Natural Pasture in Sudan

Wed, 18 Oct 2017




 Ahmed Hamed Ibrahim El faeg



Abstract:


 In order to achieve these objectives, the researcher collected information from published and non-published sources using air photography.  For classification and analysis of such data, the researcher used the statistical, descriptive and historical methodology. The findings of the study were that Sudan has a variety of environments rich with plants of natural pastures covering about 744400 km2. Grass and shrubs represent 43.5% and 9.9% respectively. The study, also found that the natural pastures play a significant economical role and provides 80% of the needs of the national herd which contributes to the subsistence of rural and pastoral communities. The study pointed out that there is a qualitative and quantitative change in the natural pastures represented in the drop off of the pastures space, prevalence of some unpalatable plants and disappearance of some of high nutritional value and desired grass. The study pointed out the suffering of the pastoral sector from the continuous retreat of the pasture lands area. This sector, also, suffers from the geographical and environmental marginalization of pasture and herdsmen, in addition to the common property, misdistribution of water sources, unavailability of water and pasture in one place and seasonalability of good pastures. For the solution of the natural pastures deterioration, the study proposes maintenance of the natural pastures and farming them with high nutritional value species, open fire lines, collect improved plant seeds and sow them in different pastoral areas in the rainy season, with the requirement of integration between the agricultural sector and pastoral sector and introduction of animal to the agricultural cycle.
•    Introduction
•    Current Situation of Natural Pastures in Sudan
•    Economic and Environmental Significance of the Natural Pastures
•    Problems and Obstacles Facing Natural Pastures in Sudan  
•    Conclusion:
•    References


Introduction:
    Sudan is located between longitudes 2148 58and 383529 and latitudes 23834 and 83836 in an area of 1882000 klm2 (Sudan Survey Authority 2015).  The presence of the  Red Sea and many mountains caused a variation in the quantity of the rain and temperatures and this produced a climate disparity  ranging between the desert in the North to semi-desert of Summer rains in the center and forested Savanna  in the center and south western parts, South Kurdofan areas and Blue Nile.  The mountainous areas  have a special climate, especially, Jabal Marrah Mountain area,  where Mediterranean climate prevails in some of its parts. The rains of Sudan are Summer rains. They begin in late June until the middle of October  with the prevalence    of Winter rain in the Red Sea Coast (El-Tom 1975). Type of soil and topography are important factors that determine the type and distribution of vegetation  as shown on map (1), where climatic and plant conditions vary, in such environments, the pastures resource exists as a natural resource even in most fragile environments, the fact which indicates its adaptability  to the harshest natural conditions. The plants of the natural pasture play a role  in alleviating  problems resulting from climate change and a large sector of the community depends in the way of its living on this resource. The development and modernization of the pattern of animal production requires, among other things,  attention to the main resource  on which this activity depends.
    The natural  pasture occupy vast expanses  in most of Arab Countries and estimated by 468 million hectares , that is 33.3% of the total area of the Arab Nation. The importance of the natural pastures lies in its contribution to the fodder quantities of the pastoral herds, and in spite of their deterioration,  their contribution is not less than 25% in most of the Arab  pastoral environments where they are considered as a subsistence source for large numbers of breeders who totally or partially depend on them in feeding their cattle and pattern of their living.
Most of the  lands of Sudan  are flat plains , therefore, the level and rate of the rain and the type of rain play an important role in determining the characteristics of different plant environments. The only available data up to now to divide the plant environments is Harrison & Jackson 1958 and the pastoral survey project which covered the area of Butana, Gazira State ,  parts of  North and South Kordofan (84- 1986) and some recent efforts through Afry Kafar for mapping the vegetation in East Africa (Abdulrahim 2014). According to Harrison & Jackson.  It was possible to divide the country into main plant environments  from north to south, as shown on map (1) as follows:
Desert Environment  (0-75mm):  there is no natural vegetation except when there are rain showers when some grass and shrubs appear on the water courses and  compose a fodder source to feed camels and sheep during Winter in North Kurdofan and North Darfur (Abdulrahim 2009) .
Semi-desert (75-300mm): the vegetation is a mixture of grass and herbs  permeated by trees and thorny shrubs and it represents the natural pasture for the nomads (camel breeders) and the sedentary population practice the conventional rain fed agriculture (Hamed & Abdulrahim 2009).
Forested Low Rain Savanna (300-800 mm): this is divided into two areas;  the forested low rain Savanna in the alluvial soil and forested low rain Savanna in the sand soil. Vegetation consist of trees, shrubs, grass and herbs. Grazing is the main activity. Here you find the home of Bagara where the herdsmen practice their seasonal movements   between Summer residence and Autumn residence ( Hamed & Abdulrahim 2009).
This environment is diversified   with pastures plants where grass constitutes 38.4%, herbs 33.9%, trees 14.4% and shrubs 13.3%. Most of the animal resources and rain fed and irrigated agricultural schemes are found here, in addition to the gum arabic belt Environment and Natural Resources (Higher Council 2002, Hamed & Abdulrahim 2009.
Forested Heavy Rains Savanna, more than (800 mm):  vegetation consists of broad-leafed deciduous trees and durable grass and covers most of the states of Bahr Algazal and Equatoria. It does not represent a pastoral significance except for some northern outskirts exploited by some tribes of Bagara in Summer (Hamed & Abdulrahim 2009).
Swamps: the areas linked to rivers of Nahr Aljabal,  Bar Algazal and Subat ,   inhabited by hydrophilic grass and long grass in Tijan areas and include the lands that represent the natural pasture for the cattle of  Nilotic tribes ( Hamed & Abdulrahim 2009).
Mountainous Areas: dispersed areas of different environments according to their locations, represented by Amatong Mountains, Jabal Marra and Red Sea Hills (Hamed & Abdulrahim 2009). These environments differ in their number of species which prevail in each. (Table 1)
Table 1: Pastures Diversification and Different Environmental Zones

