Gum Arabic between Brokers and Smugglers

Najat Ahmed

The undersecretary of the Ministry of Trade and industry has stated that the funding policy has been changed; it goes directly to the companies instead of going to the small producers.
He urged those who invest in Gum Arabic to educate Gum Arabic producers and the Gum Arabic Unions, that existed amount of Gum related to the survives of the Gum trees, he also criticized the brokers who buy the Gum cheaply from the producers “the word production and productivity is overused phrase” said the undersecretary who appealed to full support to the Gum Arabic farmers with required equipments, asking both the government and the producers to consider the importance of the plant cover.
While the former Minister of Finance, Abdul Rahim Hamdi appealed to the necessity of establishing a commercial bank concerns with funding Gum Arabic producers in terms of production, marketing and exporting.
“This move will address the difficulties that face Gum Arabic production and it is fair to establish such banks” added Hamdi who pointed to the fluctuations of the prices of Gum Arabic in Sudan, adding that the average of production annually is 80 thousand tons this came while he was speaking before the annual meeting of the Gum Arabic directorate which was organized recently by the General Union of Natural Gum producers.
“Sudan still export raw Gums or at primary manufacturing phase, and some are exported illegally, and the total amount of Gum Arabic export is US$ 70 million as an average which can be generated even by animal resource sector” explained the former Minister.
In the same context, he indicated to the significance of Gum Arabic in increasing the export earnings due to the international demand reiterating that establishing of special bank will solve the problems, saying that the experience of Family Bank, Animal Resource Bank, Saving Bank and Omdurman National Banks.
As regard to the benefits of the Gum Arabic, Hamdi says “It is an income source for millions of people, also it provides fuels and building materials as well as it used as an animal feed.
The challenges face Gum Arabic according to Hamdi are, labor shortage, lack of adequate production, high competitiveness of the other yields and the external monopoly which affect the revenue. “Our big problem is lack of sustainability, we overcome all these challenges by good policies” concluded Hamdi.
On his part, the Chairman of Gum Arabic Council Dr. Abdul Majid revealed the plan of establishing African Gum Arabic Center in Sudan beside the Union of African Gum Arabic Produced and Exported Countries.
“The government of Sudan agreed to support the idea and to host the Center, the government allocated an area of 10 Feddans in Soba” said Abdul Majid who declared the convention of the International Gum Arabic Conference in Khartoum in the upcoming May, many American and European organizations and companies working in the field of Gum Arabic are going to participate in the conference. S
While the Chairman of the Specific Union of Gum Arabic Ali Albahri, described Gum Arabic as “Strategic” commodity and it will contribute to the solution of the current economic crisis, he also urged the government to set supportive policies.
Abahri agreed with Hamdi to establish “Gum Arabic Bank” to achieve big benefit for producers “We need an attractive prices to overcome smuggling” added Albahri while he was speaking to participants in a training workshop.
He suggested that the proposed Bank should bear the following name “Sudan Gum Bank” instead of Sudan Gum Arabic Bank, this policy will generate hard currency to the country, Sudan exports more quantities than, Egypt, Chad and Central Africa.
The Chairman of the Specific Cooperative Union of Natural Gum Arabic Producers Awad Ibrahim has revealed the difficulties that face the Unions at States levels appealing to an incentive price to encourage the producers and to prevent smuggling, also he demanded for establishment of Gum Arabic portfolio, the cancelation of Mohamed Ibrahim membership and the implementation gas project to reduce the use of wood and charcoals.

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