African Development Bank has approved $60 million loan to support Elnefeidi Group’s agricultural expansion in Sudan’s livestock value chain.
In a statement, AfDB noted that the loan is expected to contribute significantly to food security, food import substitution, and household incomes by creating jobs and increasing local productivity and distribution
The loan to Elnefeidi Group Holding Company is expected to help finance its long-term agriculture and food expansion programme. The planned expansion includes increasing agricultural productivity, enhancing related infrastructure, food processing and distribution. It will directly contribute in developing Sudan’s livestock value chain (poultry and beef) by increasing the country’s export capacity for value-added livestock products. This will help reduce the economic value that the country loses by exporting millions of live animals each year.
“Agricultural transformation is one of the Bank’s top five strategic priorities and the Bank is delighted to have identified a viable private sector actor like Elnefeidi Group which has a proven track record and through which we can channel the Bank’s support” said Atsuko Toda, African Development Bank Director for Agriculture Finance and Rural Development.
The loan is also expected to contribute significantly to food security, food import substitution, and household incomes by creating jobs and increasing local productivity and distribution by over half a million metric tonnes each year across several countries. Elnefeidi Group employs over 1,842 people and has distribution networks covering North, East and Central Africa.
Livestock sector in Sudan, according to Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), last year, the livestock population was estimated to comprise about 31 million cattle, 40 million sheep, 31 million goats and 4.8 million camels.
This shows a relatively higher economic potential than any other form of livestock production, because the pastoral livestock system is very well adapted to the Sudan’s climate. Pastoralists in the Sudan use natural resources more intensively than any other system of animal farming, moving herds around the country in response to weather conditions and resulting available forage. The major problem facing pastoralism today is the loss of rangeland to mechanized dry land and irrigated farming.
“The tradition of farmers’ allowing herds to graze crop residues, because the animals simultaneously fertilize the land, is in decline, as farmers increasingly sell their residues for cash. Clashes between pastoralists and farmers are now more common than ever before, especially in years of poor rainfall.” The study by FAO reads in part.
“This approval to Elnefeidi Group is another demonstration of the African Development Bank’s continued support and strong commitment to enable, deepen, and empower the private sector in Sudan, as an engine of economic and inclusive growth,” said Raubil Durowoju, the Bank’s Country Manager for Sudan. “This is also consistent with Sudan’s National Agriculture Investment Plan, which seeks to achieve agriculture-linked growth, largely through private investments.”
Sudan is widely considered to hold immense food production potential. Sixty-three percent of its land area is classified as agricultural, and its competitive advantages include: a promising demographic profile, projected growth in household food demand, and proximity to a range of markets in Central Africa, North Africa and the Middle East, many of them food-deficit countries.