Plant Structure

Environmental Zones

Desert

Semi-desert

Low- rain Savanna

Heavy –rain Savanna

Swamps

Mountainous

Total

Grass

4

60

110

55

9

68

306

Herbs

2

48

98

13

0

66

226

Trees

11

28

41

17

3

2

102

Shrubs

4

20

38

7

1

0

7o

Total

21

156

286

92

13

136

704

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Source: Environment and Natural Resources Higher Council 2002: Biodiversity of Pastures Plants in Sudan, biodiversity series.
Table (1) indicates that the largest number of the total pasture plants is in the Low- rain Savanna and represents 40%, next, the semi desert regions and the mountainous regions, then the heavy rain Savanna regions and represent 22.3%, 19.3% and 13%, respectively.


Current Situation of Natural Pastures in Sudan


Natural pastures cover about 40% of the area of Sudan, that is (1.024.000) square kilometers. After the separation of the South, the area of the pastures in Sudan came to (744.400) square kilometers, equal to 73% of the previous area as shown in table (2).
It is remarkable that the pastures occupy wide areas of the Sudan’s different plant environments and their importance of the environmental, social  and economical return is increasing.  Pasture are undergoing  a sharp deterioration and they were left neglected and poor in terms of environmental and economical aspects. Pastoral polices must help in organizing the usage of pastures to ensure the continuation of their yield and to preserve them. So, it is necessary to have a clear pastoral policy because it is the backbone of the pastoral resources and as such may enable the rationalization of their investment and maximization of their exploitation to achieve sustainability. There is no officially adopted policy in Sudan up to now, and in spite of its significance,  the pasture resource is not given a priority in Sudan due to the lack of interest in the numerous advantages of pastures (Abdullah, 2012).
Table (2) Pasture Area in Sudan and the State of South Sudan

Resources

Unified Sudan/km2

Percentage%

Sudan/km2

Percentage%

South Sudan S./km2

Percentage%

Pastures

1.024.000

40

744.400

73

279.600

27

 

 

 Source: (Balila, 2012)
Therefore, the current situation of the natural pastures in Sudan, notwithstanding their being affected by the natural factors, particularly, the scarce rain, drought and desertification, and effect of human factors represented in agricultural and pastoral activities and the separation of the South, it is still diversified; they include desert, semi desert, poor Savanna and semi rich Savanna pastures as shown on map (2)


Economical and Environmental Significance of the Natural Pastures


Pastures play a major role in the economical and social development ,  preservation of the biodiversity  and environment protection. The importance of the natural pastures increased as a main environmental system that acts as a source of inflow of carbon dioxide and pastures. Pastures provide the habitat and food for the wildlife and are still considered the main source of providing the needs of the national herd  with its different animals. Thus, they are considered as the primary source for sustenance of a large sector of rural population, including farmers, settled herdsmen and nomad herdsmen or semi nomads. Natural pastures provide nearly 80% of the needs of the national herd which contributes to sustenance of pastoral and rural communities and most of their returns are actual returns of the natural pastures, the fact which supports the importance of this resource from the social and economical perspective (Hamed& Abdulrahim, 2009)

 

