Impact of Privatization on Strategic and Vital Sectors in Sudan- Study of White Nile Subsistence Sch

Mon, 19 Mar 2018



 

Dafallah al £ayyib YŪsuf al asan

The study treated the impact of privatization on the strategic and vital sectors in Sudan of White Nile subsistence schemes between: 1967-2013, Duwaim Locality, White Nile State. The importance of this study emanates from the significance of the role of the agricultural sector in economic development achievement for rural communities in Sudan. Such achievement could effected by investigating all the agricultural integrated problems of such communities. The findings of the study indicate that privatization, among other factors, contributed to the decline of agricultural production, besides its apparent impact on the standard of social services (education, health and drinking water). The study recommends the intervention of the government by timely provision of necessary funding for different aspects of agriculture. The farmer is unable to carry out the funding of the agricultural processes. The government should take care of the educational and health services. It should provide specialized medical staff and medical structure to provide all necessary medical assistance to the rural population. The government shall subsidize the provision of free medicine for the endemic diseases in the area. It, also, should take care of mother and child welfare.

Key words: privatization- strategic and vital sectors- rural communities

 

1-1. Introduction:

Sudan implemented privatization during the seventies with the advice, or perhaps by the pressure of international institutions (International Monetary Fund and World Bank).  The Comprehensive National Strategy (92-2002) included decentralization implementation through the federal system and Sudanese economy privatization. Under these procedures the state withdrew from direct agricultural production, and ended the service of public institutions in the rural areas (Northern Region, Gāsh, £aukar and other areas ). This included the White Nile and Blue Nile Agricultural Corporations. This included the farmers’ companies which assumed the management of schemes without movable vehicles (tractors, machineries, vehicles etc.). The farmers’ associations failed in the management of these schemes because of the lack of open capital to fund the agricultural requirements and therefore, the agricultural productivity dropped and population’s standard of living declined. Many people left the agricultural schemes villages and displaced to other cities of the state in search of job opportunities to meet their living needs. This study is to evaluate the experience of the subsistence schemes of White Nile and the economic and social consequences on the rural communities of the area.

1-2. the Problem of the Study:

Privatization leads to the retro gradation of the agricultural activity in  most of White Nile agricultural schemes, in general, and schemes of the area of study in particular. The living conditions and social conditions of the population were affected. The social services which were managed by the agricultural corporation, especially, services of health and education stopped. Privatization became further separated from the cities due to the absence of supervision and pursuance trips which were taken care of by the agricultural corporation. Jobs for agricultural laborsdecreased and resulted in migration and displacement to cities mostly in slums. Therefore, the problem of the study can be outlined through the following enquiries:-

  1. What is the impact of privatization on the agricultural and animal production in the schemes of the study area?
  2. What is the impact of privatization on the social services (education, health, drinking water)?
  3. Study Hypotheses:
  1. Privatization contributed to degradation of the agricultural and animal production and consequently low income of the farmer, and then living conditions degraded in the study area.

2. Privatization of the schemes of the study area affected the standard of the social services (education, health, drinking water)

1-4. Objectives of Study:-

1. Shed light on the economic and social impacts of the privatization on the rural development

2. Study the natural and human environment to investigate the impacts of privatization on the rural villages associated with the agricultural schemes in the study area.

1-5. Importance of Study:-

1. The importance of this study is based on the importance of the agricultural sector in the economic development in Sudan, in general, and in the rural areas in particular in terms of the stability of such communities in order to contribute to the national income and increase the power and development of the state. Consequently, it becomes necessary to investigate all the problems and obstacles that confront the agricultural development to find decisive solutions so that this sector may play its role in the development.

2. Evaluation of economic and social situations for possibility of having an actual development in the area.

3. Reflects the inadequacy in unbalanced regional development which helped the centers to grow at the expense of the peripheries.

1-6. Limits of Study:-

Objective Limits:- Includes the impact of privatization on the economic and social  development in the study area.

Limits of Space: this study includes Duwaim Locality which is located in White Nile State between longitude ¯؛ 30ºand¯ ؛ 32ºeast and latitude¯ ؛13ºand¯ ؛14north.

Limits of Time: the limits of time of the study represented in the period are from 1968-2012 to determine the administrative phases of the study schemes and evaluation of the economic, social and environmental situations of each phase and determination of the privatizationimpact on the rural development of the villages of such schemes. Map (1)

 

 

1-7. Methodology of Study:-

  1. This study depended on many scientific methodologies  such as the historical methodology, social study methodology, political economy methodology, statistical analytical methodology and comprehensive geographical vision to   highlight indicators, the most important of which are:
  2. combining between the social and spatial aspects
  3. the integrated comprehensive vision by combining the local and    international milieu
  4. tending to study the main components of the structure of every society
  5. Testing the most appropriate and consistent with means and tools with all situations.
  6. Focusing on the cultural and civil aspects of every society, thus this methodology is based on that any vision will be more appropriate than others in some places under conditions of some variables (al Sheikh 2002).  The study, also, depended on primary and secondary methods in obtaining information and data suitable for the study application.

