Sudan to expand food exports to help overcome crisis
Wed Nov 16, 2011 5:59pm GMT
KHARTOUM Nov 16 (Reuters) - Cash-strapped Sudan plans to expand food exports
to help compensate for the loss of oil revenues, a government minister told
state media on Wednesday.
The African country is fighting a severe economic crisis with spiralling
inflation and a scarcity of dollars which has triggered small protests in
the capital Khartoum.
Sudan lost most of its oil production -- the main source of state revenues
-- when its former civil war foe South Sudan became independent in July
under a 2005 peace agreement.
To find new revenues the government plans to increase exports of meat,
livestock, fish and animal hides next year, Animal Resources and Fishery
Minister Faisal Ibrahim told parliament, according to state news agency
Sudan had made $219.5 million from livestock exports so far in 2011, he
said. Livestock exports would rise next year to 3.24 million animals in
addition to 42 tonnes of meat. Fish exports would rise to more than 58
tonnes, he said, without giving a comparison.
Analysts say boosting food exports might increase revenues but could also
fuel inflation as meat prices have sharply gone up this year. Some traders
blame exports for high prices.
In September, a consumer protection agency called for a boycott to buy meat
for three days to protest against food rising inflation. Since then meat
prices have eased slightly.
Developing the agricultural sector is one of the country's priorities apart
from boosting exports of gold and other minerals. Experts say the pace of
economic diversification has been slow due to corruption, mismanagement and
U.S. trade sanctions. (Reporting by Ulf Laessing and Khalid Abdelaziz)
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Received on Wed Nov 16 2011 - 15:53:14 EST