Problems and Obstacles Facing Natural Pastures in Sudan  


The study of (Elfaig. 1996) and (Abu sin 1991) indicated that the deterioration of the vegetation is one of the primary environmental problems suffered by the African Coast and this means the qualitative and quantitative change of the vegetation and prevalence of undesired plants, picture (1). The UN report (2007) , indicated, as well,  that the deterioration of the vegetation affected 61 million hectares in North Sudan during the last 25 years.  Also, it was stated in the UN report , UNEP (2007) the borders of the desert in North Sudan had receded to 50 kilometers southwards since 1930, (Mohamed 2015)
The problems that hinder the development and optimal exploitation of natural pastures can be summed up in several points, some of them related to the resource and some to the exploiter of the resource. They include:
1.     The continuous decrease of the Pasture lands Area
The natural pastures have been affected by the changes that took place in the agricultural sector of both the rain fed and irrigated. The area cultivated by families became greater and so did the tenure . The  expansion in the tenure area was a result of low productivity and tendency of the families to realize a surplus that part of it can be stored to meet the dry and drought (Arab Organization for Agricultural Development, 1996). The animal has not been included in the agricultural cycle, meaning that there is no institutional coordination between the agricultural sector and pastoral sector. Therefore, the narrowness  of the pasture, the seasonality and the lack of fodders created a genetic situation that results in weak transformational efficiency of feed, the fact which affected the meat production of the animal and reduce of milk production and imposed further pressure on the pastures.
The continuous discrepancy in pasture is attributed to drought , non-rational activities and imbalanced development programs such as the expansion of the agricultural area on the account of the other uses of the lands and non introduction of fodder crops and animal breeding to the agricultural development schemes. This is known by the geographical marginalization. The geographical marginalization means the lack of space available for grazing and movement of animals and herdsmen. Movement, now, depends on animal routes, especially, during the rainy season, cultivation and harvesting. Since the thirties of the last century, many of agricultural schemes in the Center of Sudan emerged, for instance, Gazira Scheme on an area of more than two million acres, sugar projects, Kenana, Assalaya. Jenaid, West Sennar, White Nile and Elsuky agricultural scheme on significant areas. Therefore, those pastoral lands were transformed to agricultural lands, especially , in the areas of the mechanized agriculture in East of Sudan and South Kurdofan after those areas had been  pastoral  areas and habitat of different species of wild and tamed animals . Table (3)
Table (3) Areas of Different Lands Uses (Million hectares)

Uses

Year

Forests lands/20% tree cover

3.069

2.939

2.810

Forests lands/10- 20% tree cover

4.485

4.283

4.079

Tree pastures lands (dispersed trees and shrubs)

42.751

40.810

38.870

Grass Pasture Lands

20.110

20.110

20.110

Wild Animal Reserves

11.780

11.780

11.780

Wastelands

15.880

15.065

16.249

Irrigated Agriculture

1.860

1.860

1.860

Rain fed Mechanized Agriculture

7.6

8.85

10.30

Conventional Rain Fed Agriculture

8.56

9.31

9.95

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Source: Climate Change Project
Table (3) indicates the decrease and shrinking of the tree cover and tree pasture lands with the increase of arid lands and expansion of the rain fed agricultural schemes areas by percentage of 35.5% and conventional agriculture area by 16.2% on the account of the natural pastures which resulted in the geographical marginalization of the natural pastures sector.
2. Pastures Environmental Marginalization
In spite of the strategic importance of the pastures resource, its vegetation was exposed to great influences that lead to its deterioration and occurrence of changes in its environment and reduction  of its area (the area of the deteriorated lands is estimated by about 19.6% of the area of the country), and also, a qualitative drop of its productivity (productivity dropped from 0.33 to 0.8 tons/acre of dry matter) and qualitative drop of productivity (disappearance of many germplasms of some pastoral plants and some were exposed to danger of extinction ) . The pastoral sector experiences an environmental marginalization and that means the decrease of the land and space ability to produce the fact which negatively affects the available natural fodders for livestock and results in the decrease of the pasture load, which has not been sufficiently  studied in all the Sudan. The result is a pastoral pressure that causes the baring the soil of vegetation and opening the door to drought and desertification. The problem is worsened by the spread of fires in some pastoral areas. According to the estimations of the department of pastures at the Ministry of Animal Resources, the quantity of the feedstuff destroyed and lost annually as a result of fires is estimated by 75 million tons. As a result of this, the density and types of many palatable herbs of high nutritious value for animals, dropped as shown in table (4), such as, Aristida funiulate and Schoene feldlagtacilis and were replaced by unpalatable herbs of low notorious value such as Sorghum arundinaceum and Triulus pentrandus ( Elfaig et al, 2013).
Table 4: Change in Pastoral Grasses

 

Scientific Name

Newly Appeared

Disappeared

Dropped

 

Increased

Aristida funiculate

 

 

 

Ö

 

Cenchrus catharticus

 

 

 

 

Ö

Tiriumpettta flavessens

 

 

 

 

Ö

Eragrostis pilosa

 

 

 

 

Ö

Cenchrus ciliaris

 

 

 

 

Ö

Schoene feldlagrcilis

 

Ö

 

 

 

Ischamum brachyatherum

 

Ö

 

 

 

Dipterygium glaucum

 

Ö

 

 

 

Andropogon gayanus

 

Ö

 

 

 

Cetenium elegans

 

Ö

 

 

 

Setaria pallid-fusca

 

Ö

 

 

 

Opennisetum pedicellatum

 

Ö

 

 

 

Sorghum arundinaceum

 

 

 

 

Ö

Trichodesma africanum

 

 

 

 

Ö

Requienia abcordata

 

 

Ö

 

 

Panicum turgidum

 

Ö

 

 

 

Zorenia glochidiata

 

 

 

 