Study Sample:

The selection of the sample by the researcher is one of the important steps and phases of study and the objectives and procedures of his study determine the type of the sample he selects. Will he take a wide and representative sample or specific sample? Will he apply his study on all individuals or select part of them only? the study population is all the individuals, persons or things which constitute the subject of the study problem and the researcher has to select  part (sample) of the study population to achieve the objectives of the study (Vandalen 1973)

The study area includes administrative units two of which are located at the southern countryside of Duwaim Locality. These are WuÊda Unit and Ta¼āmun Unit, and two in the northern countryside; Shabasha Unit and Um Ramta Unit. Two models were determined for the subsistence schemes in the area as to cover all the area by the study. Wakara Agricultural Scheme from the southern countryside and A'rÌk Scheme from the northern countryside were taken for the study. To determine the size of the sample, the researcher counted the number of the villages of those schemes and the number of the villages of Wakara   Scheme was twelve villages and villages of ArÌk scheme were ten villages. Referring to 2002 census, the number of the families, males, females and total number of population of those villages was determined. A sample was withdrawn to determine the names of the villages by numbering them in order. Then, the study sample was withdrawn by the computer. 50% of the study village’s population was taken. Table (1)

Selected Village

No. of Families

male

Female

total

Um Takal

178

548

610

1158

Wakara

345

1072

1108

2180

MansŪra

191

637

686

1323

Dahr Juhaina

139

347

374

721

Dibaibāt

103

291

365

656

Abu îunud

213

609

707

1316

ArÌk

474

1397

1679

3076

Tura'a Kha¼ra

215

45

598

1043

Manāra

254

749

900

1649

alilla al JadÌda

268

563

758

1321

Um Jidād

225

641

810

1451

Total

2605

7299

8595

15894

 Source: Department of Statistics ;( 2010)

Table (2) Size of Sample at Villages of Study Area

Selected Village

No. of families (x)

(x2)

No. of forms

Um Takal

178

31684

17

Wakara

345

119025

35

Mansñra

191

36481

19

Dahr Juhaina

139

19321

14

Dibaibāt

103

10609

10

Abu Sunud

213

45369

13

ArÌk

474

224676

47

Tura'a Kha¼ra

215

46225

22

Manāra

254

64516

25

alilla al JadÌda

268

71824

26

Um Jidād

225

50625

24

Total

2605

720355

252

*Arithmetic Mean = total x

N

236.8 = 2605 =

Standard Deviation = total of x2 ˉ) ²x) 2*

(236.8)2 – 720355 =11

 

65486.8 – 56074.2 = 97

Therefore, the size of the selected sample = h x a

d ___________

Where (h) is the level of confidence 145= 85%

And (d) is standard error

And (a) is the standard deviation

The size of the sample = 234 =1.45 x 97

____________ 0.06

Therefore, the size of the sample statistically from the study population is 234 families, and for necessary increasing the size of the study population to facilitate and explain the level of the economic and social disparity between the sample population to show the degree of disparity among the population statistically. Percentage o 10% of the total families of the selected villages was chosen so that the number of the forms provided; 252 forms to include all the study population to give chance to identify the variables caused by the privatization programs to the rural communities- table (2).

1-10. Previous Studies:

Many studies treated privatization in terms of importance and non-importance of its adoption and explained points of strength and weakness by identifying its concept, advantage selection criteria and methods of application on models of privatized schemes with examples from the third world, specifically, Sudan. The study included a set of African and international studies.

(Walters 1989): Privatization through Economic Liberation and Specialization: study proved that privatization raises productivity efficiency to more than 80% at different establishment’s level. The study handled experiences of some countries as experience of Peru and Czech experience. But the study did not handle the social situations created by privatization. Privatization causes   structural imbalances in the community by widening the class differences such as spread of poverty, ignorance and collapse of values.

Donahio’s study 1991: focused on the economic liberation program which is concerned with freeing the market mechanisms and widening the scope of competition in the national economy. The most important objectives of this change is raising the efficiency of the social economic institution. More important objective is widening the range of the opportunities of the shares for the public. This objective has a long term effect, especially, in terms of the fair income and wealth distribution. But raising the proactive efficiency, no matter the method, is the actor that leads to income increase. He ascertained that the liberation of the competitive markets leads to the development of the economic efficiency of the countries.

Ahmed’s study 2001- Privatization in Developing Countries- underlined that privatization is a political phenomenon, in the first place, and must be analyzed. It treated privatization from the administrative, economic and political perspective and showed that our main argument is that the wide movement of the privatization, in many of its aspects, can be better understood as  a political phenomenon than when considered as a technical adaptation to variable conditions or an application of an economic theory. It tends to consider privatization as taking a form of strategy to reorganize certain groups on competitive interests of other groups, more than being a choice from among several methods to achieve wide and recognized social objectives. The most important result of the study is sacking a large number of personnel in this sector and resulted in unemployment and immigration to abroad. The study recommended continuous follow up of the performance of the privatized establishments to guarantee performance improvement and support the economic and social aspects.

A'ða al Mannān’s study 2002- Privatization in JazÌra Scheme- explained the privatization policy and focused on the agricultural sector schemes and the steps of their privatization. It raised a number of questions about the purpose of the restructure of the agricultural schemes. It indicated that the scheme restructure was made and fully implemented but the required funding was not as desired. The farmers could not meet the agricultural production requirements because of heterogeneity among them. They are poor, rich and in-between, and possibility of land owning is not the same. The study recommended linking the privatization with the economic feasibility, administrative capacity and efficiency of employment, production and marketing, and no less, the social feasibility by provision of health, water, environment maintenance and labor availability.

