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Amidst growing food insecurity, Sudan’s wheat harvest risks wastage. Here’s why

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The Sudanese government’s decision to back out of promises to purchase wheat at favourable prices has put the harvest at the risk of wastage.

Sudan’s Minister of Finance and head of the Justice and Equality Movement, Jibril Ibrahim, in March declared the government’s official position in buying wheat crops from farmers at a price of SDG43,000 per 100kg sack.

Farmers had complained at the time the price structure was announced that it was not favourable to them. Wheat farmers from Sudan’s Northern State staged a protest last month outside the agricultural bank after it refused to take their harvest.

One of farmers, Farmer Modawi Ahmed who have cultivated the grain as part of Sudan’s largest agricultural scheme, named Al-Gezira says the agricultural bank wants us to pay for our loans in wheat, according to the encouraging price which was set at 43,000 (Sudanese pound, almost 88 euros, ed.). One (a farmer, ed.) must register with the bank the quantity they will supply, and the bank will determine the quantity it will take.

After calculating the loans, the bank will determine how much each farmer should supply, in bags or kilos, over a certain period of time. And if there is a surplus, they will shelf it, according to what we heard”, said Ahmed.

A farmer and agricultural researcherAbdellatif Albouni, stressed that the negative consequences will start showing in the short-term. People will refrain from using fertilizers and pesticides, or they won’t be able to prepare or buy them. There will be a problem due to the depreciation of the Sudanese pound and the fact that farmers have no money.

According to the UN, over 18 million people, nearly half the Sudanese population, are expected to be pushed into extreme hunger by September.

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World Bank predicts Mozambique economy growing at 5.7% on average

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The World Bank has predicted that the economic growth in Mozambique is expected to accelerate in the medium term averaging 5.7% between 2022 and 2024, as a result of demand recovery and economy benefits from the start of liquefied natural gas production this year.

In a report released Thursday, the World Bank said the start of LNG production at the offshore Coral Project and the expected resumption of other LNG projects would help spur the southeast African nation’s growth in the intervening year.

The World Bank said a three-year extended credit facility arrangement agreed by Mozambique with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and budget support from other partners would further help to strengthen its economic recovery.

The IMF’s executive board had, in May, approved a $456 million program for the country, the first since the global lender suspended support to Mozambique six years ago.

However, the World Bank warned that risks remained for Mozambique’s growth, especially from rising import prices due to the conflict in Ukraine, a possible surge in COVID infection waves, and insurgency in the north.

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Nigeria, Algeria, Niger to revive Saharan gas pipeline talks

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The governments of Nigeria, Algeria and Niger Republic have held talks to revive a gas pipeline project across the Sahara which had been put on hold for over 40 years, with the potential opportunity for Europe to diversify its gas sources as the world faces a short fall as a result of the Russian-Ukraine war.

The three countries, represented by their various Petroleum Ministers, met in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital on Wednesday and resolved to set up a task force to revive the project and designated an entity to update the feasibility study.

A statement by Niger’s Oil Ministry after the two-day meeting stated that the Trans-Saharan gas pipeline project estimated at $13 billion, could send up to 30 billion cubic metres a year of supplies to Europe.

The statement added that the energy ministers of the three countries will meet again in Algiers at the end of July to “validate the proposals of the newly installed task force.”

“The pipeline should allow Europe to diversify its sources of natural gas supply but also allow several African states to access this high value energy source,” the statement said.

“With a length of 4,128 kilometres (2,565 miles), the pipeline would start in Warri, Nigeria, and end in Hassi R’Mel, Algeria, where it would connect to existing pipelines that run to Europe,” it said.

The gas pipeline idea was first proposed more than 40 years ago with an agreement signed between the three countries in 2009, but progress stalled stalled following a lack of follow through by the countries.

Earlier this month, Nigeria also took steps to revive another gas pipeline project that would pass through West Africa, Morocco to Europe.

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