Historical development of sugar industry in the Sudan (1962—2016)

Mon, 16 Oct 2017

Dr.  Amal Gad Alrab Fadell almoula


This research attends to historical development of sugar industry in the Sudan. The country itself has numerous geographical factors contributing to success of sugar industry. Importantly, history of the industry shows how development of this industry is successful and how it can be benefited from in supporting other projects besides that the problems facing this industry can be avoided in other fields. The research aims at knowing historical development of sugar industry in the Sudan and the problems that face this industry and how they can be tackled. In spite of the success achieved by sugar factories, the industry faces numerous problems as agricultural area prepared for cultivating sugar cane has not for long been cultivated, particularly the traditional Sudanese Sugar Co. however, among all sugar factories, the Gineid plant has smaller agricultural area for cultivation of sugar cane and since the factory was inaugurated, the area planned to be cultivated has not yet been completed. Even the design capacity for production of sugar in factories has not been accomplished except for New Halfa plant. Also, the study explained that irrigation and financing represent the problem that faces sugar industry in factories of Sudanese Sugar Co. The study concluded that Kenana Sugar Co., though belated, has priority in achievement of sugar industry. Kenana Co. has developed the industry through its prepared plans since, depending on industrial leftovers of sugar industry; it established integrated industry around the sugar plant along with other agricultural and animal production related projects.

Similarly, the study stated that sugar industry in the plant of the White Nile Sugar Co. is at the preliminary experimental stage and, thus, productivity is poor and incompatible with the design capacity as the factory itself is only five years old. Accordingly, if for these factories to contribute to sugar related industries, the research recommended that problems facing sugar plants should be resolved to help these factories achieve the traditionally planned design capacity and, additionally, contribute to establishment of new sugar plants.


1/ preface

The man has for long acquainted with sugar as human beings begun to diet on sweet fruits about a thousand years before Christ. Then, after some period, the man began squeezing some fruits and plants to drink their sugary juice and even concentrated juice to obtain some juice with more sweet. However, opinions agreed that inhabitants of India and South China were the first people who knew cultivation of sugar cane and industry of sugar. When Arabs invaded Persia in 640, they were concerned with manufacturing sugar and they even established large factories for production of sugar. Later, when Egyptians knew sugar, they added some modifications to its industry by refining sugar cane juice with adding lime and plant ash to it. On his second voyage, Christopher Columbus ushered Cuba, West Indies and Central and South Americas into cultivation of sugar cane. Then, in the 16th century, cultivation of sugar cane was transferred to Germany, France and England but actually industry of sugar was started in England in the 19th century due to development of industrial machineries when tools of technological and chemical control were introduced in the process (10).

Modern global developments, i.e. WTO and relevant agreements, have direct impacts on proliferation of industry of sugar and its secondary products and sugar sweets since these agreements lift support from agricultural sector and adopt the system of integrated quality management known as (IZO 9000 (8).

2/ importance of the research:

This research is important as Sudan possesses numerous geographical factors contributing to success of the strategic industry of sugar. Moreover, history shows how successful the development of this industry while this development can be benefited from in supporting other projects and how this industry is faced with problems which can be avoided in other new sites before appropriate time of implementation of the industrial activities. In the interim, all required data of old factories can be unmistakably registered and prepared for the new plants.

3/ purposes of the research:

The research aims at the following:

1/ acquaint with history of industry of sugar in the Sudan.

2/ discuss historical development of production of sugar for every factory in the Sudan.

3/ acquaint with social part of industries of sugar in housing communities at sugar plants and neighbourhoods.

4/ acquaint with problems that face industry of sugar in the Sudan.

5/ hammer out solutions which may contribute to solution of such problems.

4/ problem of the research:

Available factors of industrial endemism have contributed to traditional development for industry of sugar in the Sudan as far as horizontal and vertical expansion of production is concerned. Also, since its launch, industry of sugar has for long provided many socio-economic services within its housing vicinities. Luckily, this has made those vicinities more stable and socially connected ones across the Sudan.

5/ premises of the research:

The research presumes the following:

1/ big development for industry of sugar through long history and this made workers experienced of and skillful at cultivation and industrialization of sugar in the Sudan. Helpfully, this positively impacted development of production at sugar plants.

2/ since they were launched, sugar factories have socio-economically developed their housing vicinities and this contributed to settlement of inhabitants at those neighbourhoods.

6/ Methods of research:

The research adopted the following methods:

1/ descriptive method: it is used in description of factories of sugar, industry and industrial production and services at housing communities and peripheral villages.

2/ historical method: it is used in history of establishment of sugar plants as well as in developmental history for production of factories in the Sudan.

3/ analytical quantitative method: it is used in knowing quantity of production in all sugar plants in the Sudan.

4/ compared method: it is used in comparing industrial development of sugar factories with production of sugar during history of production of factories in the Sudan.

7/ ways to collect information:

Secondary information was collected from books and periodicals from some university libraries of Khartoum State. Similarly, preliminary information was collected from statistical reports prepared by the relevant parties and by Ministry of Federal Industry.

