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Report: Egypt discontinues mandate of agricultural experts in Sudan’s Sennar state

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February 17, 2012 (KHARTOUM) – The Egyptian minister for agriculture Mohamed Reda Ismail made an abrupt decision to end the mandate of a team stationed in Sudan that is overseeing work in a farm there, according to a newspaper report.

Egypt’s state newspaper Al-Ahram said the 10,000 acres farm in Sennar state was planned to be a pilot test for lands offered by Khartoum to Cairo for agricultural development.

The Sudanese government granted Egypt up to 1.3 million acres of lands on which it is allowed to grow certain food products with focus on wheat and can employ up to 200,000 Egyptian farmers.

The Egyptian minister ordered the four agricultural experts out of Sudan though the report did not specify the reasons.

However, Al-Ahram pointed out that the move resulted in a dispute between the agriculture ministry on one end and the foreign ministry with international cooperation ministry on the other saying that it threatened the signed protocols between Sudan and Egypt.

The Sudanese government also reportedly protested the decision with Cairo but no details were given. The newspaper said the decision practically means the end of the farmland project in Sennar.

Khartoum has offered free use of its lands to a number of countries particularly the Arab Gulf states who wish to secure their food supply. Sudan wants to benefit from the vast capital at the disposal of these countries and the agricultural technology that comes with it.

(ST)

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  • 18 February 2012 14:03, by Paul Ongee

    Agricultural experts of Egypt need to think twice if they do not want crop to definitely fail this year. Why Sudan hasn’t produced a single agricultural expert since 1956? Does it mean Gezira scheme has been run by foreign agricultural experts from cotton production to the current diverse agricultural activities? Yes, Sudan has run out of stolen South Sudan oil money for paying these experts.

    • 18 February 2012 14:21, by Paul Ongee

      When 2nd VP, Sheikh Ali Osman Ali took over the leadership of farming, countless number of farmers ended up in jail for crop failure and inability to pay back loan in 2009 and in 2010 farmers declined to take loan which resulted in low agricultural output. Can you imagine how the prospects of agricultural activities will be in the absence of foreign experts and fear of being locked up?

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