Ö

Cymbopogon proximus

 

 

Ö

 

 

Tribulus pentrandus

 

 

 

 

Ö

Indigofera hocgestetteri

 

 

 

 

Ö

Pennisetum ovale

 

Ö

 

 

 

Commicarpus verticillatus

 

 

 

 

Ö

c. pilosa

 

 

Ö

 

 

C. preieurii

 

 

 

 

Ö

Brachiaria comate

 

 

 

 

Ö

Dactyloctenium aegyptium

 

 

 

 

Ö

 

   

 

 

Source: Mohamed, 2015
Pasture Common Ownership
Mostly, the pasture in Sudan is exploited in common and every tribe has its own pastures and it was used to link the area to the tribe (Dar). Inside this system, many patterns of grazing are noticed centered around the movement of animals and herdsmen. This type of exploitation had lead to the deterioration of vegetation in many pastoral areas in Sudan,(Ahmed et al, 2003).
The ownership and use of pasture in Sudan are based on the collective and common use of the pasture. This means the  difficulty of preserving it. It leads to what is known by “ Tragedy of the Common”,  as it encourages the herdsmen to increase their herds. In the conventional pastoral sector, the rational and wise herdsman is he who adds a new head to his herds successively without demanding new economical cost in terms of the pasture and paying no attention to the load of the pastures or their capacity of renewing. The result was the deterioration and desertification of vast areas of pastures, however, the numbers of the animal resource increased and amounted, in 2014, to about one hundred and five million of heads in the Republic of Sudan. These figures have a big significance because they are stated by the concerned official authorities in the sphere of the animal resource.
The common ownership system is greatly in line with the conventional way of livestock breeding in Sudan which encourages unplanned expansion of production, results in many environmental and natural problems and creates a clash between stakeholders of conflicting interests (Ahmed &El-Tayeb, 2007).
4. Water Misdistribution:
Sudan has enormous water resources represented in rain water, River Nile and its tributaries, seasonal courses (creeks) and groundwater. The livestock near the rivers does not suffer from shortage of drinking water, but most of the livestock in West Sudan; in Kurdofan and Darfur (63%) of the total the livestock in Sudan suffer from shortage of drinking water, especially, in Summer. Therefore, they are concentrated  near the permanent sources of water, specifically, around subterranean wells. The situation was worsened by the distribution of the wells digging with political motives, especially, in seventieths (animal routes), so, areas with loads over their actual capacity were created as the result of gathering of the    animals around the water area (Sayed,1997). This. Also, resulted in a big pressure on the pasture and herdsmen had to go long distances in search of pasture, as this results, in turn, in poor productive capacity of animals and rise of rate of mortality, especially, among the old animals (Sayed, 1997).
Water plays a major role in the plant life circle and productivity, as the natural pastures depend on rains.  Misdistribution of the water points in the pastoral regions and the animal density around water points had negatively affected the pastoral environment and resulted in unjust grazing and decrease of diversity. As a result, areas of pastures  shrunk and plant structure, cover and productivity  deteriorated. The deteriorated pasture lands are estimated by about 48.75 million hectares, that is more than 40% of the total  area of pastures which is estimated by nearly 17 million hectares (Hamed& Abdulrahim, 2009). The water scarcity and lack of availability in quantities and qualities suitable for human use constitute the greatest obstacle for provision of developmental services and programs in the country, the fact which results in non-affiliation of  man to the place, unsettling there, and making animals move long distances to get water, and consequently, productivity declines (Arab Organization for Agricultural Development, 1996). Many studies which were conducted by some conerned authorities indicate the poor state of the pasture and land cover in many pastoral areas in Sudan as a result of water scarcity. Map (3)
5. Pasture Seasonality:
Most of the pasture lands are located in the dry and semi-dry areas and affected by the quantity and distribution of the annual rainfall , furthermore, the mountainous pastures are affected by flow of rain water in form of floods that sweep plants in a fragile environment (Hamed & Abdulrahim, 2009).
Usually, the rain in Sudan comes in Summer and lasts from late June to middle of October, which means the high nutritional  value herbal plants become available during this period, however, Sudan like the other countries of the African Coast, has most of its land located in the dry and semi- dry areas which suffer from lack or fluctuation of rain.  As the analysis of data pertaining to rain indicate that the coefficient of variation for the period (1970-2014) was 0.38 for Alfasher area, 0.34 for Elnuhud area , 0.30 for AlObeid area and 0.30 for Duaim area. These areas are the most important areas of pasture and animal resource concentration in Sudan. The consequent is deterioration of pasture and recede of its area (Balila, 2012). The seasonality of good pastures obliges many herdsmen, owners of livestock, to buy concentrated feedstuffs and agricultural waste, so, their prices rise (Elfaig & EL Tom , 2013).
Natural pastures become affected by the rainfall annual rate and distribution, and become deteriorated quantitatively  and qualitatively with the onset of Summer and this negatively affect the animal breeding , quality of the meat and efficiency of reproduction. The annual average production of the natural pastures during the average rainfall season is about 62 million tons (Abdullah & Abdulrahim, 2012).
6. Non-availability of Pasture and water in One Place:
Herdsmen in Sudan practice a sort of movement from one place to another due to ecological factors, like lack of water and pasture in the North during Summer and fly and insets in the South during Autumn. Every family moves with the herd throughout  the year. The herdsmen take in their movement traditional paths called routes interspersed  by surface water sources and the houses where they spend some time during their movement towards creeks and Summer lodges . Herdsmen, during their movement , become exposed to much hostilities and clashes with farmers and this hinders the grazing process (Ahmed et al, 2003).
Lack of water and pasture in one place permanently throughout the year, will lead to failure to exploit many areas of good pasture, and lead to lack of milk in a specific area in large quantities which may encourage setting up dairy factories. The clear proof of this, is the failure of Babanusa Dairy Factory. The continuous movement of animals makes prevention against diseases, eugenics and modernization of methods of breeding and feeding animals extremely difficult.
7. Conventional Methods of Animal Breeding:
Practice of conventional methods of animal breeding, where livestock in every respect depends on natural pastures, in addition to dependence of breeders on the number of the animals they own with no regard to the production quality or quantity, resulted in deterioration of natural pastures (Abdullah & Abdulrahim, 2012).
There are indicators and evidences of imbalance between the herd size and needs on one hand, and available pastures and their feedstuff productivity on the other hand, in many parts of the country. This imbalance is one of the causes of the unjust grazing and the changes which occurred to the vegetation and the consequent deterioration of germplasms of pasture plants. There are many evidences that explain the changes that occurred to vegetation, such as:
•    Disappearance or lack of good pastoral plants from many places, but several species were wiped out or threatened to be wiped out , such as the disappearance of many desired plants, like Belphais edulis, Ischamum brachyatherum, Andrpogon gayanus, ( abu Arida and danbalab ) and others  (Haned & Abdulrahim, 2009) Table (4).
•    Emergence and prevalence of nihilistic and low pastoral value plants  (undesired) in place of good plants, and spread of shrubs like  Acaia nobica, Calotrpis procera,  Guiera sengallensis  and Boscia angustifolis. Picture (2) and (3) and their invasion of the pasture lands  reduce the quantity of the feedstuff produced by desired plants and make access to such feedstuff difficult when these shrubs are too dense to penetrate. The spread of such trees is attributed to their ability to be unaffected by  lack or fluctuation of rain  and their endurance (Hamed & Abdulrahim, 2009).
•    Increase of thunder storms in the pasture lands causes soil erosion by wind factor.
As an evitable result, many pastoral areas which were inhabited by good durable plants were transformed to yearly pastures of low palatable seasonal production. The acre productivity of natural feedstuffs dropped, for example, in low rain Savanna belt, from 0.33 ton/ hectare in 1958 to 0.8 ton/hectare in 1985 (Hamed & Abdulrahim, 2009).
8. Unjust Grazing:
We find that the conventional grazing systems which own about 90% of the national herd is centered around permanent water sources and creek areas, and they mostly result in an overloaded grazing of the pasture ( Ahmed et al, 2003). The continuous grazing throughout the year on herbals and trees and animal movement with its effect on the atoms of the soil,  disintegrating and moving them bare the soil from its cover and  makes it  disjointed and easy to be affected by the agent of winds and water. The barren circle that is not protected except by a little cover of low palatable plants like  Acacia nobica and Calotrpis procera around the villages, where the beginning of a change took place in the structure of vegetation and occurrence of soil erosion lead  to desertification of land and the problem exacerbated by removal of  tree and herbal cover by cutting trees then burning them to prepare the land for cultivation, without taking into consideration,  the advantages of the shrubs to protect the soil and plants (Arab Organization for Agricultural Development, 1996).
9. Deforestation:
Forests are natural pasture for animals, especially, camels and goats, and the decrease  and disappearance of many trees are attributed to several natural and human factors. The most important natural factors are scarcity and fluctuation of rainfall . (Khogali, 2012) pointed out that Acacia trees have the ability to resist drought even in frequent rate of decrease of rainfall  for several years, because they are not affected by the annual decrease rate of rain. But, the continuous decrease of such trees may be attributed to human factors, such as unjust grazing  and cutting trees for different purposes,  in addition to the deterioration of economical situations. They are, also, very sensitive to human activity. If these trees are removed it is very difficult that they would grow once again in a short time , because the growth of a tree is slow and the seeds stock in the soil is little. The animals would have devoured it , and, also, when small shrubs germinate, they will soon be eaten by animals (Mohamed, 2015).
Khgli’s study (2012) concluded that as a result of the drought  of (1968, 1973), vast areas in North Kurdofan were bared from Acacia Senegal, but when the drought was over, in the years (1988,1996,2003), the tree cover did not return to what it had been previously. The change was going towards decrease in some trees and disappearance of some trees, and increase and appearance of other trees, like Prosopis chilensis and Rhynchosia ferruginea, as shown in table (5) which shows the most decreasing species, the species that disappeared and the most increasing species, moreover.  The drought weakened the roots of the trees, and when strong winds blow, the trees fall down. The weakness increased when the farmers were compelled to densely slit open the trees , especially, Acacia senegal, to make up for loss of their dropped incomes due to failure of agriculture.
Table (5) Species of Trees According to Type of Change