8/ History of industry in the Sudan:

Industry in the Sudan was manually started since the first era of the Mamlukes and then those industries had developed in the Turkish era (1821—1989) and era of English colony. At that time, traditional industries had included domestic utensils and tools, equipments of traditional agriculture, tannery, leather and iron industries, etc. nevertheless, first period of post independence rule had experienced introduction of modern industries initiated with textile, food industries such as soap and food oils. Then, in the Ingaz era, industry has progressed to reach heavy industries like tractors, vehicles, trucks and iron industries. These latter industries have come to be seen through Industrial Town of GIAD, war industrialization and electronic industries through Saria Industrial Complex and such other industries(5). 

Sudan was acquainted with sugar in ancient time when the commodity had been imported from Egypt to old Sudanese kingdoms but, till late years of the ‘fifties of last century, sugar cane had been cultivated in some schemes of Khartoum provinces for production of black honey in a plant constructed in Khartoum North by Middle East agricultural company. Then, after independence of the Sudan, actual industrialization of sugar was started in the Sudan(1).

9/ History of sugar plants of Sudanese Sugar Co.

Sudanese sugar Co. is one of public sector corporations. The company works according to 1925 Companies Act. It is the first company for industry of sugar in the Sudan. The company holds four plants, all of which are absolutely owned by Ministry of Finance with neither national nor international partners involved. However, we can discuss history of industry o sugar in the company plants as follows:

1/ Gineid Sugar Factory:

Project of Gineid Sugar Factory was among projects of the ten-year development plan in the Sudan (1961—1970). Those projects aimed at diversification of production, substitution of imports to provide hard currency, diversification of sources of national income and creation of further labour opportunities which public policies may provide in this period (9).

As importation of sugar began depleting the state resources of hard currencies, industry of sugar began to be thought of. On success of cultivation of sugar cane in the Sudan, Gineid agricultural scheme, a then branch of the Gezira Scheme, was targeted for cultivation of sugar cane with utilization of all available facilities such as land, channels, pumps and farmers. Geographically, Geneid scheme is located in Gezira State on the eastern bank of the Nile(9).

  • Cultivation of sugar cane was started in 1959 and the foundation stone was laid in December, 1960.
  • Building of the factory was finished by a German consortium and initially launched in 1962.
  • The factory used to seasonally operate for about 150 days with a daily design capacity for squeezing 4000 tons of sugar cane per day while the total capacity of production reached 60000 tons of sugar cane per annum.
  • Total area of the project equaled 42816 feddans while completion of the second phase of seeds farm was going on in an area of 2100 feddans. However, there were 2507 farmers employed in the project with 2518 sugar plantations.
  • Number of workers (employee/official) in permanent service had been about 1400 workers besides 3000 seasonal workers and 1200 incidental workers (harvest employees) (3).

Geneid sugar factory is the eldest one of other sugar plants with about 54 years of experience. The factory was started with poor production which had been, according to Sugar Company report (2015), (13260 tons per annum), (19520 tons per annum), (16591 tons per annum), (16028 tons per annum), (22856 tons per annum) for the years 1962, 1963, 1964, 1965 and 1966 respectively.

The initial poor production of the project was due to impromptu studies which had overlooked many aspects that should have been provided for successful industry. In this respect, the Gineid Scheme had once been a project for cultivation of cotton and later transferred to cultivation of sugar cane by the same farmers(1).

Though the Gineid factory was started with poor production of sugar cane, it met the need of domestic consumption owing to small number of population and sugar factories. Later, production of sugar reached upwards of (40000 tons per annum) in 1991 and 1997 and the production was increased in the following years. Nowadays, there is high development of production, for example according to data of the Sudanese Sugar Co. (2009), table (1) shows that production of sugar is higher than the design capacity. Notably, this shows historical development of production as a result of development of production inputs and long experiences of cultivation and industry of sugar cane, knowing that the factory contains experimental farm, training research centers and specialized managements. Here, agricultural area had ranged from 19000 to 19356 feddans for the years 2006 and 2007 respectively while the highest rate of production was 87211 tons in 2007 and the lowest rate was 84771 tons in 2006. Similarly, ratio of extraction of sugar was close to the global percentage which equals 10% and even this ratio exceeded the global one as it reached 10.15%. according to table (5), performance report plan shows historical development of production of sugar in Gineid factory from 2003/2004 to 2011/2012 as it is planned for this production to get to (92000 tons of sugar) in 2011/2012. Yet, average production of sugar (for 10 years) reached (86000 tons in the season) and though this latter quantity of production hadn’t reached the targeted amount, i.e. 92000 tons, it was close to it with only 6000 tons in difference. However, this suggests that the plan goal is accessible provided that all obstacles will be removed.

