithstanding these policies, this period is characterized by political instability and profound social problems, such as the war of the South. This is attributed to lack of clear success of open developmental policies which resulted in a clear gap in the developmental planning in the period 1983-1990 (El- Hassan: 1998).
Notice that all the developmental plans and programs during the period before ninetieths focused on partial modifications which were not comprehensive and lead to increase of rates of inflation, incomplete use of resources and economic recession which made Sudan depend on the foreign aid, whether finance or goods.
4/ 1990-2000: The period of the National program of economic rescue 1990-1993 and the comprehensive national strategy 1992-2002, when the agricultural development strategy  attempted to achieve the food security during this period through the following objectives:
a. increase of contribution of the agricultural sector to the national economy and reform of agricultural systems
b. increase the of export earnings
c. optimum use of resources
d. achievement of the regional development of the animal resource and including it in the agricultural cycle. Many policies in various areas were, also, developed during this period including:
Plant and animal production policy
Land resources policy
Policy of pastoral, forest, animal and fish resources
Non-governmental agricultural organizations by forming cooperative socities
Agricultural products pricing policy
Provision of supporting services for agricultural production
Agricultural legislations policy. It is noticed that the defect of the economic program policies included:
a. increasing interest in producing wheat without consideration to promote the food production consumed by the majority of the population (sorghum).
b. expansion of tax revenues on most food commodities without specifying protection for small producers
c. agricultural investment opportunities increased for wealthy people without a clear strategy to encourage the poor to invest (El- Hassan:1998)
we, also, find that the agricultural production with these policies was poor in the production of other crops due to poor oriented financing, basically. The funding dropped from 33% in 1992 to 155 in 1998 and lead to lack of constant use of resources in the agricultural sector (Al Mc: 2000), and, also, insufficient concentration on funding other rural activities as the funding is only for the agricultural processes.
2-3. Agricultural Reform and Agricultural Policy:
The agricultural reform is the most important point in the agricultural policy of the government. According to the new concept of the agricultural reform, it will consist of all aspects and objectives of the agricultural policy and it will be considered as one of the most important constituents of the economic and social progress in the country. Without it, the country would not progress economically.  If the agricultural reform policy has to succeed, the conditions shall be met:
1/ it should have specific objectives inspired by desires, wishes and requirements of the majority of the people. This is included in agricultural reform Act in the explanation of the necessitating reasons
2/ The government public authority power shall undertake these objectives
3, the  most appropriate means for economic, social and cultural circumstances accepted in the society shall be chosen to achieve the objectives
3- Analysis and Discussion of Findings:
3-1. Agricultural Tenure:
Agricultural tenure clearly reflects the agricultural relations in the area of the study.  The size of the agricultural tenure was subject to significant changes due to low agricultural productivity of the agricultural schemes in the State. It is a known fact that the size of the agricultural tenure in these schemes has not changes since they were set up because of the limited agricultural piece of land, but because of the low production, this relation changed and the area dedicated to agriculture became small. It became from the fieldwork that about 76.4% of the population of the State own agricultural lands, while 23.6% do not own agricultural lands –table (1).  
Table (1) Irrigated Agricultural Schemes and their Tenure Systems in the State   

locality

No.

Type of tenure

Area (Acre)

Total Area (Acre)

Schemes

farms

societies

governmental

Free ownership

Schemes & farms

Societies & Companies

 

%

Kosti

1203

113

3

96758

2605

53360

45000

98360

30.5%

Gabalain

604

493

12

74780

-

39870

34910

74780

23.3%

Duaim

599

100

2

38247

8310

40557

6000

46557

14.4%

Gitaina

1212

-

19

101300

1599

73130

29750

102880

31.9%

Total

3618

845

38

311085

12511

206917

112610

322577

100%

 

 

 

Source: Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Resource and Irrigation 2010


With respect to the cultivated area the sample showed that 37% of the farmers cultivate land of an area ranging from 5-9 acres, and 24% of the cultivate land of an area between 10-14 acres and 18.7% own an area less than 5 acres, Table 2.
Table (2) Size of Agricultural Tenure in the Study Area

