05-December-2021

Sudan expect an increase in Gum Arabic production

By: Ahmed Alhaj (Site Admin)


Khartoum, (sudanow.info.sd)-  Sudan's gum Arabic export has reached 34 800 tones, bringing to the public coffer 40 million dollars, with officials expecting exports to score 60,000 tones by the end of the year.


"This is our best export in as many years. The country enjoys huge potentials in Gum Arabic and if everything goes well we would be able to produce between 250,000 to 300,000 tones, annually "The Secretary General of the Sudanese Gum Arabic Exports, Dr Abdul Magid Abdul Gadir, told the semi-official Sudan media centre on Saturday.


According to the Sudanese Ministry of Foreign Trade, the total world gum Arabic exports (2008) are estimated at 60,000 tons. It is to be noted that Sudan, Chad and Nigeria, together produced (2007) 95 per cent of the global exports.


And the current production potential is around 30,000 to 40,000 tons per annum, of which bulk (80%) originates in Sudan; Nigeria being the second largest producer.


 Then Ministry says Sudan dominates the world exports, accounting for 70% to 80%, the balance being accounted for by the Sahelian countries of West Africa namely Nigeria, Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso, Chad, Tanzania and Kenya.


It is exported as a primary product to industrial countries, mainly Western Europe and the USA.


 Gum Arabic is the dried exudates produced from the trunk and branches of Acacia Senegal, known as Hashab or hard gum, and the Acacia Seyal tree, known as Talha or flaky gum. Gum Arabic has food, pharmaceutical and industrial applications. Its largest use is an emulsifier in the soft drinks and confectionary industries. In addition, there are potential new uses for gum Arabic as a source of fiber.


The Sudanese official, Dr Abdul Gadir, the main problem facing Gum Arabic production is related to labor. Successive rainfall shortage and drought has driven youth to urban areas from Western Central Sudan, the main area of production, leaving behind an aging population involved in oil production, 65 to 75 year old. 


To produce 300,000 tons needs a huge and active manpower. He hinted that the huge increase in the price of gum Arabic might help lure back the youth to gum Arabic production areas.


On the other hand, gum Arabic production has a positive impact on the environment: it maintains natural forests; Acacia is a leguminous plant that fixes atmospheric nitrogen; thus improving soil fertility; and its long lateral root system reduces water runoffs and wind erosion.


 Gum Arabic, also known as gum acacia, is harvested commercially from wild trees throughout the Sahel from Senegal and Sudan to Somalia, although it has been historically cultivated in Arabia and West Africa. Sub-Sahara gum Arabic has a long history as prized exports.


END


 

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