Hassan’s study- Impact of Privatization on JazÌra Scheme- showed that the crisis of the scheme is represented in the absence of the clear vision of the land ownership, low revenue, changes in the agricultural cycle, production relations and reduction of areas that resulted in the privatization of the scheme.  The government stooped funding as part of its economic program. The most important findings of the study is that the privatization lead to collapse of the production and infrastructure  constituents and opened the door for the private sector (companies and individuals) which resulted in low production and high cost. This, in turn, leads to spread of poverty among the majority of the farmers. The study recommended provision of production inputs and sufficient funding by the government and protection of the farmers by buying their produce at reasonable prices. The study,also, recommended leaving the scheme owned by the government and gradual transference in the light of a study that realizes the economic and social objectives of the scheme.

Al KhaliÌfa’s Study- Privatization Experience in Sudan- Applying on Sudatel: the study aimed at justifying the privatization process of Sudatel and evaluating it in the light of the specificity of the Sudanese economy. It aimed, as well, at determination of the actual need for privatization currently, its extension and areas in the future.  It supposed a positive direct correlation between the presence of the comprehensive plan and preparation of the proper environment of privatization and its success. It, also supposed a direct correlation between the career inflation of the public corporation of wired and wireless communications and deterioration of its services. The study found the experience of public corporation of wired and wireless communications (Sudatel) succeeded by increasing the contact circuits at the  country level at a rate of 1636% due to the financial and administrative efforts provided by Sudatel and positively reflected on the productivity, revenues and profitability which amounted in 1996 to 9505 million Sudanese pounds. The company contributed to the subsidy of the state’s public treasury and contributed movement from the states towards the center. The study asserted that Sudatel reduced labor by 41% and that is a negative impact of the privatization of this corporation.

Juma’s Study 2006- Development in White Nile State- An applied study in Economical Geography: this study aimed at recognizing the obstacles of the economic and social development in White Nile State. It concluded that the natural conditions of the area, deterioration of services, and dependence of the development plans and programs on the bases set by the colonization and absence of the inhabitants of the area from developing and implementing the plans lead to failure of development in the study area. The study recommended engagement of the inhabitants of the area in development and implementation of the plans of their area.

Al Mikāshfi’s Study 2009: this study treated the mechanized and conventional rain fed agriculture and its role in achievement of the food security in the northern and southern countryside in Kausti Locality, White Nile State. It aimed at recognizing the causes and factors which lead to low production and productivity. The study concluded that the rain fed agriculture in the study area experiences a terrible deterioration of production and productivity. The productivity of acre in the conventional rain fed agriculture dropped from 378 kg/acre in 1970 to 98 kg/acre in 2005. The productivity in the mechanized rain fed agriculture dropped from 458 kg/acre to 116 kg/acre during the same period by rate of 75% and percentage of self-sufficiency 65% in 2008. According to the study projections, it is expected to amount to 20% in 2053. The study recommended further attention to the mechanized and conventional rain fed agricultural sector as the core of the food security in the area.

SabÌl’s Study 2011: the study treated the causes of the low agricultural productivity in the schemes of North White Nile State, study of ArÌk scheme. the study aimed at to identify the causes which lead to low agricultural productivity of the scheme and its impact on the population. The study concluded that the natural factors contributed by the rate of 12% to the low productivity because of the fluctuation of rain and drought which resulted in soil deterioration. Then, the agricultural area of the scheme receded from 2988 acres in 1980 to 1513 acres in 2010. The mean productivity of the acre dropped from 10-12 sacks of sorghum and wheat to 3-5 sacks. The study recommended rehabilitation of ArÌk agricultural scheme and intensification of the agricultural research and timely provision of the agricultural funding.

2. Theoretical Scope:

2-1. Privatization Concept

Privatization as a concept and economic policy was not known until early eighties of the last century. The role of the private sector began to increase until United Kingdom began privatization on a large scale in 1984. It included all the economic sectors. In early nineties, the economic and political structure was ready to produce radical economic changes as a result of the collapse of the socialist camp. The International Monetary Fund and World Bank played a major role in this regard by preparing a package of procedures concerned with reform to address debts on developing countries. Among these policies, was the privatization policy application (Hassan 2002).

2-2. Definition of Privatization:

Privatization indicates whole or part transfer of public enterprises owned or run by the government to private enterprises transferred to the private sector. This is associated with previous and subsequent economic and social changes in ownership or management using appropriate methods. Many definitions were given to privatization. It was defined as an important means or instrument of economic reform that revives the economy through the revival of the role of the individual initiative. World Bank 1995 defines it as further participation of the private sector in management of the ownership of the activities and assets controlled or owned by the government.  The manager of the Internal Center for the Economic Development defines it as contracting or sale of firms controlled or owned by the government to parties of private sector. Another view of privatization is that it is introducing a big market characterized by a higher degree of rationalization and competition in the area of the economic activities. There is another definition that describes privatization as transference of assets and services from the tax and politically subsidized public sector to the private sector or competitive markets. There are concepts of privatization, including:-

  1. Transference of ownership from public sector to private sector.
  2. Transference of the public sector activities to private sector.
  3. Sale of Government owned assets to private sector
  4. A new policy to re-balance between public sector and private sector.
  5. A new work division between public sector and private sector.