Area in Acre

Repetition

Percentage

Less than 5

30

18.7%

5-9

60

37%

10-14

39

24%

15-19

18

11.1%

20-24

10

6.2%

25 acres and more

5

3%

Total

162

100%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Source: field work :2013


From the table above, we notice that 37% of the farmers in the study area practice the profession of agriculture in narrow areas between 5-9 acres while 3% practice agriculture in wide areas 25 acres and more. This is a clear evidence that lands and arable areas receded very much in the study area, and consequently, production dropped. Therefore, the statement of the study population sample indicated that about 59.4% do not cultivate all their tenures of agricultural lands annually for many reasons including the dense spread of mesquite trees in the area. The sample stated that 47% of the agricultural lands  are dominated by the mesquite trees and closed the irrigation canals. The other reason is the lack of agricultural funding and percentage of its impact amounted 23% and also 23% and also lack of labor force 15%, drought 12% and political factors 3%. These factors collectively negatively affected the production and productivity of the agricultural schemes in the State.
3-2. Crop Structure    
The main reason of setting up schemes in the State is concentration on production of food grains such as sorghum  and wheat to meet the need of the population for food  (subsistence schemes). Some cash crops were introduced, such as cotton for the purpose of improving the economic situations of the population. The crop structure experienced many changes in the relations of the common account policies. Recently, sunflower crop was introduced in some schemes and it greatly accepted by the farmers. At the same time, cotton continuously  drew back due to low agricultural production (The interview of Al- Rifae Ahmed: 10/12/2013.
3-3. Cultivated Area and Mean Productivity:
Pre-seventieths  period   compared with the eightieths and subsequent periods were characterized by high mean productivity of acre which ranged between 10-20 sacks per acre. This is attributed to the bouts of drought which struck the State  during the period of eightieths, especially, between 1980-  1995 (Agricultural Corporation ). The field work revealed that agricultural mean productivity (sorghum, wheat and cotton) was reduced in the period between 1981 -1985 and it was 2 sacks per acre, affected by drought. But, the mean productivity of acre in 1986- 1990 ranged between 6-7 sacks per acre of sorghum  and 3-4 sacks for acre of wheat. The mean productivity of cotton was 2 quintals. This low production and productivity continued during the agricultural privatization period which was applied to those schemes during the period following ninetieths to the present time. Then, cotton and wheat crops stopped and schemes depended on one crop (sorghum ) for the inability of the farmers and the cooperative societies which took over the administrative and technical responsibility for the schemes in providing necessary funding for the cultivation of such crops ( Interview by: Yusef Abdul Dayem: 19/12/2013).
3-3-1. Mean Productivity of Sorghum  Crop:
The mean productivity of an acre in sacks of sorghum  crop in the agricultural season 1996/1997 was 10 sacks per acre and in the agricultural season 1997/1998 was 8 sacks per acre, while the mean productivity for the years 2000/2001 to 2012/2013 was low productivity of average of 4 sacks per acre, indicating the effect of the agricultural policies during that period on production and productivity in the area- table (3)


Table (3) Mean Productivity of Sorghum  Crop in Sacks Per Acre

Agricultural Season

Mean Productivity in Sacks

1997/1998

8

1998/1999

8

1999/2000

6

2000/2001

4

2001/2002

4

2002/2003

4

2003/2004

6

2004/2005

5

2005/2006

5

2006/2007

4

2007/2008

5

2008/2009

4

2009/2010

4

2010/2011

4

2011/2012

4

2012/2013

4

 

Source: Ministry of Agriculture, White Nile State: 2013

There was a drop in the agricultural productivity of sorghum  crop acre, which the main crop on which the population of the study area depends. Therefore, economic and social situations worsened and capable labors migrated from the study area, whether to other places inside the country or abroad to improve their living conditions.
3-3-2. Mean Productivity of Wheat Crop:
The wheat crop is the second crop in terms of importance of food in the study area. The field work revealed that the wheat crop in the period 1985-1994 gave a high productivity per acre; more than 8 sacks ( Interview: Al Siddg Mohamed Abdullah:15/12/2013). During the privatization, the productivity receded and the mean was 2.4 sacks per acre –table (4):
Table (4) Cultivated Area and Mean Productivity of Wheat per Acre in Sacks

