Editorial: International Gum Arabic Conference

Preparations and arrangements are currently underway for holding the International Gum Arabic Conference in Khartoum which is scheduled for next May.
The Secretary General of the Gum Arabic Council, Dr. Abdul Majid Abdulgadir has announced that the conference will discuss specialized work papers, worked out by twelve delegates including some African countries, France, US, Britain and Netherlands.
The representatives of the participating countries will discuss the joint cooperation and the production development.
The meeting might lead to the formation of an international union of Gum Arabic producers to include all the countries that produce this strategic commodity, and we hope that Khartoum becomes the head office of that union.
Needless to say that Sudan is the biggest producer of Gum Arabic, so it should be logically the headquarters of the union besides being the Gum Arabic International Bourse.
Sudan produces the best type of Gum Arabic in addition to the accumulated expertise from scientists and specialized in this field.
Gum Arabic is one of the strategic commodities used in several medical, foodstuffs, and stationary.
Gum Arabic could provide the treasury with huge revenues from the hard currency if utilized properly, considering that the US exempted this commodity from its economic sanctions imposed on Sudan due to its importance in industry.
Unfortunately the role of Gum Arabic in the Sudanese budget is very weak compared to its importance.
This might be because of embargo, smuggling, but we think that it is now high time to give more attention to Gum Arabic to become one of the essential components of the budget.
This can be promoted through workshops, conferences to increase the production and stop the smuggling besides buying it by the government from the farmers as is the case in wheat and gold.
According to official figures Sudan exports 50 thousand tons through government channels besides the consumption of 10 thousand tons and 15 thousand smuggled through neighbouring countries.
Gum Arabic belt represents the appropriate environment for producing all the crops in Sudan including sorghum, sesame, groundnuts, sunflower etc.
To sum it up, we urge the government to concentrate on Gum Arabic production and processing as one of the pillar of the Sudanese economy.

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