Since they were established, sugar factories have highly promoted social services and provided labour opportunities for people and proved their lifestyle. In this regard, many scientific researches in Sudanese universities proved that vicinities of industry of sugar are more stable and socially consolidated than other Sudanese areas. Also, type and nature of industry which was launched in peripheral rural areas made deliverance of service come prior to and coincide with the advent of industry. All sites of industry of sugar were transformed into towns in which all services are delivered at all possible levels, for instance Gineid sugar factory delivered many social services in the vicinity which can be highlighted in the following:

1/ two schools of basic stage (for both boys and girls) and two secondary schools (for both boys and girls) were built to serve employees and citizens.

2/ a hospital was built in Gineid to be weekly visited by specialist physicians. This hospital delivers service for employees and the natives, besides a people pharmacy to deliver required medicines.

3/ there are also campaigns for environmental sanitation in the housing neighbourhoods and towns and villages of the scheme.

4/ all the 26 villages of the scheme were lighted.

5/ the factory contributed to provision of drinking water in all villages of the scheme.

6/ the scheme contributed to building of mosques and khalwas in the neighbourhood of the scheme and outside it.

2/ New Halfa Sugar Factory: 

When the High Dam of Egypt was planned to be constructed, the Nile Waters Agreement was passed in 1959 and, as a result, both Sudanese and Egyptian governments agreed to compensate the natives of Old Halfa whose lands were submerged by waters for 150 km into Sudanese lands. Accordingly, the government was committed to evacuate the inhabitants of Old Halfa and the neighbouring villages by July, 1963, and dislocate all those who lost their lands and houses. Yet, till the agreement was concluded, no any serious study was prepared for complicated problems caused by evacuation of the large numbers of population. However, a preliminary study was conducted for building a dam and developing a land on the eastern part of Atbara river course. The proposed land is known for its fertility and here cultivation can be practiced by a diverse crop combination and a substitute land can be found for natives of Halfa to settle on. To that end, Khashm al-Qirba Dam was founded in 1964 in Kassala Province(9).  

In 1966, the sugar factory of Khashm al-Qirba was implemented by a German consortium for 8 million pounds. In 1967, the sugar factory was operated with a maximum capacity of four million tons/sugar cane per day in order to seasonally produce 60000 tons of sugar while the prepared area of harvest ranging between 21—22 thousand feddans per annum. In the year 1974/1975, the design capacity of the factory reached 75000 tons of sugar and that the company board thought to raise the capacity to 5000 tons per day in order to produce 75000 tons of sugar in 1987. And in 1989, the factory was expanded to produce sugar for exportation and, meanwhile, manufacturing phases of the commodity had been modified for production of raw sugar with high quality to lessen the lost quantity and simplify phases and cost of production. There are 983 permanent employees, 2261 seasonal manpower and 62 civil defense employees employed by the factory(6).   

According to the figures stated by Sugar Organization Data (2015), production of New Halfa factory had been successful since the preliminary stage of its operation. This can be counted as follows:

  1. Sugar production in 1966/1967 = 48022 tons per annum
  2. Sugar production in 1967/1968 = 60102 tons per annum
  3. From 1968/1969 up to 1998/1999, production of sugar was increased to more than 40, 50, 60 and 75 thousand tons. Later, according to design capacity, production of sugar reached more than 80000 tons from the year 1999/2000 to 2015/2016.

Contrary to Gineid factory, production of sugar in New Halfa factory have continuously developed while production of the former had been poor ranging between 13260 tons to less than 30000 tons from the year 1962/1963 to 1973/1974. Table (2) shows development of production from the year 2004 to 2008 in ratios exceeding design capacity where production got to higher than 80 million tons/season.

Development of production of sugar in New Halfa factory, when launched, was due to relationship of production as, unlike Gineid factory, the farm here is owned by the factory not by the farmer. Moreover, the factory directorate of Halfa had avoided the problems of Gineid sugar factory(1).

The ten-year-performance plan of industry of sugar in New Halfa shows the planned 81000 tons per annum from the year 2003/2004—2011/2012 (see table 5). This explains how problems were resolved by plans which were set by scientific methods in a way that the design capacity available to the factory has increased.

In the year 2000, the factory has developed that a new station for refining sugar was built by the designing company. This development was meant to produce a kind of sugar with a globally specified degree of whiteness (dubbed as the Nile Sugar). Furthermore, one of purposes of the refining station is to produce a kind of sugar, with specifications of the European Market, for medical and food industries in the world and domestic markets. However, implementation of sugar refining was started in November, 2000, and experimental operation in March, 2002. Helpfully, Halfa sugar factory was chosen to that end for the following reasons:

1/ the factory exceeded production ceiling.

2/ the factory accomplished high figures of capacity.

3/ proximity of the factory to Port Sudan for ends of exportation of sugar.

4/ low cost of production.

New Halfa scheme has achieved projects of socio-economic development in the vicinity along with self-sufficiency for farmers concerning crops of maize and wheat in domestic market and production of cotton and groundnuts as exports. Since it was launched, the factory has delivered services which help develop the neighbourhood and they include the following:

1/ concerning health, there is a rural hospital aided by a number of health centers in the vicinity, besides cadre of specialist physicians while all facilities of the hospital, i.e. people pharmacy, lab, operations room and a ready ambulance for convenience of employees and their families, was provided for.