Agricultural Season

Mean Productivity per Acre

1997/1998

5

1998/1999

6

1999/2000

1

2000/2001

-*

2001/2002

2

2002/2003

1.7

2003/2004

3

2004/2005

2

2005/2006

2

2006/2007

3

2007/2008

2.1

2008/2009

2

2009/2010

2

2010/2011

3

2011/2012

2

20`2/203

1.7

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Source: Ministry of Agriculture, White Nile State, 2013

Note *: unavailable data

It is evident from the above table  that the agricultural seasons for the years 1999/2000- 2012/2013 experienced a drop in the productivity of acre. The mean productivity of acre was between 2-1 sack. This drop of productivity greatly affected the economies of the rural agricultural communities and made them displace to the cities of the State and outside the State.
3-4. Geographical Factors and Low Production and Productivity:
Geographical factors play a significant role in agricultural low production and productivity in the study area. The combination  of several natural factors, such as drought, vegetation had a great impact, soil and other factors  greatly contributed to agricultural low production and productivity.
Drought:
Drought  is the phenomenon that happens naturally as a result of the drop of rainfall below natural levels and causes a hydrological disruption that negatively affects the production system and consequently, affects the productivity. The definition of drought is losing water and becoming dry. Drought is also identified as an extreme  case of loss of water in which the falling rain will not be sufficient for agricultural activity. The semidry lands are characterized by light rainfall ranging between ten to twenty inches a year. The semi-desert zone of the African Coast experiences repeated constant drought bouts. Drought has become a natural characteristic of semi-dry areas. The first marks of drought is the irregularity of rainfall, its misdistribution and  shortage of rainfall as a final mark of drought (Nimir: 1998). Types of drought are:
1. Metrological Drought: in which the rainfall below general average  throughout the year or more in a religion.
2. Agricultural Drought:  in which rain is insufficient for the need of the agricultural crops, and in which the soil moisture is reduced and therefore, there will be a deficiency of agricultural production and productivity.
3. Hydrological Drought: in which rivers will be few in draining processes and water will not be sufficient for the need of humans and agriculture. In this type the rainfall will be less the usual natural level (Abdul Hameed:2002). Thornet  classified drought in 1947 in three  main categories:
Permanent Drought: This type of drought  will be in the regions where there is no rainfall at all and the regions where the rainfall is less than the expected value for evaporation and transpiration processes throughout the year.
Seasonal Drought:  This type of drought happens in the regions where rain falls in a specific season in the year, and stops raining in other seasons.
Temporary Drought: This type of drought happens as a result of changes  in rainfall, and happens whenever rainfall is below the general rates or expected rates of rainfall. So, there is a relationship between the scarce rains and drought (Arab Organization for Agricultural Development: 2002).
In the light of the above, the study area was affected by the drought phenomenon which was represented in:
Drop in subterranean water as a result of decrease of water feed quantities
Increase of soil deviation under the effect of erosion factors as a result of shrink  of vegetation
 Drought directly affected, in general, the production  until the production in the area, especially, in the dry and semi-dry area  became marked by the fluctuation of rainfall quantities.
Drought affected, the growth of trees, in general, especially, the fruitful trees which are affected by lack of water supply.
The lengthy and repeated drought which hits some pastoral areas lead to worsening of natural vegetation
 Drought lead to deterioration  of the soil fertility in the area.
The study area is a dry area in terms of rainfall, generally, especially in recent years during the period and changes which happened to different climate elements, such as rains, temperature, winds and rates of evaporation and transpiration. By careful reading of rainfall we find that the years 1980, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1993,2000 and 2002 are considered the driest years in the study area.
The drought of these years caused reduction  of agricultural production and productivity of the agricultural schemes of the State. Consequently, the rural poverty and lack of food security spread. As a result many negative experiences emerged, including shortage and lack of  necessary services which lead to human stability in the area. As a result, the vegetation has been affected and soil deteriorated. Trees and shrubs were replaced by weeds in the herbal pastoral areas and perennials replaced durable grasses. Consecutive drought years in the study area and pressure of animals which graze  the plant resources in the area lead to deterioration of vegetation  and created  unevenness in the balance of vegetation. Some kinds of plants disappeared and other un palatable types appeared. That  deteriorated situation of the vegetation affected the capacity of the natural pasture which used to provide 80% of the animal needs naturally and manufactured fodders were introduced to meet the need for fodders for animals and cost of animal production.
