The Role of the Farmers’ Associations in the Rehabilitation of the Gum Arabic Belt A Case Study: North Kordofan State

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Ramly, Fatima Mohamed Ahmed Elamin
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University of Khartoum
In Sudan the gum belt extends from east to west between 10◦-14◦ N. Until fairly recently, Kordofan has been more widely known for the production of gum arabic from the tree of A. senegal. The apparently well-balanced traditional system began to decline due to variety of factors, some projects exerted considerable efforts to rehabilitate the gumbelt in the state, but the price of gum arabic is declining compared with other cash crops that led farmers to ignore tapping their hashab trees, or cut them for charcoal. The broad objective of this research is to investigate the possibility of rehabilitating the gumbelt zone through the establishment of Gum Arabic Farmer’s Associations and guarantee raising of standard of living of the local communities. Two types of data were collected to provide the necessary information, namely; primary and secondary data. The primary data were collected through questionnaires, interviews and observations.The main findings of the research are; through the establishment of farmer’s associations, the project of rehabilitation of gumbelt was able to sustain the activity of gum belt. The associations act as a rural bank. Using the project’s revolving fund allocation as a grant, it was envisaged that the “Sanduk” will evolve as a permanent and sustainable credit institutions. After the establishment of the associations there is a tremendous increase of areas and stocking density of hashab trees. There are two types of markets of gum before the establishment of the associations namely; village markets and urban markets. After the establishment of the associations the village committee is the responsible body for marketing and facilitation of credits. The benefits of the associations as perceived by the farmers are; provision of credit accessibility, abolishment of the role of peddlers, brokers and the “sheil” system, and provision of extension services beside other benefits. The main conclusions of the research are: adoption of the farmer’s associations increased the stocking density of the hashab trees in the study area and controlled the market mechanisms of gum Arabic. The main recommendations of the research are; the importance of constructing special extension messages to recruit the youth in the field of gum tapping and picking. The FNC should find channels for financing the farmers through credit accessibility
100 Pages
North Kordofan State; Gum Arabic; Farmers; Soil; Population; Climate; Economic Activities