2/ massive concern with environment health

3/ the factory contributed to deliverance of fresh drinking water and different services such as electricity and transportation.

4/ provided animal and agricultural products for simple prices.

5/ built ten basic schools, four secondary schools for boys and girls, a number of khalwas and kindergartens, classes for eradication of illiteracy for employees’ wives along with training on arts of sewing and domestic arrangement.

6/ in 2004, it built a computer center as a supplier for the center services delivered to employees and citizens. Also, a stadium was built for organization of different sport tournaments(3).

3/ Sennar Sugar Factory

The factory is located in Sennar State, 40 km North West to Sennar and 12 km west to Wad al-Haddad. The feasibility study of the factory was conducted by the Indian specialized Company and implemented by the English Flincher& Stuart between 1972—1976 in a total area of 32000 feddans. The first operating season started in 1976 with a daily design capacity equaling 6.5 tons/sugar cane for squeezing sugar cane, while cost of implementation reached 28.4 million pounds financed by government of Sudan and its economic institution besides the Kuwaiti loan. Also, design productive capacity of the factory was 110000 tons of sugar per annum. For gaining further quality, equipments were introduced to produce white sugar with 120—150 colour degree. Furthermore, a station was established for dissolution and refining of raw sugar with 1000 colour degree in order to be refined to 60—70 colour degree with a capacity equaling 75000 tons of raw sugar. However, all agricultural processes are mechanically carried out in a cultivated area equaling 34.5 thousand feddans of the scheme. To accomplish the design capacity of the factory, it had been inevitable to boost up the production of the farm. Moreover, the scheme benefited from the adjacent agricultural tract with an area of 4.5 thousand feddans and that the cultivated land has currently become 39000 feddans in which cultivation is carried out according to agricultural rotation. As to manpower of the scheme, there are 1127 permanent employees, 2441 seasonal workers and 57 workers of civil defence(7).

According to the data of the Sudanese Sugar Co. (2015), the first production of Sennar sugar factory, in the first operating season, 1976/1977, was (26465 tons/year). Then, production of sugar had ranged in the ensuing years as follows:

  • From 1977/1978 to 1988/1989, it equaled 30000 tons and 40000 tons and sometimes 25000 tons
  •  From 1989/1990 to 2000/2001, production of sugar ranged between 40000, 50000 and 60000 tons
  • From 2001/2002 to 2015/2016, the production ranged between 70000 and 80000 tons.

In its experimental preliminary stages, production of sugar was poor and, then, it began gradually increasing during the following years. Nevertheless, the factory has not to date reached the design capacity in spite of expansion of the cultivated area and mechanization of all agricultural processes and in spite of public policies which supported the strategic purpose for increasing production due to the strongly growing demand of sugar. Though, on another hand, cultivated area was expanded, the annual harvested part of it ranged between only 21460 feddans to 22242 feddans (see table 5). This horizontal expansion has not finished contributing to increasing horizontal production of the factory. Also, shortage of production of sugar vis-à-vis the design capacity of the factory is attributed to  problem of irrigation which depended on pumps because these pumps needed continuous maintenance and so process of irrigation would be delayed and concentration of sugar in the cultivated sugar cane would be spoiled and, accordingly, the annual produced amount of sugar would be affected.

Table (5) shows the performance report plan of sugar production of Sennar factory from 2003/2004 to 2011/2012 where targeted production for 2011/2012 reached (78000 tons of sugar/season) and average production for 10 years reached 80000 tons of sugar in the season. If strategic plans of Sennar sugar factory could remove all obstacles, the goal of the design capacity of the factory, i.e. 110000 tons of sugar in the season, will be attainable. But, out of the table, it is clear that production of the last year of the plan 2011/2012 reached (77000 tons sugar/season), which was close to the planned for amount.  

Since it was launched, Sennar sugar factory has contributed to several social services for community development. This can be shown in the following:

1/ it has delivered health services through the rural Sugar hospital and health centers in the neighbourhood and provided medical personnel and medicine through the people pharmacy of the factory.

2/ it contributed to environment health services and preventive health.

3/ it contributed to services of electricity and fresh water in the housing vicinity and neighbourly villages.

4/ it contributed to building of infrastructure of all educational stages in the housing vicinity and neighbourly villages.

5/ it contributed to raising standard of living through consumer complex and thermal bakery, provision of meats with cheapest prices for employees along with provision of horticultural products like vegetables and fruits and eggs for employees and some neighbourly institutions with cost price(3).

4/ Asalaya Sugar Factory

Asalaya sugar factory is located in the White Nile State on the eastern bank of the White Nile to ten kilometers from town of Rabak. A contract was signed with the Dutch HVA for setting a feasibility study, preparing specifications and sorting bids. The company conducted studies about the population which inhabit the neighbourhood of the scheme in order to define the available number of manpower in the area. In so doing, a realistic and practical plan for working at the factory could be set and compensations for the scheme affected people, if any, could be defined(4).