Scientific Name

Newly Appeared

Disappeared

Decreased

increased

Acacia senegal

 

 

Ö

 

Acacia mellifera

 

 

Ö

 

Acacia seyal

 

 

Ö

 

Acacia nilotica

 

 

 

Ö

Acacia totilis sup. Radidiana

 

Ö

 

 

Acacia nobica

 

 

Ö

 

Acacia albida

 

 

Ö

 

Acacia tortilis sub sp. Spirocarpa

 

Ö

 

 

Acacia seyal

 

 

Ö

 

Balanites aegyptiaca

 

 

 

Ö

Boswellia papyrifera

 

Ö

 

 

Ziziphus spina-christi

 

 

 

Ö

Dobera glabra

 

Ö

 

 

Leptadenia

 

 

Ö

 

Calotrpis procera

 

 

 

Ö

Terminalhabrownii

 

Ö

 

 

Cappris deciduas

 

 

Ö

 

AZADINACHYA

 

 

 

Ö

Maerua crassfolia

 

 

Ö

 

Cordial mnoica

 

 

 

Ö

Adansonia digitata

 

 

Ö

 

Bauhinia reticulate

 

Ö

 

 

Acacia etbaica

 

Ö

 

 

Combretum glutinosum

 

 

Ö

 

Tamarindus indica

 

Ö

 

 

Guiera senegalensis

 

 

 

Ö

Sclerocarya birrea

 

Ö

 

 

Terminalia brwnii

 

Ö

 

 

Anogeissus leiocarpus

 

Ö

 

 

Boscia angustifolis

 

Ö

 

 

Prosopis chilensis

Ö

 

 

 

Dalbergia melanoxylon

 

Ö

 

 

Rhynchosia ferruginea

Ö

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Source: Mohamed, 2015
10. Seasonal Fires:
•    Seasonal fires which occur as a result of the density of the vegetation after the rainy season and presence of sufficient quantities of flammable dry material increase the deterioration of the resources, threaten biodiversity and result in negative outcomes (Arab Organization for Agricultural Development, 19960), including:
•    Destruction of the vegetation which protects soil
•    Scarcity of burn- sensitive plants
•    Encouragement and preference of the plants that coexist with fires and consequently, the change of the plant structure.
•    Loss of 30% of dry feedstuff
•    Destruction of vegetation in large areas and consequently, deprivation of wildlife from important parklands and havens (Arab Organization for Agricultural Development, 19960).
The effect of winds on fires is connected with storms , acceleration of combustion and carrying fires to far distances by carrying the flared up remains , especially, in the regions of Bagara in south Darfur and Baja pastoral region  which extends in White Nile State and North Kurdofan, picture (4. Fires rush by force of north eastern winds at average width of 25 miles. They  devour the pastoral resources (Abdullah & Abdulrahim, 2012). Fires are closely connected to the concept of the common resource of the herdsmen, as herdsmen feel that they are not limited to a specific land or pasture, so they do not care about what will happen to the pasture in the future and they concentrate on the current use of the pasture disregarding the results.
Studies indicate that the area of pasture threatened by seasonal fires in Baja region as a result of drought is estimated by 564.7 thousand hectares annually and this is connected with the rate of rainfall . the more the rainfall is, the more is the chance for dense grasses that represent the fuel of fires in the area.
11. Drought :
Periods of drought and floods which struck the area of the African Coast during the past decades resulted in negative effects on the pastoral sector , caused death of many animals and migration of herdsmen. All these factors lead to serious environment effects that can be summed up as follows:
•    Decrease of the pastures area
•    Recede of the plant structure  from palatable plants to undesired plants.
•    Replacement of durable grass by perennials and poisonous species
•    Decrease of feedstuff production of unit of area
Succession of drought periods resulted in failure of agricultural crops, scarcity of vegetation and surface water , mortality of animals and scarcity of feed. In consequence  of these harsh conditions, many families were compelled to displace to urban areas and irrigated agriculture areas in Gazira, and Managel,  trying to get new income sources and other patterns of life. This movement was  random  and resulted in mortality of livestock, especially, cattle and sheep, but, goats and camels were not much affected. Activity in the field of animal breeding became rare and limited among  settled communities and did not go beyond breeding few heads of small ruminants , especially  goats, to provide a measure of milk for the family (Arab Organization for Agricultural Develop, 1996).
12. Desertification :
Desertification and drought are main environmental problems in Sudan. They  negatively affect the natural pastures and lead to low productivity of land and disruption of environmental systems. Desertification happens as a result of misuse and excessive use of resources. Occurrence of drought helps acceleration of this phenomenon ,  widening of  its range and increase of ensuing negative environmental, economical and social effects (Arab Organization for Agricultural Develop, 1996).
We find that the  areas affected by this phenomenon are mostly pastures. For example we find the area of pastures which were exposed to desertification in Sudan in 1983-1994 was estimated by about 26% due to scarcity of rain and abuse which resulted in:
•    Exposure of soil to direct rays and increase of rate of evaporation which weakened the plants and reduced its ability to grow and multiply
•    Contribution to global warming phenomenon and increase of carbon dioxide emission
•    Disruption of environmental systems, agricultural systems and water circle (Hamed & Abdelrahim, 2009)
13. Stoppage  of Plant Succession is a result of lack or stoppage of the previous natural succession due to fires, plowing, excessive grazing  , tree cutting or due to any similar change resulted in destruction of species of prevailing plants in the plant community. It, usually, indicates to a fabricated type of plant succession in places which were previously inhabited by higher class plants and were destroyed by an act of unfamiliar conditions (Ahmed et al, 2003).
The process of the vegetation retrogression  is a reversed process of plant upgrading and the succession  stages reached by the vegetation as a result of retrogression. This is called sub-climax and it is represented in one stage below the sub-climax. If the retrogression was sharp, the soil will be mostly sophisticated in these areas and of mature structure. Therefore, we find that going back to the plant sub- climax does not take a long time and depends on the length or degree of retrogression (Ahmed et al, 2003)
14. Relative Humidity:
The drop of relative humidity in semi-desert pasture land lead to retrogression of natural pastures in common grazing. Also, the rise of temperatures in most days of the year increases the rate of evaporation and lessens the soil moisture. Also, the increase of average temperature resulted in the reduction of the moisture of the dropped organic remains and grass (fuel), but the winds are climatic factors that affect the pasture as they are related to storms and desertification( Abdullah & Abdulrahim, 2012). However, the effect of the climate elements on pastures is shown in table (6).
Table 6: Effect of Climatic Change on Vegetation