3-5- Agricultural Policies and their Effect on Agricultural Production and Productivity
The agricultural policies adopted by the government towards the White Nile agricultural schemes indirectly influenced the low agricultural production and productivity in these schemes, although the objective of development of such agricultural polices is the promotion of better agricultural schemes situation and attempt to develop them by increasing production and productivity, except that the continuous change  of political regimes a change of their policies towards  the agricultural sector confused the farmer. The result was the deterioration of the agricultural schemes, and consequently, low production and productivity of such schemes. The agricultural schemes in White Nile, throughout its historical stages, greatly suffered from such variable policies, the last of which was the economic liberation policy (Privatization)  it had  many negative impacts on agricultural schemes in White Nile. They represented in the following:
High cost of acre funding during ninetieths in which acre productivity cost rose from 621 pounds in 1992 to 3075pounds in 1997. The economic liberation policy allowed the import of agricultural food commodities before and during the harvest the matter which hindered the marketing of local agricultural crops, and consequently, the farmers abstained from cultivation and cultivated areas shrank and affected the size of production.
The shrink of the role of the government at both production and agricultural services levels, such as research, proliferation of seeds, training, qualifying and protection lead to spread of several endemic  diseases and insects that to a great large cause the reduction of production and productivity.
The succession of the governmental regimes on the  State and agricultural schemes departments lead to weakness of agricultural  management and deterioration of agricultural productions systems in the area.
White Nile agricultural schemes are located spaced from each other the fact which makes it difficult to apply the technical packages to agricultural processes, especially at preparation for crop  on one hand, and absence of agricultural extension offices at the schemes and failure to deliver information quickly and precisely to enable the competent authorities to meet it and treat it timely, especially, the urgent information such as pests. The sample showed that the agricultural crops are exposed to many pests, so, pesticides are used  and the scheme management does not have communication sets except that transported on vehicles. These are also impossible to use in the rainy season because of the poor roads and farmers are isolated throughout the critical period of preparation for production. Agricultural policies and poor managements at the study area contributed to low productivity.   
The problem of irrigation  is one of the main problems that emanated from the agricultural privatization policy and its management takeover by the cooperative societies which failed to provide supplies of maintenance for the irrigation pumps  in the form they were received from the technical committee. They in poor condition and inefficient for provision of necessary irrigation for the schemes. This resulted in the shrink of the cultivated areas. It is worth mentioning that these pups lack many maintenance supplies represented in :
Lack of spare parts and funding to purchase them
Shortage of engineers, technicians and skilled labor
Lack of mobile workshops to repair breakdowns
The poor state of the small bridges and doors of barrages
The delay of the maintenance works and failure to perform it timely
Fuel supply interruption  during the agricultural season
It is noticed that the privatization policy of these schemes was based on the idea of listing and evaluating the assets at each scheme or more and transferring the ownership of the land and assets of the scheme to the farmers  after they join cooperative society or company, then, the management of the company will provide funding and work management.
The payment of the value of the assets to the government will decided in twenty years with five years  period of  grace. It was agreed that the schemes should be  delivered to farmers’ companies after rehabilitation and putting them in an appropriate productive position. Also, provide financing facilitations for the new companies, training  board of directors of the companies and farmers’ leaders on administrative systems and support them with different technical and administrative cadres
In fact, what happened was not planned for, because the government abandoned these schemes and did not commit itself to preparation and maintenance of the assets. Therefore,  they were turned over to the farmers’ societies and they couldn’t provide necessary agricultural requirements to continue the production as before. The privatization affected  the schemes by the following:
Firstly:  Agricultural Performance:
-The total cultivated area was reduced with the reduction of the areas of cotton and wheat and the relative expansion in ma9ze cultivation- table (5)
-Prevalence of one crop which involves economic and agricultural negative effects.
-Reduction in the mean production of cultivated crops
Table (5) Area in Acres and Cultivated Areas for Five Years after Privatization 95/96-99/2000.