The English Filcher and Stuart Co. was picked for implementation of the scheme in 1974 and the factory was operated in 1980. However, cost of the scheme had then been 21 million sterling and 7 million SD. To that end, agricultural experiments were started in 1975 in the commercial seeds farm in Aba Island in an area of 800 feddans and experimental work was launched in 1978(5).  

The design capacity of the factory equals 6500 tons/sugar cane per day for yearly producing 110000 tons of sugar. According to the Sudanese Sugar Co. (2015), the actual production of sugar was started in the season 1979/1980 (7666 tons/year) and productions were as follows in the following seasons:

  • 1980/1981 = 8584 tons/year
  • 1981/1982 = 8192 tons/year
  • 1980/1981 (the 4th season) = 31626 tons/year
  • From the season 1983/1984 to 2000/2001, the production had ranged between 30000, 40000 and 50000 tons. Unluckily, the factory has not to date accomplished the design capacity owing to the low productivity in all years, small cultivated area of sugar cane and some technical errors in construction of the factory. Yet, during the following years, production had gradually advanced and developed and the cultivated area expanded (see table 5). Meanwhile, the cultivated area during five years ranged between 20282 feddans to 23829 feddans in the year and the total production between 73488 to 90816 tons/year. However, the production of sugar developed to get to 60000, 70000, 80000 and 90000 ton/year in the season 2015/2016. Actually, some attempts were exerted for reformation and modernization of the factory in a way that production of sugar is expected to reach about 90000—100000 tons of sugar in the season during three years. As to manpower, there are 1194 permanent employees, 2406 seasonal workers and 28 civil defence workers.

Table (5) shows performance plan for ten years as of 2003/2004 up to 2011/2012. Hence, production plan of Asalaya factory in the year 2011/2012 was 100000 tons in the year while average production for ten years got to 80000 tons/year and to 89000 tons/year in the last year of the plan. This refers to development of production and, if plans resolve problems in scientific ways and according to a strategic plan, the factory will accomplish the design capacity which equals 110000 tons/year.

Asalaya sugar factory delivers a number of services which contribute to community development and building and, thus, the more the community is healthy and educated, the more it contributes to the process of economic growth.  However, the factory contributions to community development can be highlighted in the following: 

1/ it contribute to building a health complex with a physician and qualified cadre. In this regard, contracts were signed with a number of specialized physicians of obstetrics and gynecology, surgery, thoracic Surgery, pediatrics, internal diseases and ophthalmology.

2/ it contribute to promotion of environment health and preventive health in the vicinity.

3/ it provide healthy drinking water for the employees and for many neighbouring villages.

4/ it contributed to raising economic level and standard of living by encouraging animal production (cows and poultry). Also, found in the factory a cooperative society and solidarity fund which delivers food stuffs and other necessary needs for employees. Moreover, the factory provides vegetables, fruits and animal production of milk and chickens with simple prices.

5/ in field of education, infrastructures of all educational stages were built: two secondary schools of boys and girls, two basic schools of boys and girls, a number of khalwas, kindergartens and sport clubs. Briefly, the factory support and absolutely care for educational institutions(6).  

Sudanese Sugar Co. seeks to render integrated industry of sugar. To that end, the company built a factory for ethanol expected to be operated in 2014 but only 70% of the project was completed due to poor financing. Additionally, in 1994, a unit for industry of fodders, with a capacity of 20 tons per day, was supplemented to the New Halfa factory. There is also a factory of plastics bags while the central foundry management was also transformed into a sugar company in 2003.

Notably, out of tables (1) (2) (3) (4), it is not necessarily that a yearly small cultivated area is offset by the low productivity of feddan of sugar, sugar cane, ratio of extraction or the total production of sugar. And, vice versa, a large cultivated area is not necessarily offset by high productivity of feddan of sugar, sugar cane, and ratio of extraction or the total production of sugar. It may be in the same factory, an area of sugar cane is small in a certain year and large in another year and that, in all aspects, productivity of a feddan for the small area is bigger and the opposite is true. For instance, in Gineid factory, the cultivated area in 2006 was small but yearly productivity of feddan of sugar, sugar cane and ratio of extraction of sugar is bigger than they were in the rest of factories (New Halfa, Sennar and Asalaya) in the same year. All this may be due to a natural problem of soil, temperature or rains, etc or to a problem concerning production inputs like machines, irrigation, fertilizer, etc.