 

   

1. Butana Region: Chronology 1955- 1981 shows emergence and prevalence of plants of no value or low pastoral value (undesired) in place of good plants  

1927-1955, the prevailing plant is Blepharis edulis

1959, prevalence of grasses such as (Aristida spp) and ( Schoenefeldia)

1965, Blepharis edulis alternating with Cymbopogon nervatus and Sorghum arundinaceum

1981, spread of (Clitropis procera) especially around  marches and the unwanted plants;( Cymbopogon nervatus) and (Ocimum bassilicum L) covered 50% of Butana land.

2. North Kurdofan:  results of some recent surveys and observation of pastures indicate the scarcity and recede of the area which was covered by  some desired plants such like, (B. Linariifolia, Andropogon gayanus and Chrozophora brocchiana , rise of ratio of bare soil (Shikan) and clearance of sand dunes of vegetation in (Jabrat El Shaikh and Sudary) with the decrease of Acacia Senegal , Acacia mellifera and Adansonia digitata, with the increase of Cordia myxa, guiera senegalemsis, Caltropis procera and Acacia nobica. 

3. West Darfur: Results and observations of pastures indicate replacement of palatable plants by undesired plants, especially, in the areas of North and Center of the State, such as Ahlamontada and in may valleys, Datura stramonium, Prosopischlensis, clotrpis procera and  Cordia myxa. 

 