Season

Cotton

Sorghum

Wheat

Area

Productivity

Area

Productivity

Area

Productivity

95/96

65000

2.7

48000

5.8

4071

2.8

96/97

55407

2

56000

5.2

55400

1.5

97/98

2000

1.5

60000

5

7627

1.5

98/99

7865

3.75

71428

8

500

2

99/2000

8720

-

81717

-

1100

-

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Source: Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources- Whit Nile State, 2004

Secondly: Financial Performance:
-  The privatization period was characterized by the lack of funding resources for the fear of the funding parties from the new experience
-  The  available funding was irregular and fluctuating and its service fees were high
- The high fees  and taxes on the crops lead to high production cost
-  poor production of some farmers and production cost lead to seeking the common account system which does not encourage the producing farmer
Thirdly: Administrative and Organizational Performance of Privatization:
Because of the limited administrative capacities of most farmers’  leaders and spread of illiteracy and tribalism among the farmers, the boards of directors failed to run the work in the companies and societies and failed to attract funding and investors and cooperatives.   The lack of capable  management in many companies lead to poor agricultural programs, supervision and follow up, the fact which lead to slow reaction to transformation process  by the bases of the farmers. Privatization affected the social aspect as the following:
- decline of living conditions of the farmers, in particular, and displacement of others
- decrease of seasonal and casual agricultural labor opportunities, and increase of migration to cities and abroad and expansion of marginal professions in cities and slums
 - discontinuance of social services money after dissolution of the agricultural corporation and non-availability of funding to  support schools and health facilities. As a result, services collapsed and health conditions and education were negatively affected
-  briefly, the privatization of White Nile agricultural schemes caused a big loss in developmental, economic and social aspects of a large category of White Nile population. This study comes as an attempt to compare and evaluate such situations before and after privatization and induce  the future of these schemes which are considered the main economic and social supporter of the stability of the rural communities, find solutions for the problems to produce rural sustainable development in such areas to provide population stability and stop the displacement to neighboring cities.  
3-6. Economic Factors and Agricultural Productivity:
Economic factors greatly affected the agricultural schemes in the study area because of the inability of agricultural funding to meet the actual requirements  of the agricultural processes. The irregularity of the agricultural funding and its inflow at the specific time of cultivation had contributed to  the low agricultural production and poor funding contributed to 23% of low agricultural productivity.  According to  reports of the study population, 62.2% think that the agricultural funding is made by the Sudanese Agricultural Bank while 33% of the subjects think the agricultural funding is made by self-funding, but, 4.8% think that the agricultural funding in the study area is made by other parties. This indicates that more than half of the farmers of the study area depend on the Sudanese Agricultural Bank in funding the agricultural processes  and this does not conform with the time of need for different agricultural processes. It, also, clear from the field work that 67% of the subjects reported that funding would not be available at the right  time to begin the agricultural process in the study area, while 33% of the study sample reported that funding was made at the right time, and most them are from those who fund their plantations by themselves. According to the study population, the form in which funding is made is that the scheme administration prepares the land and provides the production inputs, such as seeds, fertilizers, pesticides and other provided that the farmer undertakes the rest of the agricultural processes from his own resources which will, always, be limited and have negative impact on the agricultural processes, and consequently, on the agricultural productivity of the scheme.
One of the reasons of the low productivity of the agricultural scheme is the delay in land preparation and lack of production inputs, beside the pre-mentioned  natural, human and political reasons. Therefore, the poor funding is one of the most important reasons of the recent decline of the scheme and consequently, it lead to low agricultural productivity. The abstention of financers from funding the schemes  and poor funding may be  attributed  to:
High production cost, high prices of production inputs and interests of the agricultural funding –estimated by about 36% by the Agricultural Bank.
The prevalence of subsistence schemes concept among the farmers of the study area
Lack of suitable crop structure
Instability of the prices of the crops and the drop of their prices, in some seasons, below the cost price.
Non-abidance by the agricultural cycles and good preparation of land
Lack of liquidity timely
Failure of dispatching pest control campaigns timely and consequently, the low  percentage of the agricultural production
Inefficiency of the farmer in agricultural processes results in low agricultural productivity
All these reasons lead to shortage of sources of funding, and fear of financing parties from the newness  privatization and caused decrease in cultivated area and low agricultural productivity in the study area.
4. Recommendations:
-  it will be necessary to rehabilitate all the infra-structures of White Nile agricultural schemes and connect them  to roads and bridges in city area of the State and other states of Sudan in order to set off the required development.
-  It will be necessary to involve the agricultural communities in planning and developing and implementation of the desired agricultural  policies before starting to apply them
- it will be necessary to consider the vertical and horizontal expansion in the agricultural piece in the state.
- it will be necessary to commit to apply the agricultural packages to achieve integrated and sustainable development in the State.
- it will be necessary for the government to participate in management and follow up of the agricultural sector, in general, and  the subsistence agricultural sector, in particular.
- it will be necessary to introduce animal into the agricultural cycles of these schemes.
- it will be necessary to control the spread of mesquite tree which endangers the agricultural areas of the schemes.
- it will be necessary to adopt and provide policies and strategies into  the rural areas and rural communities to initiate a development that lead to settlement of such sectors and benefit from their potentials in achievement of country development.


