Africa’s youngest nation is still recovering from political instability making it difficult but not impossible to attract investors.
However, the country which had expansive land mass has several investment opportunities which could turn the nation around if utilised.
According to the country’s embassy in Nairobi, Sudan’s total arable land is about 200 million feddan out of which only 30 million feddan is cultivated.
For perspective, one feddan equals 4,200 square metres.
So, where in the agricultural sector can an investor put their money?
Well, the embassy highlights wheat farming as one of the areas that one can invest in.
Globally, wheat demand is on the increase and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the latest forecast for 2018 world cereal production stands at 2,595 million tonnes, down marginally from November and 2.4 per cent (62.5 million tonnes) below last year’s record high.
Investing in wheat farming in Sudan would be a welcome move to address the deficits at home and globally.
Another crop one can invest in is sorghum (Dura).
Global consumption of sorghum is mainly as raw material for animal feeds but it still makes up some percentage of human nutrition in Africa and Asia.
According to the Miller Magazine, sorghum still maintains its importance in human nutrition in the hot and arid countries of Africa and Asia, although it is cultivated as a feed plant in Turkey, in Western Europe and in the United States.
There is also huge potential in producing oil seeds like sesame, groundnut and sunflower.
With the expansive land that is yet to be cultivated in Sudan, any investor in this seeds could be putting their money where their mouth is.
With the demand for healthy foods which are rich in nutrients, farming oilseeds could be the turnaround that Sudan needs in supplementing oil revenues and creating opportunities for the people who are rebuilding their country.
Sudan is fertile and fruits like mangoes, bananas, guava, lemon, strawberry, pineapple and grapefruit could be a good bet for an agricultural investor.
In 2016, the global fruit and vegetable juices market size was valued at USD 154.18 billion. Projections were that this demand would grow at a CAGR of 5.93% during the forecast until 2025.
According to Grand View Research, “the rise in consumption of these products, change in consumer tastes, adoption of healthier diets, and the advent of cold-pressed juices are the major factors accelerating the growth of this market globally.”
The report adds that fruit and vegetable juices are one of the fastest growing segment in the beverages industry owing to increasing health concerns among consumers.
“Health and fitness have become vital in today’s world and there has been a latent shift in the consumption of healthy juices from aerated sodas.”
Some of the vegetables to invest in are tomato, green beans, akra, cucumber, potatoes, onion, garlic, spices, legumes, and lentils.
The embassy indicates that organic fruits and vegetables could do well in the alluvial soil along the Nile Banks and deltas of Wadi Toker and El Gash among others.
Among other ventures is beekeeping.
FAO has been offering beekeeping training in Sudan with group members receiving equipment including honey strainers, smokers, protective clothing and modern hives.
Another UN arm, the UNDP is also investing in beekeeping to help the citizens get back to normalcy after the prolonged conflict.