5 / sugar factory of Kenana Co. Ltd:

 Kenana sugar scheme is located in the White Nile State on the eastern bank of the White Nile to 30 kilometers south to town of Rabak. The company established Kenana scheme as an agriculturally and industrially integrated project. To that end, it conducted a feasibility study where natural studies proved the success of the project. The assiduous Sudanese government polarized a number of oil exporting Arab companies, particularly Kuwait, KSA, Arab Co. for investment and agricultural development, öner Ltd, a group of Sudanese banks and other foreign companies. The project was constituted in 1972 and the agreement signed in February, 1975 and a big number of houses of expertise were picked as contractors and consultants in this site. According to available technologies, the factory was built in 1980 with a design capacity of 300000 tons of sugar per annum and a daily rate of squeezing equaling 11000 tons of sugar cane and later reached 26000 tons per day. In the time being, the cultivated area of sugar cane is 180000 feddans and agricultural harvested areas were expanded to 85000 feddans. As to manpower, there are 5123 permanent Sudanese employees and 180 permanent foreign employees while seasonal manpower poses a highest number equaling 8776 workers and the seasonal foreign workforce are 227 employees(6).

Kenana sugar scheme, a part of a comprehensive plan of Sudan government, aimed at rendering Sudan one of the main sugar exporting countries in the world. Besides exportation of sugar, the project can create opportunities of sustained labour and combat unemployment (1).

According to the Sudanese sugar system report (2015), production of sugar is poor as it did not reach the design capacity of the factory at the beginning of the project. However, in this experimental stage, production of sugar reached, in early 1980/1981, 106000 tons/year and 165000 tons/year in 1981/1982. Then in the following year, 1982/1983 up to 1995/1996, production developed to between 230000—280000 tons/year. In the ensuing years, production of sugar jumped to even higher than the design capacity when it had ranged between 333000—471000 tons/year. This jump of production referred to the scope of success the Kenana scheme has achieved owing to the material potentialities and human experiences it possesses.

Promotion plan for developing performance for ten years is shown in table (5) as of 2003/2004 up to 2011/2012. Hence, the targeted production plan of Kenana factory in the year 2011/2012 was 390000 tons in the year while average production for ten years got to 381000 tons/year and to 350000 tons/year in the last year of the plan. Notably, the design capacity of the factory rose to 450000 tons/year. At any rate, Kenana scheme excels at implementation of plans due to its potentialities which contribute scientifically to resolution of problems. According to the Sugar system report (2015) and thanks to strategic plans, the factory got to higher than its design capacity, i.e. 450000 tons of sugar in the years 2012/2013 and 2014/2015 (471100 ton/year).  

Along with industry of sugar, Kenana sugar Co. has launched an integrated industry related to residues of sugar industry such as industry of ethanol which was operated in 2009/2010. In addition to ethanol, the following attached industries were also established:

  • Industry of organic fertilizers and fodders
  • An industry depending on agricultural production with fattening of cattle which, in turn, contributed to industry of milks, poultry and red meats
  • Industry of timbers out of commercial forests which were cultivated in agricultural areas attached to the factory.

Since its inauguration, Kenana Sugar Co. Ltd has contributed to a number of achievements concerning rural community development as general and the housing vicinity of the factory in particular. These services can be referred to in the following:

Production systems undertook investment cost as well as they assumed, in their fiscal budgets, cost of building schools, roads, clubs, hospitals, health centers, water refining stations, grids and sewage besides facilities of schooling and wages of employees and physicians in the housing vicinity and neighbouring villages(7).  However, achievements of Kenana Co. concerning community development can be explained in the following:

1/ it contributed to building of 27 basic schools for boys and girls besides eight kindergartens in the neighbourhood of the project.

2/ it built seven secondary schools for boys and girls.

3/ it contributed to building a hospital and a health center with competent cadre and contracts were signed with a number of specialized physicians to this end.

4/ the company contribute to promotion of environment health and preventive health in the vicinity.

5/ the project contributed to delivering healthy drinking water for the factory employees and for many neighbouring villages.

6/ the project contributed to building mosques and a Quran memorization complex in the neighbourhood.

7/ a computer center and English language institute were established as an enabler for the center services delivered to employees and inhabitants. In this regard, three sport/cultural/social clubs were established in the vicinity of the project.

For enhancing its development role among agro-rural communities, the company contributed to poverty alleviation fund among poor social segments in the Sudan. To that end, the company mustered and oriented resources for boosting up productivity of the agro-rural communities besides supporting basic services for rural areas. In this context, Kenana Sugar Co. is one of parties that finance programs that target supporting pensioners, poor families, rehabilitation of schools, connecting grid to a number of villages, digging hafirs and deliverance of other such services.

6 / White Nile Sugar Co. Ltd

The scheme of the White Nile Sugar Co. is located in central Sudan, in the White Nile State, on the eastern bank of the White Nile with a length of 50 km from south to north and a breadth of 20 km from west to east. This scheme borders with that of Gezira and Managil on the east, high way of Jebel Awlia—Rabak on the west and town of Kawa on the south. The factory is owned by the White Nile Sugar Co. Ltd which is a venture between government of Sudan, Kenana Co. and some Arab banks and corporations. However, it is the sixth factory built in the Sudan.

