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Title:Agricultural development and food production on a Sudanese irrigation scheme
Author:Bernal, V.ISNI
Book title:Anthropology and development in North Africa and the Middle East
Geographic term:Sudan
Subjects:agricultural projects
food shortage
Abstract:The 1984-1985 food shortage in the Sudan revealed the failure of current agricultural policies and development projects to provide food security for the Sudanese population. The centrepiece of Sudan's agricultural development strategy is its irrigated schemes, yet there is a food crisis on the irrigated schemes themselves resulting from policies that maximize cotton production. This crisis not only hurts the scheme populations but contributes to the national food shortage. This chapter examines conditions of food production on Sudan's irrigated schemes through a case study of the village of Wad al Abbas on the Blue Nile Schemes. The author shows that scheme management limits farmers' food production capacities at the household level by controlling credit, technical services, and extension, and by restricting the labour and land farmers may allocate to food crops. As a result, most farmers produce well below their grain needs and thus, far from contributing to national food markets, must purchase much of their basic subsistence grain. The primary fieldwork at Wad al Abbas was carried out from June 1980 to June 1982 with a brief follow-up study in January 1988. Bibliogr., notes, ref.