The pro-privatization persons believe that it depends on the individual initiatives, and the economic liberation to initiate market mechanisms and expanding the scope of competition in the national economy. The privatization policy is part of the economic liberation policy which depends on:

A/ transfer from public sector to private sector wholly or partially

B/ financial system policy

C/labor problem

it should be clear that transferring from any economic and social system to another system will entail automatic change in method of ownership from public sector to private sector  and the features of the new economic system will become visible in accordance with the method of the new ownership which will prevail,(A'ta al Mannān 2002).

2-3. Objectives of Privatization:

Objectives of the main restructure is represented in redistribution of the role between the public sector and private sector and the government gradual withdrawal from some economic activities to encourage the local private, Arab and foreign investment in order to reduce the financial burdens on the public budget as a result of subsidizing abortive    projects and dedicate its resources to subsidize education, scientific research, health and the economic firms of strategic significance. The objective intended by the privatization program is the corner stone of the success of the program. The clarity of the objective makes easy determination of the priority schemes of privatization. Any foggy determination of objective is a definite failure of the program. The objectives of privatization differ from country to country as whole objectives or detailed objectives at the level of the sector or firms. The first objective of the privatization is efficiency, development, economic dynamic growth and creation of job opportunities. This may be achieved by attracting local and foreign capital, latest technologies and development of the administrative, organizational and marketing capacities. The next objective is expansion and diversification of ownership for the purpose of increasing competition by encouraging the private sector to enter economic areas previously exclusively reserved for public sector (al KhalÌfa 2002). UN studies limited the privatization objectives in the following:-

1. Encouragement and development of the economic efficiency by competitive markets liberation

2. Re-determination of the role of the government by allowing it to control the management and discipline

3. reduction of the financial burdens of the public enterprises in attempt to achieve financial controls and full amount stability of the economic structure

3. Mitigationof public debts

5.  Liberation of the resources allocated to the government by funding other sectors like education.

6. Creation or emergence of a new investment related to foreign investment

7. Mobilization of local resources for the development

8. Expansion of the ownership base (asan 2002)

 The study of the technical committee of disposal of the Sudanese public sector facilities (1990) determined that privatization intends to achieve the following objectives:-

Modification of the administrative, economic and financial structures to encourage all to participate in objectives achievement

Achievement of the social balance and cancellation of the government monopoly of some activities in the area of agriculture, industry and services to achieve the participation of the private sector with one of the privatization means

Expansion of the direct ownership system of means of production by the people because offering public enterprises for sale through the financial market will lead to failure of small investors to find appropriate chance of investment due to their small capital

Investment of the liquidity available for the individuals in a manner conformant with the development objectives of the country

Creation of a sustainable reform process capable of thrusting the privatization process and protection against failure by dividing the power among the shareholders and putting an end to the dominance of the ministries on the privatized facilities (introduce primary reforms to the administrative, financial and monetary aspects)

Sale of the government ownership interests or change them to joint ventures or partnership with foreign private sector

Generally, objectives of privatization look alike in a way or another but they are included in the principle of the economic and social efficiency raising.

2-4. Forms of Privatization:-

1. Direct sale to private sector

2. Sale to the management of the company or the personnel

3. Transfer to common enterprises between private sector and public sector

4. Sale of assets of companies

2-5. Reasons of Privatization:

Reduced efficiency or failure of the public enterprises 

Building economic firms and units on non-economic bases as most them were established for social, political and ideological considerations and their products are sold at prices less than cost price.

Governmental public institutions drain the public treasury because the enterprises receive open governmental assistances in many forms- in form of cash transfers, cash support or specific benefits granted by the government to the enterprises in purchase, etc...

Most of the public enterprises do not realize profits sufficient to cover the depreciation requirements or are unable to generate internal funds to expand in their capital activities or productive processes.  In some situations, the profits of the public enterprises may be insufficient, even with the aids and support of the government, and the result will be the public enterprises becoming a great burden on the public treasury, not only in provision with aids and support from the internal credit, but the government may have to borrow from outside to assist such enterprises to continue their activity ('Ata al Mannān 2002).

2-6. Constituents of Success of Privatization:

The privatization program of a country requires the availability of a number of constituents and the pillars without which it may be difficult to achieve the main objectives of this program. The most important constituents are:

1. The national program of privatization shall be an indivisible part of a comprehensive program of  the economic and structural reform

2. Importance of presence of a strong market ( money market, capital market and stock market) to encourage savings, investment awareness, encouragement of Arab capital flow and attraction of foreign capitals

3. Importance of presence of legal and legislative environment (to issue legislations in line with the new order).

4. Importance of the government care of the infrastructure represented in the increase of attention to the infrastructure and public facilities (Ahmed 2001).