According to land clearance agreement signed by the White Nile Sugar Co. Ltd for the scheme area of 165000 feddans and according to actions of expropriation and settlement of lands and compensation of farmers and those affected with the scheme, it was agreed that every owner of an expropriated land would be offered an irrigated agricultural plot of land equaling 10% of his tenured land. Moreover, the White Nile Sugar Co. would incur building an irrigation system of the offered plot of land and sustain its cost. On his part, president of the Republic issued an order that the offered area for the farmer would be doubled to become 20% while the federal Ministry of Finance would take on creating an irrigation system for this new area and sustain the cost of its irrigation. However, the project is expected to host 5000 employees (4). 

The scheme area is one of drought and scanty rain affected districts in the Sudan and most of its people profess grazing and seasonal agriculture. As well, drought period remains for long months and, given shortage of rain, natural grazing lands have deteriorated and, thus, number of cattle has much diminished. This gave the area the appellation of “Thirsty Area” (4). 

The goal of the White Nile Sugar Scheme is to bridge the gap of domestic consumption of sugar besides exportation of the commodity to the world. On another hand, it contributes to settlement of inhabitants and deliverance of services and, thus, it helps eradicate illiteracy, ignorance, disease. As well, it provides drinkable water in the neighbourhood, creates sustainable labour opportunities, combat unemployment and reverse migration to towns or abroad.  

Essential features of agriculture system in the scheme:

  • Total area of the scheme is 165000 feddans as mentioned above.
  • Area cultivated of sugar cane is 105000 feddans.
  • Area cultivated of cash crops is 25000 feddans.
  • Area cultivated of forests is 5000 feddans.
  • Rate of production of sugar cane is 40000 tons/ feddan.

Production of sugar was started in 2011/2012 and the design capacity of the factory reached 340000 tons of sugar in the year. This produced amount of sugar is expected to be increased to 500000 tons of white sugar for domestic and global consumption with a daily squeezing capacity of 24000 tons of sugar cane.

The factory initiated production of sugar, in its preliminary stage, in the year 2011/2012 when it started with a poor production capacity which was far from design capacity. In its first year, production of sugar got to 5600 tons in the year and then was increased to 67800—74400 tons per annum from 2012/2013 to 2015/2016. However, in table (5), promotion plan refers to performance development for ten years, namely 2003/2004 to 2011/2012. Therefore, because the factory is newly established, the promotion plan came to be the year 2011/2012 for which 150000 tons was planned (5600 tons per annum). In fact, as the factory was in its initial stage, the amount of production had been poor. Meanwhile, a plant of fodders was attached to the factory and there is a proposal for building a plant for a secondary industry depending on industrial residues.

The White Nile Sugar Scheme has effectively contributed to programs of community development. Though nascent, the factory has delivered several services for stability and success of economic activity. According to the WNSC report (2015), the following are the more important contributions the factory undertook among housing communities:

1/ in field of urban planning:

  • Construction of seven housing communities along Khartoum—Rabak road. Theses complexes, built on option of citizens, accommodate ten thousand people.
  • Freely distribution of ten thousand housing plots, the area of any of which is 600 square meters, for families.
  • Replanning of three neighbouring villages.

2/ in field of education:

  • Building four boys schools, four girls’ schools, and three coeducation basic schools, four secondary schools for boys, four secondary schools for girls, thirteen messes for male and female teachers and eleven houses for school headmasters. Moreover, students in all schools are supplied with chairs and benches in housing communities.
  • Maintenance of 26 basic schools in 26 neighbouring villages.
  • Building the library of Giteina technological college.

3/ in field of health services:

  • Building of seven health centers, two obstetrics rooms and seven pharmacies. The health centers were supplied with electricity generators in housing communities.
  • Maintenance of three health centers and building of two health centers in the neighbouring villages.

4/ water services:

  • Digging of 15 wells with their attachments in housing communities.
  • Expansion of water networks for every house with 173 longitudinal kilometers in housing communities.
  • Building of two water stations with their attachments in neighbouring villages.
  • Building of seven water networks for seven neighbouring villages as well as digging a hafir and a carrier channel.

As to services of communities at the neighbouring villages, the scheme contributed to maintenance of seven mosques at seven villages and building of a cultural center at Umm Higeiliga and Abu Radam(4).

7 / problems facing sugar factories in the Sudan:

Of the more prominent problems that face industry of sugar in the Sudan are the following:

1/ irrigation waters: sugar cane is one of the more water consuming crops all through the year. However, problem of irrigation in plantations of sugar cane at Gineid, Sennar and Asalaya is that these schemes of Sudanese Sugar Co. are irrigated with pumps. And according to the report of sugar industry system, these schemes are irrigated with 33 pumps located at nine stations “see performance report and promotion plan, from 2003/2004 to 2011/2012”. The report stated that most of pumps have exceeded their life span. In this regard, the program of substitute of irrigation pumps has not been executed due to insufficient financing and foreign cash(3).

2/ substitute program of squeezers of both Asalaya and Sennar factories has not been executed due to insufficient financing and foreign cash.

3/ low wages of employees in the company cause workforce quit the company, particularly engineers.

4/ foreign blockage and boycott imposed on the country has much affected the company as regards importation of production inputs, though the company tries its best to treat the problem.