Sources and References:
Books:
Al Hafian Awad Ibrahim (1995) Bases of Rural Development and Role of Agriculture in Sudan, Khartoum University Printing House, Khartoum.
Al Dahry Abdul Wahab Mattar (1987): Agricultural Economy, Baghdad Publishing House, Baghdad
Al Gasimy et al, Mahmoud (Without a date): Agricultural Economy, Ain Shams University Pyblishing
Abdul Hameed Atif (2002): Concept of Drought and Desertification, Anglo-Egyptian Publishing, Cairo.
Numairy Sayed (1978): Economic Planning in Sudan, Khartoum University Publishing, Khartoum.
Reports:
-  World Bank (1990): Human Development in the World, Ahram Commercial Printing Presses, Cairo.
Electronic Developmental Atlas, White Nile State, 2007.
Annual Economic Report (2003): Arab Organization for Agricultural Development, Khartoum.
Arab Organization for Agricultural Development (1978): Exploratory study of fields of agricultural investment in Blue Nile, White Nile, Gazira and Khartoum.
Arab Organization for Agricultural Development (1994): Agricultural Policies in Eightieths in  Sudan, Khartoum.
Arab Organization for Agricultural Development (1995): National Symposium on Agricultural Extension in Arab World, Sanaa.
Arab Organization for Agricultural Development (1998) Evaluation of the   Effect of Economic Reform and structural adaptation on the Agricultural Sectors,  Khartoum.
Arab Organization for Agricultural Development (2002) : Obstacles of Strategic Grains Production in Arab World, Khartoum.
Arab Organization for Agricultural Development (2007): Addressing Issues of Low Productivity in the Agricultural and Industrial Sectors, Khartoum
Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Resources and Irrigation (2004), White Nile State, Kosti.
Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Resources and Irrigation (2010) White Nile State, Kost.
Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Resources and Irrigation (2013), White Nile State, Kosti.
Academic Papers and References:
Al Mc Al Sheikh Mohamed (2000): Agricultural Funding in Sudan and Need to Insure it- Agricultural Insurance Workshop and Farmers’ Problems in Gadaref State, Khartoum University, Khartoum.
Hamad Mustafa (1999): Features and Characteristics of the Agricultural Sector in White Nile State, Khartoum University, Agricultural Research Authority, White Nile State, Kosti.
Nimir Mutasim Basheer (1998): Environment Promotion and its Impact on Preservation of Natural Resources, Eighth Conference, Khartoum
Academic Theses :
Al- Hassan Suidaa Ahmed Elzein (1998):  Governmental Policies and Food Security in Khartoum State, unpublished Master Degree thesis, Khartoum University.
Al Hussein Dafallah Al Tayeb Yusef (2012):  Privatization ofWhiteNile Schemes and Impact on the Rural Agricultural Development- Study of Wakra and  Arik, in Duaim and Um Remta localities, 1068=2012, unpublished dissertation, Bakht Al-Ruda University.
Ali Arafa El Haj Mohamed (2004): White Nile Agricultural Schemes- Factors and Impacts of Deterioration, unpublished  Master Degree Thesis, Khartoum University.
Mohamed Susan Ibrahim (2002):  Agricultural Sector and its Role in the Economic Development in Sudan focusing on the period from 1990- 2001, unpublished Master Degree Thesis, Khartoum University.