There are controls which must be observed to make the privatization program successful. These are:

1. Public opinion preparation

2. Preparation of a new comprehensive legal framework

3. Setting up of mechanisms for implementation of the privatization program

4. Support and development of capital markets

5. Increase of investment in infrastructure and basic services

6. Protection of affected categories (low income categories) against the effects of the structural reforms

76. Environment protection (al Nagar 1998).

2-7. Negatives of Privatization:

Advocates of privatization try, by all means; to convince people that privatization is the economic recovery and without it the countries of the world will not be able to improve their economies and the transfer of the public ownership to the private sector is a goal that must be adopted by all countries. The purpose is to destroy the public sector. The monopoly of the private sector causes structural imbalance in the society, and concentration of wealth in the hands of individuals and makes them impose their terms and control the market. Therefore, the income decreases and prices and services increase. Class differences become wider and poverty and ignorance spread, values collapse, crime prevails and unemployment increases (Ahmed 2001).

Perhaps most of the third world countries which implemented privatization did so by pressure from the International Monetary Fund and World Bank in preparation to reschedule their debts. Experiences showed that the African, Arab and South American countries failed in privatization due to rush implementation without a sound evaluation of the enterprises to be privatized and ambiguity of solutions of labor problems. There are no laws that determine the partnership of the foreign companies. The most important negatives of the privatization is its direct effect on the laborers, especially in the low efficiency companies where the number of the laborers inflated in a manner that does not suit the work requirements;when liquidated it will lead to substantial reduction in labor.

3. Presentation and Discussion of Results:-

In the following, we will review some features and administrative developments of the phases of the White Nile Agricultural Schemes:

3-1. Private Schemes Phase 1929-1968:

In the first three decades of this phase, White Nile schemes boomed and lead to settlement of citizens and  greatly contributed to development and national income as a result of available constituents of success represented in :-

  • Availability of funding
  • Reasonability of production cost
  • Profitable cotton prices for the farmers
  • Preparedness of the schemes because they were new
  • Sufficiency of rain during July and August to establish the cotton crop
  • Unity of management and non-division to agricultural management and irrigation management
  • Presence of effective regulations to organize and control the work and determination of responsibilities
  • Association of farmers with their plantations and compliance with management orders.
  • All these lead to abundance of the agricultural production during this phase and scored a high productivity in all agricultural seasons of the three crops (cotton, sorghum and wheat). The cultivated area with cotton amounted, in the agricultural season 68/1969, 113000 acres with average production of 4.9 quintals per acre, and with an area estimated by about 102000 acres with average production 8 sacks per acre for sorghum and with an area estimated by about 80000 acres with average production 10 sacks per acre for wheat (Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources – White Nile State 2004). In the last decade of this phase, cotton prices dropped internationally and provision of funding was not possible for expenditure on agriculture and on maintenance of the irrigation structures. The deterioration began in the schemes and disputes broke out among the farmers and license holders, and with the heating up of conflict, the government intervened and nationalized the schemes.

3-2. Nationalization Phase and Governmental Management: 1969-1996

This phase with its different names continued for about three decades and realized a limited success in its first three years because funding was available and the farmers and management were enthusiastic to make the experience successful –table (3)

Table (3) Area in Acres and Cultivated Crops for Five Years- Before Privatization 90/91-94/1995

Season

Cotton

Sorghum

Wheat

Area

Productivity

Area

Productivity

Area

productivity

90/91

21767

-

85000

5

93770

3.5

91/92

-

-

104385

6

55750

3

92/93

3600

4.16

40786

6

27285

4.6

93/94

13608

4.15

40125

6

31247

4.8

94/95

24836

2.75

104720

6

6478

3.4

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

The most important marks of this phase:-

  • Expansion of cultivated areas at the beginning of the phase
  • Use of the social services system which had a great effect on the development and promotion of the medical services and education at the villages of the rural schemes.
  • A limited provisional program was implemented to rehabilitate the schemes but soon the cultivated areas and productivity began to decrease after the first three years of this phase. The recede and regression of the agricultural productivity came successively for the following reasons:-
  • Stumbling of funding and lack of petroleum products
  • Deterioration of irrigation structures and need for rehabilitation
  • Climate change with lack of rain during July and August and insufficiency to establish crops
  • Duplicity of management by dividing it to irrigation management and agriculture management. This division does not suit the situations of the White Nile schemes for their numerous numbers, variation and multiplicity of irrigation problems. This duplicity, also, resulted in dependency and non-defined responsibilities and increased spirit of   professional intolerance.
  • Failure  of agricultural research in solving the agricultural technical problems such as using new crop combinations appropriate for the changes in these schemes.
  • Shortage of financial return resulted in disentanglement of farmers from their plantations, consequent weak farming processes and failure of farmers to protect their produce against the danger of animals
  • This situation contributed to a baggy career at the level of the management of such schemes. In spite of the reformatory efforts from time to time, the situations aggravated in these schemes and debts and losses accumulated and finally, after the government adopted the free economy policy, it decided to privatize the irrigated schemes in White Nile and Blue Nile and transfer them to companies and cooperatives owned by farmers.
  • 3-3. Privatization Phase (Companies and farmers cooperatives) 1996:

The privatization of these schemes was based on the idea of listing and evaluating assets of each scheme or more and turning over the schemes including the land and assets to the farmers after joining in a cooperative or company. Then, the management of the company will provide funding and manage the work. The value of the assets was decided to be paid to the government in twenty years after a grace period of five years. It was agreed to deliver the schemes to farmers’ companies after rehabilitation and placing them in a suitable productive condition;also provision of financing facilitations for the new companies, and training the boards of directors and leaderships of the farmers on the management systems and supporting them with different technical and administrative personnel. The effect of the privatization on such schemes was represented through the following:-

