By: Elrasheed, M.M., M. Faki, H.M. Hamid and H.A.
Sudan is one of the main exporters of sheep in African countries. Despite being on the marketing system of sheep is still undeveloped due to weakness of structural facilities such as low production technology, despised farms, market barrens, poor infrastructure and so on. This study aims to provide some insights on the marketing system of sheep in Sudan with special focus on the production sector in North Kordofan and Khartoum states in Sudan. The objectives of this study are to gain a better understanding of how the existing sheep marketing systems and to identify key constraints and potentials in the systems and to determine the marketing channels and margins. Primary data was used in this study to collect data from 103 sheep producers/traders in Elkhiwi and Elobied markets in North Kordofan and 25 producers/traders and middlemen in Elsalam in Omdurman central market in Khartoum. The results reveals that best time to selling sheep before Hajj season when the sheep begin to export to Saudi Market and other markets, the major sheep production cost items, were feed, drinking water and labor which contributing substantially to total costs 65.61% in Khartoum and 59.71% in North Kordofan. The marketing channels were so lengthy and middlemen’s margins were almost equivalent to producer’s profits. The study recommends intensive research for pasture improvement; provide sheep producers/traders with improvement in production technology reduce marketing channel and price support for the supply of fodder, water and veterinary care and waive income taxes for the farmers.
Sudan has large number of livestock, providing protein to most of the population with red meat and sheep milk. The livestock sub-sector is considered as the backbone of the economy. The contribution of livestock sub-sector in the agriculture and the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2000 was 65 and 23%, respectively and this percentage dropped to 45 and 15.4% in 2008, respectively due to decreased number of sheep export and government extensive depend on oil export.
This sub-sector is able to meet domestic consumption requirements and a considerable amount for export. Sudan is one of the world’s largest producers of livestock. Table 1 shows Sudan livestock production in 2010 which was estimated at around 141 million heads; comprising 51 million heads of sheep, 41.7 million heads of cattle, 43.4 million heads of goats and 4.6 million heads of camels (FAO, 2011).
This number of livestock puts Sudan as the leading livestock producer in the region and the Arab countries. Although livestock sector in Sudan plays a vital role in the country economics, this suffered many problems: diseases; low productivity in many states due to conflicts and insecurities lack of adequate marketing infrastructures and poorly organized and informed herders and traders. All of these factors are related to the lack of policies available to govern animal production, marketing, trading and veterinary public health and the absence of reliable data to prioritize sector development interventions. The main livestock production systems in the country is still follow a traditional pastorals (nomadic and semi-nomadic), agro-pastoral and the agrarian system (El-Hassan, 1994).
Normally the sheep prices in Sudan are constantly fluctuating within the year from season to season, this could be attributed to remoteness of production areas from consumption centers (Faki and Taha, 2007), poor integration of traditional sheep producers in the market due to their traditions and beliefs, presence of large number of middlemen and high taxes and levies imposed by different local governmental (Elrasheed et al., 2008). The general objective of this study is to identify and analyze sheep production cost and marketing performance. The specific objectives of this study are to determine marketing channels, marketing costs and margins.