Interviews:
Al Rufae Ahmed (10/12/2013),  deputy manager of Agricultural Production, Duaim.
Al Siddig Mohamed Abdullah (15/12/2013), A bgar Agricultural Scheme   
Yusef  ABdul Daem (19/12/2013): Resident Manager of Arik Agricultural Scheme.
Foreign References:
- Davis  H.R.J (1986); Rural Development and Resources Management in the White Nile Province, Sudan, The United Nations, University of  Tokyo, Japan.
- Egemi   O. A. (1986) ;Natural Resources Inventory and Monitoring in the Northern White Nile  Province. M. A, thesis, University of Khartoum.
- Prasad  K.N. (1991) ; Indian Rural Problems, New Delhi
-Trilsbach    Anthony (1983);Desertification and Rural Change in Central Sudan. Ph.D. Dissertation, University Wales.
C.V.
Name: Dr. Dafallah Al Tayeb Yusef aL Hussein
Academic Qualifications: Bachelor of Arts, Khartoum University, 1985
M. A. Arts, Khartoum University, 2002
Ph. D. Bakht Al Ruda University, 2012
M.A. Education, Institute of Education, Bakht Al Ruda, 2015
Practical Experience: Institute of Education, Bakht Al Ruda, Bakht Al Ruda University, 1996- up to date.
Geography Department Head, 1996- 2004     2008-2013
Examinations Department Head, 2004- 2008
Post-studies coordinator, Faculty of Arts, 2014-2015
Supervised post-studies students
Published several research and  papers
Participated in several conferences and training courses
Bakht Al Ruda University
Faculty of Arts- Department of Geography
To: Manager of  Sudanese Encyclopedia Content (Sudapedia)
Dear sir,
Arbitration of paper “ Agricultural Policies and their Impact on Agricultural Production and Productivity- Study of White Nile Schemes, Sudan.
Reference to above subject, after thorough examination of the paper, I would like to inform you that  it is a good work and worthy of appreciation and commend. I recommend to consider the following:-
1. The title of the study covers the study perfectly, but “production and productivity’ were used as synonyms, while the hypothesis concentrates on the agricultural production. Therefore, I would like to propose the title “ Agricultural Policies and their Impact on Agricultural Production- Study of White Nile Schemes, Sudan.
2. The abstract is good and inclusive and it covers the points and expresses the subject of the paper precisely.
3. The required remarks are:
a. addition of another objective to the objectives of the study related to the theoretical framework because the study needs a god theoretical framework of the agricultural production which would help development planners and decision makers.
b. correction of typing mistakes
c. Review of documentation, because some references were not included in the documentation
d. update some tables and statistics
final Decision: The paper is suitable for publication and could a real added value in the field of knowledge for its originality and full information, especially, after the new orientation towards correction of economic situations, Sudan needs such kind of studies which are associated with the living and production of people.

 

 

.   

Add Comment

0 Comments