Firstly: Agricultural Performance:

  • The total cultivated area shrank with the reduction of the area of cotton and wheat with the relative expansion of the sorghum cultivation- table (4)
  • Prevalence of one crop and consequent negative economy and agricultural effects
  • Low average production of the cultivated crops

Table (4) Areas in acres and cultivated crops for five years after privatization 95/96- 99/2000

Season

Cotton

Sorghum

Wheat

Area

Productivity

Area

 

Area

Productivity

95/96

65000

2.7

48000

5.8

4071

2.8

96/97

55407

2

56000

5.2

55400

1.5

97/98

2000

1.5

60000

5

7627

1.5

98/99

7865

3.75

71428

8

500

2

99/2000

8720

-

81717

-

1100

-

Source: Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resource- White Nile State -2004

Secondly: Financial Performance:

  • The privatization period was characterized by lack of funding sources for fear of the funding agencies because of the newness of the experience
  • The provided funding was characterized by irregularity, fluctuation and high fees of services
  • High fees and taxes levied on the crops lead to high production cost
  • Poor production of some farmers  and high production cost lead to the common account system which does not motivate the producing farmer

Thirdly: Administrative and Organizational Performance of Privatization:

  • Because of the limited administrative capacities of most farmers leaderships and wide spread of illiteracy and tribalism among the farmers, the boards of directors did not succeed in workflow at companies and cooperatives and failed in attraction of funding, investors and cooperatives. Also, lack of capable technical managements in many companies for weakness of agricultural programs and supervision band follow up lead to slow interaction with the change process from the bases of farmers. The effects of privatization on the social aspect are manifested in the following:
  • Deterioration of the living conditions of the citizens, in general, and farmers, in particular, and displacement of some of them to the cities.
  • Seasonal and casual agricultural labor opportunities decreased and migration to cities and abroad increased, marginal occupations expanded and slums appeared.

As the funds of the social services ceased to exist after the dissolution of the agricultural establishment, there was no sufficient funding to support schools and medical facilities. Services deteriorated and the medical and educational conditions of people worsened. Briefly, the phase of White Nile agricultural schemes privatization suffered great losses in the developmental, economic and social aspects for a large category of White Nile population. This study of Wakra andArÌk Schemes is an attempt to compare and evaluate such situations before and after privatization and induct the future of these schemes as they are the main economic and social supporters of the stability of such rural communities. Solutions should be sought in order to establish a sustainable rural development at those areas, provide a residential stability and stop displacement to cities.

3-4. Economic Privatization before and after Privatization in the Study Area:

As a natural result of the fragility of population and weakness to overcome the economic crises and difficulties and recovery from the effects, the situation aggravated among the many simple rural communities in the study area. Most of these communities depend on the returns of the simple primitive economy for their low incomes (agriculture).

3-4-1. Agriculture:-

Agriculture is the first economic activity in the study area. Field studies affirmed that 100% of the population practice agriculture.So, it is the lifeblood of the economy. It aims, in the first place, at provision of the essential needs of the population from the food grains “sorghum and wheat”. The Study reported that one of the most important objectives of the subsistence schemes in the area is to provide means of subsistence, settlement of nomads and delivery of services to them.

In the following, we will discuss the agricultural situations in the study area which includes the agricultural tenure, agricultural productivity and all the agricultural production characteristics before and after the privatization programs:-

1. Agricultural Tenure:

The findings of the field study indicate that the agricultural tenure is distributed among the farmers as follows: freehold- 72.2%, partnership 25.4%, governmental 2.4%. Note from table (5) that the ownership of the agricultural tenure is permanent before and after the privatization of the schemes.

Table (5) Agricultural Tenure Before and After Privatization in Study Area

Before privatization

After privatization

Type of tenure

repetition

%age

Type of tenure

Repetition

Percentage

Freehold

182

72.2

freehold

182

72.2

governmental

6

2.4

governmental

6

2.4

Partnership

64

25.4

partnership

64

25.4

Total

252

100

Total

252

100

Source: Field work (2013)

2. Agricultural Ownership:

When subsistence schemes were set up in the area, the population of the villages of those schemes were given the ownership of the agricultural land after dividing them into plantations (awashāt) the area of a plantation ranging between 5-9 acres in three agricultural cycles (sorghum, wheat, cotton) for the purpose of gathering the population of the area in village settlements to facilitate the service delivery process as they were mostly bedouins and nomads  practicing the conventional pastoral activity in the area. Frequently, they moved looking for feed and water for their animals. Their descendants inherited these plantations from their fathers through the three phases they passed. It is worth noticing that this ownership is permanent and did not change with the successive families. It remained with only the first father of the family. With the increase of the family size and number of inheriting descendants who formed other families, these tenures became insufficient for their living necessities. Therefore, they frequently get into agricultural partnerships which emerged in these agricultural schemes during the privatization period to present more rural social and economic poverty. The areas of the agricultural tenures of the farmers in the study area range between 5-15 acres per farmer. The largest areas are usually between 9-14 acres. It amounted to 86.1 of the subjects before and after privatization. This contributes to adoption of the agricultural cycles which give chance to land to restore its fertility and continue production.