5/ high wages and imposed levies by freight and unloading workers at exportation ports.

6/ shortage of storage containers.

7/ high cost of transport (7). 

8 / conclusion:

Industry of sugar is the main strategic industry in the Sudan. In this respect, Sudan could practice industry of sugar for more than a half century as the country possesses natural potentialities of fertile soil, water resources, advantageous climate and human factors. Historically, as regards industrial activity of sugar, the Gineid sugar factory preceded other factories as it was started in 1962. Then, experiences proved the success of cultivation of sugar cane in the ensuing years when budget was set and passed and obstacles tackled. Remarkably, these obstacles were avoided when the coming factories were established in New Halfa, 1964, Sennar, 1976 and Asalaya 1980. All these factories, since their inauguration, have contributed to resolution of the problem of importation of sugar. These contributions of the domestic plants helped the country spare hard currencies, provide labour opportunities and deliver social services, all of which helped inhabitants settled. Thereafter, when size of population increased and the need of Arab and neighbourly nations for sugar rose, Sudan planned to boost up the agricultural cultivated tract of sugar at other sites. Consequently, Kenana sugar factory was established in 1980 to make Sudan enter the field of global exportation of sugar. This latter fact encouraged development and support of the industry and helped it established in other sites and, lastly, the White Nile sugar factory was opened in 2011. Furthermore, plans aim at expansion of industry of sugar in other locations and solution of problems which face industry of sugar. By expanding industry of sugar and solving problems, production of the commodity will be increased and industrial residues and all the industry related activities will be benefited from. In so doing, Sudan will be developed and enlisted among the first sugar exporting nations in the world.

9 / outcomes:

The research concluded to the following:

1/ the Gineid factory is the eldest one of other plants (1962). Though the plant was started with poor production of sugar and had such maintained its production for 37 years and far from accomplishing the design capacity (60000 tons per annum). But later, the factory achieved some success by removing many mistakes that accompanied the factory at the beginning.

2/ since its advent, New Halfa factory has accomplished a high ratio of productivity as it avoided the mistakes of the Gineid factory.

3/ on its first experiences, Kenana sugar factory proved its success given the material and human potentialities the plant possesses. These potentialities made Sudan enter the world markets with production of sugar. Also, industry of sugar has developed in the plant with the numerous integrated industries which are related with industry of sugar, particularly residues related industry.

4/ sugar sector contributed to motivation of social development projects and to combat of poverty by providing labour opportunities and change of lifestyle of inhabitants from an unstable agro-pastoral type of life to a more stable community since the date of industrial activity of sugar.

10 / recommendations

The research recommends the following:

1/ develop methods of irrigation which help reduce the amount of irrigation waters, like closed irrigation and drip irrigation insofar as Sudan can expand the area prepared for cultivation of sugar cane or by establishment of new factories.

2/ spare foreign currencies for sugar sector to help solve problems and develop industry to the best.

3/ develop transport means to connect all factories with each other with transport roads and so develop industry.

4/ prepare stores with storage specifications to be widely spreading at sites of production, consumption and exportation in a way that safety of sugar can be maintained. 

5/ set new plans for expansion of cultivation of sugar cane and establish new factories to provide labour opportunities, develop rural communities and alleviate migration to the capital.

    Sources and references:

They include the following:

Firstly: reports and unpublished researches:

1/ Abdallah, Da’ud Sagha Mohammed (2006): history of industry in the Sudan from 1956—1985, a PhD thesis, University of Khartoum, faculty of arts.

2/ Sudanese Sugar Co. (2015): annual statistical report for industry of sugar, Sudanese Sugar Co. Khartoum.

3/ Sudanese Sugar Co. (2009): annual statistical report for industry of sugar, Sudanese Sugar Co. Khartoum.

4/ White Nile Sugar Co. Ltd (2015): a brief on White Nile Sugar Co. Ltd, White Nile Co. Khartoum.

5/ research and industrial consultations (2000): a study on available facilities in the field of manufacturing of machines and spare parts, Ministry of Industry, Khartoum. 

6/ Sudanese Sugar system (2012): performance report and promotion plan from 2003/2004 to 2011/2012, Ministry of Industry, Khartoum. 

7/ Sugar Industry system (2015): statistical report for industry of sugar from 1962 to 2015, Federal Ministry of Industry, Khartoum. 

Secondly: references:

8/ Jabar, Fallah Saied (1996): industry of sugar and sugary sweets in Arab Homeland, conference on reality and prospects of industry of sugar and sweets in Arab Homeland, Cairo.

9/ Mohammed, Abdel Rahim Mirghani (2002): developmental planning in the Sudan in the ‘sixties, preparation and implementation of the first ten-year plan, 1961—1971, Abdel Karim Mirghani Cultural Center, 2nd ed. , Omdurman. 

10/ Mohammed, Alaa Abdel Rasheed (2005): by-products of industry of sugar, University of Ain Shams, food sciences department, Uz Uris library, Cairo.  



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