Sudan: Two Projects Promoting Potato Production to Be Implemented
Potato cultivation has seen tremendous success in Sudan when productivity in some areas reached 28 tons an acre, like in the Alarqam Project of Western Omdurman here, or the Meroe Dam Project (in Northern Sudan) which has produced 20 tons per acre. The effort to beef up and enhance potato productivity in Sudan was recently promoted by two important projects which aim to solve the problem of producing potato seeds.
One of these two projects was the offer presented by the International Potato Center (CIP), which aims to improve value chains, present technical and scientific support and cater for capacity building in potato production. The project aims to assist small farmers promote potato and sweet potato production, the transfer of technology and boost food security. The program is active in 15 African states with the aim of promoting potato value chains.
The second project consists of support from the African Development Bank with the aim of producing 10,000 tons of potato seeds in the Ertiqa’a project in Western Omdurman. This is a first step in the project’s plan to cultivate 200,000 acres and produce 2 million tons of potatoes in five years and contribute to potato exportation. The project aims to indigenize potato cultivation in the country as the importation of seeds was found to delay the farming season, increase cost, reduce productivity and cause producers to miss market opportunities.
Experiments are underway to see if potato cultivation can succeed in heavy clay soil, in the irrigated Gezira Scheme in particular, a matter that, if successful, can open horizons for bigger potato cultivation in Sudan.