3. Crop Combination:-

The crop combination varied for the crops which were grown before privatization. It was 100% for sorghum for the farmers of the study schemes. The percentage of those who grow wheat amounted to 81%, while the percentage of cotton growers was 100%. This shows the preparedness of the land to produce and availability of other production constituents such as funding, irrigation and effective management of these schemes. That period experienced a great stability among the population. Sizes of villages increased as a result of available agricultural labor opportunities. However, for the period after privatization, field studies showed that with the same table that the crop combination of the farmers was mainly restricted to sorghum production. Wheat production dropped to half and cotton disappeared totally. This resulted in poor domestic and national production and directly affected the rural population in the study area as they wholly depended on the agricultural production. So, they abandoned the agricultural economy and began looking for alternatives to satisfy their needs of food. This is attributed to  the failure of the privatization policy because the implementation was not organizationally gradual and it was not prequalified to make the experience successful as it was in the advanced countries. Table (6)

Table (6): Crop Combination Before and After Privatization in Study Area

Before privatization

After privatization

Type of crop

Yes

No

Type of crop

Yes

No

Sorghum

100%

-

Sorghum

100%

-

Wheat

81%

19%

Wheat

59.1%

40.9%

Cotton

100%

-

Cotton

6.3%

93.7%

Vegetables

0.4%

99.6%

Vegetables

0.8%

99.2%

Source: Field work (2013)

3-1. Agricultural Productivity:

1. Sorghum Production: 

The agricultural productivity in the study area varied greatly before and after privatization and after that in production of the main crops (sorghum, wheat and cotton) for many reasons referred to in the review of the three phases. It has been clear from the sorghum productivity table that it amounted to 10 sacks and more for 92.9% of the producers before privatization compared to 55.6% after privatization. Despite this crop is the first staple food for the population in the area. This deterioration of this crop is attributed to the absence of the administrative role and funding and to the problems of the irrigation due to turning over these schemes to the farmers’ cooperative societies which did not receive any governmental support. Therefore, many farmers were forced to leave the agriculture and look for other alternatives to meet their food needs. They turned to grazing and woodcutting. Poverty and hunger prevailed  among most of them and they displaced to the neighboring cities, to the City of Duwaim, for example- table (7).

Table (7) Sorghum Productivity Before and After Privatization in Study Area

Before privatization

After privatization

Productivity in sacks/acre

producers

%age

productivity

producers

%age

1-3

1

0.04

1-3

5

2

4-6

17

6.7

4-6

132

52.4

7-9

95

37.7

7-9

59

23.4

10 and more

141

55.2

10 and more

56

22.2

Total

252

100

Total

252

100

 Source:  Field work (2013)

2. Wheat Productivity:

Wheat is one of the cash crops that contributed to the increase of the farmer’s income in the study area in addition to cotton crop during the period before the agricultural privatization. the field study showed that the wheat productivity amounted to a high percentage of production per acre that ranged between 7-10 and more sacks for more than 89.7 producers  compared to the fall  which happened after implementation of the privatization.  The percentage of the producers of the same percentage of the production fell to 20.3% and this may be attributed to the irregularity of irrigation and absence of the technological packages followed to make this crop successful because of the inability of the farmers to spend on it. Consequently, most of them abandoned  its cultivation and depended on a single crop (sorghum)- table (8).

Table (8) Wheat Productivity Before and After Privatization in Study Area

Before privatization

After privatization

Acre productivity in sacks

producers

%age

Acre productivity in sacks

producers

%

1-3

10

4

1-3

111

44

4-6

16

6.3

4-6

81

34.9

7-9

163

64.7

7-9

16

6.3

10 and more

63

25

10 and more

37

6.3

Total

252

100

Total

252

100

Source: Field work (2013)

3. Cotton Productivity:

Cotton crop played a major role in the economic and social development  in the study area during the period before  the privatization of these schemes by provision of large revenues which contributed to the increase of the farmers’ income, besides provision of large labor opportunities for the members of the family in the area. The deducted money from the revenues for the social services subsidy funds (education and health), farmer’s  support fund  lead to effective contribution to the stability of the rural population at the villages of the study area. The field study showed the high productivity of this crop during the period before privatization. The percentage of the acre production ranged between 7-10 and more quintals for 84.4 producers as that period was characterized by the availability of all good production constituents. Also, cotton crop is a natural pasture   for large numbers of animals of different kinds in the study area. in addition to the return of clearing the plantations of the cotton stems which are used as firewood for the population and for other purposes, such as building fences for their houses and enclosures  for their animals. Cotton crop is the main guarantee for the rural population stability at the level of White Nile State.

It contributes by providing agricultural labor opportunities and food support, especially, in the situations of rain scarcity and fluctuation in these areas. It, also, contributes to set the rural development in motion by means of many processes accompanying the production phases and emanating sectors accompanying such processes in commercial investment, such as the supplementary services sectors and industrial and commercial sectors. Perhaps it will be necessary for the rural development planners to recognize the importance of this crop as being the main cause of the rural stability and there will be no development without it. It will be noticed that this important crop disappeared from the crop combination after privatization.  Non-production percentage among the farmers subject of the study was 93.3%, and the result was poverty because of weak of other economic alternatives and displacement to the City of Duwaim.