 (Abdullah & Abdulrahim, 2012)
15. Developmental Policies and Legislations:
Pursuing policies of the pastoral sector and its sources was not a core policy of developing agricultural policy in the past. The focus was on the policies of irrigated and mechanized rain fed policies. Many of the policies developed and adopted by the government to achieve the agricultural development, encouragement of investment, increase of export and implantation of the privatization program in Sudan have a direct impact on the pastoral sector over all the parts of Sudan (Arab Organization for Agricultural Development, 1996).
Absence of a unified federal legislation for natural resources depended on by the states to prepare laws and rules to be set up for each source separately without sufficient integration or coordination (Arab Organization for Agricultural Development, 1996) can be summed up as follows:
•    Absence of legislations which protect pastoralists and farmers who own the greater part of the animal resource,  and lack or scarcity of the regulations which organize the exploitation of natural pastures and protect the pasture lands against encroachment (Arab Organization for Agricultural Development, 1996).
•    Absence of clear developmental policies of pastoral resources, in addition to the feudal  orientation in the developmental planning (Ahmed et al, 2003).
Legislations are represented in lack of a law that organizes the function of pastures and protect them against encroachment, and  in spite of the serious and continuous efforts since 1984, pastures are still governed by the local orders issued by local government councils in each state according to their terms of reference with respect to the maintenance and organization of pastures, in addition to conflict of conventional ownership of lands in pastoral areas, the fact that needs the review of the tenure and rights. Also, the laws, legislations, and regulations that support  the Management of pastures, feedstuff and non-governmental organizations operating  in the field of pastures Management and development are characterized by lack of legislative thematic unity which is based on clear methodology. We find controls governing  the tenure ,  ownership of land and protection of pasture rights in the law of the lands, and some provisions related to the pasture protection in   laws of investment and forests.
Problems and tribal disputes on pasture and overlap between areas of agriculture and pasture caused security instability  and restrained the exploitation of pasture and resulted in the current civil wars and so did the negative effect of dissolution of the civil Management and their effective  institutions which governed the Management of pastoral resources.
All the above causes affected the components of the environmental system and affected, in turn, the pastoral vegetation in terms of quantity and quality. The herbaceous plants, whether perennial or durable, increased, in addition to shrubs and trees (Abdulrahim, 2014). There are many examples of change in the perennial species, including  Dactyloctenum aegyptim (L) Beauvm, (Gramineae Poacceae). And from the desired widespread pastoral plants in humid areas of different plant environments which decreased by sand movement and burial of small size seeds. But, for Cenchrus biflorus Roxb and Eragrostis tremula Hochst ex Steud from the same kind  and perennials, you can notice  their density in the sandy areas of semi-desert environment, especially, in the areas which were repeatedly cultivated and left  uncultivated. The spread of seasonal fires and their recurrence caused the disappearance of many durable herbaceous plants and perennial species prevailed. Scientists attributed this to the fact that perennials reach the stage of fruitage and full maturity of the seeds before the occurrence of fires. But, the durable plants got burnt before seeds  mature. Examples of this are the decrease of the spread of  Andropogon gayanus which is a durable cereal that was dominant in the sandy areas of poor Savanna (Abdulrahim, 2014). Among the desired natural pastoral plants which were widespread in Sudan,  Blepharis edulis and B. Linariifoiia Pers of Acanthacea and both were classified as endangered. The first  species inhabited Butana plains in East of Sudan, but the other species existed in the sandy areas of the northern edges of the tree Savanna of few rain. These two species  are characterized by seeds that grow on the surface of the soil, but the soil movement buried the seeds and hindered their germination. Moreover, the insects and small animals are a significant factor of the disappearance of seeds as they use them as food or store then for the time of need (Abdulrahim, 2014).
In the Red Sea area, in East of Sudan, the effect of change was manifest in the human activities resulting from effects of drought and desertification on the pastoral tree cover, where the herbaceous species Suaeda monica (Forssk) from the type Chenopodiaceae receded from  the areas of Salinas spread  on the coast of the Red Sea. The Vieh mangrove Avicennia Marina (Forssk) of type existing around harbors  was affected by unjust grazing (Abdulrahim, 2014).
The effects of woodcutting was , also, manifest on the mountainous trees, and vegetation map of Arkawit area where  Dodnaea viscose trees of type Saindaceae and Dracaena ombet kotschy Peyr disappeared and the area was dominated by undesired species from (Euphorbiaceae) type such as Zaqqum tree (Abdulrahim, 2014).


Conclusion:


Adopting the statistical, analytic, historical and descriptive methodology  and benefiting from secondary data, information and sources, the findings of the study were many , but  some of them are as follows:
1. the pastoral sector covers a vast area of Sudan, estimated by about 744.400km2.
2. Sudan has different natural pastures suitable for the natural plant regions prevailing in Sudan. These pastures provide 80% of the actual need of the national herd.
3. the recent scores witnessed a clear deterioration of quality and quantity of pastures and we can say that the phenomenon of pastures deterioration is a widespread phenomenon in most parts of Sudan
4. the pastoral sector suffers from the phenomenon of geographical and environmental marginalization and common ownership which are considered main causes of pastoral deterioration
5. there is a remarkable change in the structure and quality of the undesired and unpalatable herbaceous weeds in place of desired and palatable weeds.

Recommendations:
The natural pastures with their different components are connected to other several sectors, including the agricultural sector and animal resource. In order to solve the problems and obstacles suffered by the natural pastures and to make them more effective, the study proposes the following solutions and recommendations:
1. Necessity to find an administrative organization that ensures the integration between the agricultural and pastoral sectors by integrating the pastoral  sector and incorporating it in the agricultural cycle to benefit from the remains and waste of agriculture which will partially provide fodders and partially lessen the phenomenon of the geographical marginalization.
2. Maintenance of natural pastures and provision of fodders by  planting new kinds of fodders of high nutritional efficiency  and suitable to the climatic conditions of Sudan.
3. Provide Statistics and health information related to pastures sector so that the planning of animal products projects  might be correct.
4.  opening fire lines, collection of improved plant seeds and sowing them in different pastoral areas in the rainy season to improve the land production and lessen the phenomenon of the environmental marginalization.
5. improvement of the pastures and water source infra- structure coupled with facilitation of farming and pasture reclamation process
6. to be oriented towards provision of fodder, especially, alfalfa , as part of pastures, instead of exporting it, given that alfalfa has a high nutritional value.   

 

 

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