KHARTOUM, May 16, 2016 — The World Bank Group, in partnership with Sudan’s Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, and the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, launched today the 2016 Enabling the Business of Agriculture report: “Comparing Regulatory Good Practices.”
The report, which covers 40 countries including Sudan for the first time, is the result of a multi-stakeholder consultation which culminated a data collection process that started in 2015 and included numerous Sudanese stakeholders. The event also signaled the start of data collection for the 2017 report.
“I would like to thank the World Bank Group for including Sudan in this year’s report,” said Ibrahim El-Dukheri, Federal Minister of Agriculture, Republic of Sudan. “The EBA Survey provides Sudan with invaluable analysis and advice, and we look forward to working with all partners to address the key issues raised in the Report. As always, the Bank’s efforts to advise and assist Sudan in developing its agriculture sector are much appreciated.”
The agriculture and livestock sector accounts for approximately 30-35 percent of Sudan’s GDP, 80 percent of non-oil exports, and a source of livelihood for about 65 percent of the population. 80 percent of Sudan’s poor live in rural areas, with rural poverty more than twice that of urban (58 percent of households vs. 27 percent). With most of the rural poor relying directly or indirectly on agriculture, the sector’s growth is necessary for poverty reduction and shared prosperity.
“The World Bank Group remains committed to supporting Sudan as it works to exploit the full potential of its agriculture sector”, said Xavier Furtado, World Bank Country Representative to Sudan. “The Bank hopes the findings of the EBA Survey can contribute to meaningful reforms and a stronger consensus as to what needs to be done to overcome the barriers facing the business of agriculture in Sudan”.
In 2011, Sudan descended into an economic crisis triggered by the secession of South Sudan and the loss of an approximate 70 percent of its oil revenues. The country has since taken efforts to reform and diversify its economy with an emerging focus on agriculture.
The Enabling the Business of Agriculture Survey complements the World Bank’s broader technical assistance to Sudan’s agricultural sector, which includes a large-scale study on Agriculture and Natural Resource Management, Sudan’s inclusion in the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research, as well as ongoing efforts to support agribusiness through the Sudan Multi-Partner Fund.