3-3. Problems of Agricultural Production in Study Area,

Reviewing the different phases of the schemes of the study area,, the first and second phases  were particularly free from agricultural problems that hinder the agricultural production and affect the farmers’ income. Then, there was a great stability of population in the area and the villages were greatly developed after it had attracted pastoral groups which were roving with their animals around the area and finally settled in the villages of the study area. At these villages, economic and social stability became possible and different job opportunities became available due to the multiple agricultural production phases and associated activities of other sectors. After privatization, schemes changed and several agricultural problems emerged which affected the agricultural productivity, decreased the revenues and means of subsistence? The agricultural problems were represented in weak and mismanagement, agricultural funding at subsistence schemes and bad irrigation canals. Most reports of conferences and agricultural workshops in White Nile State (2005, 2006. 2010) indicate the weakness of the infrastructure of irrigation due to breakdown of most of irrigation pumps of schemes and their inefficiency because of lack of spare parts, negligence of the government and inability of the farmers to provide maintenance and petroleum products to operate them. Field studies showed that the cooperative societies and personal funding by the farmers which amounted to 100% in funding the agricultural production after privatization could not manage to provide the production supplies because of the agricultural poorreturn and abstention of the financing institutions for the producer’s inability to pay their agricultural debts.

Recommendations:-

  • The government must intervene by provision of the necessary funding for all the agricultural processes at the appropriate time for the inability of the farmer financially to fund the agricultural processes
  • Irrigation canals must be rehabilitated and new pumps must be provided to increase the irrigation efficiency and meet the schemes needs of water
  • Departments of the schemes must be administratively separated so that each department may bear its responsibility
  • Agricultural research must be taken care of to improve the production situation and solve agricultural problems
  • Crop combination must be taken care of by introducing cash crops to contribute to the farmers’ income increase to encourage them stay at the villages of the schemes and to stop displacement to cities.
  • Primary education must be given due attention and appropriate school environment must be provided for the academic attainment thorough attention to the academic practical requirements
  • Free education for all to encourage parents to send their children to the educational institutions
  • Provide medical services, specialized medical personnel and necessary medical structures for the rural population and free medicine subsidy by the government for endemic diseases and taking care of mother and child welfare.
  • Regularly follow the agricultural cycle to avoid leaving uncultivated lands for animals in order to stay away from the deterioration of the soil.
  • Disperse the seeds of economically valuable trees and enact necessary laws to protect them and attend to bio-diversity.
  • Strife to improve the economical and social situations of the rural populationsupports the basic services, extend transport roads and maintain them to improve the rural residential environment.
  • Pay attention to the social situations of the rural population by instilling the spirit of cooperation, interdependence and compassion and train the community leaders to manage the affairs of the communities in a manner to urge towards participation in the rural development.
  • Rehabilitate the existing social institutions and support them with social programs to revive the necessary activities for the rural population.

References:

  • Ahmed Adam Mahdy 2001,  Privatization in Developing Countries, International Printing and Publishing Company
  • Al KhalÌfa, Sāra Sirel Khatim, 2002, Administrative Approach- Privatization Experience in Sudan-  Applying to Sudatel, Unpublished Master Degree thesis, Sudan University for Science and Technology
  • Al Sheikh Abd al A'zÌz al AmÌn, 2002, Fragility and Poverty in Rural Communities, Case Study of Governorate of Bara, unpublished  Ph.D. dissertation, Khartoum University
  • Al Mikāshfi Ahmed Abd al MŪla Ahmed 2009, Role of Rain Fed Agriculture in Provision of Food Security between 2008-2053, Kosti Locality, White Nile State,  Sudan, unpublished Ph.D. dissertation. Khartoum University.
  • Al Naggar Said, 1998, Privatization and Structural Corrections in Arab Countries, Middle East Studies Center, Cairo.
  • Guma'a Ibrahim Adam, 2006, Development in White Nile State, (Applied Study in Economic Geography) unpublished Ph.D. dissertation, Khartoum university.
  • Hassan Abdul RaŪf Omer Ahmed, 2002, Impact of Privatization on JazÌra Scheme,  unpublished Master Degree Thesis, Khartoum University.
  • Donahio John, 1991, Decision of Transfer to Private Sector is a General Goal and Special means, Egyptian Association for Knowledge and  International Culture Dissemination, Cairo.
  • Sabeel Sālah IsmāÌl Adam, 2011, Reasons of Low Agricultural Productivity of North White Nile State Schemes, unpublished Master degree thesis, Bakht al Ruda University.

Scientific Research, Conferences and Reports

  • Central Statistical Organization, 2008, Khartoum.
  • Comprehensive National Strategy, 92-2002, Khartoum.
  • A'ta al Mannān al Hāfiz, 2002, Privatization in GazÌra Scheme.
  • Ministry of Agriculture Animal Resource. 2004, Study of White Nile Schemes assemblage, Kosti.

Department of Statistics (2010); Fifth Census of the Sudan, Final Tabulation, White Nile State, Khartoum.  

- Van dalen, D.B (1973); Understanding Educational Research, Mc-Gruw Hill, New York.

  • - Walters,    P (1989); Famine Relief among Pastoralists in Sudan, A report of Oxford Experience, In: Disaster, vol, 12 (196-202

 

 

 

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