KHARTOUM, October 23, 2015 — The World Bank welcomes Sudan’s decision to join the CGIAR Fund, the world’s largest public vehicle for financing the agricultural research advances needed to tackle complex global development challenges. CGIAR, formerly known as the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research, is a global partnership with over 40 years of experience generating cutting-edge science and technology to reduce poverty, increase food security, improve health and nutrition, and ensure the sustainable management of natural resources across the developing world.
“Agriculture is central to Sudan’s future,” said Ibrahim El-Dukheri, Federal Minister of Agriculture, Republic of Sudan. “As a donor to the CGIAR Fund, Sudan both contributes to and benefits from the scientific, technological, and policy expertise necessary to transform its rural economy, reduce poverty, and improve the everyday lives of Sudan’s citizens. I would like to thank the World Bank in Sudan for helping to make this happen.”
Agriculture is a key sector and contributes approximately 35 to 40% of Sudan’s GDP. In recent decades, agriculture had suffered from neglect with public investments concentrated on mineral resources and extractives. The slump in commodity and oil prices has pointed to the need for economic diversification, and securing benefits from the agriculture sector’s untapped potential will be vital for accelerating the fight against poverty.
“Sudan stands to benefit from CGIAR’s proven expertise in the agriculture, food and environmental sectors,” said Xavier Furtado, World Bank Country Representative to Sudan. “I would like to congratulate the Government of Sudan for its bold decision to become a donor to the CGIAR Fund. The World Bank is pleased to facilitate this partnership and we look forward to continuing our close partnership with Sudan’s authorities and supporting their efforts to diversify the economy for greater poverty reduction impact.”
In 2014 Sudan signed a two-year agreement and contributed $1.0 million to the CGIAR’s multi-donor trust fund in 2014-2015. The CGIAR Fund supports 16 global research programs, which are carried out by the CGIAR’s consortium of 15 international research centers in collaboration with hundreds of partners, including national and regional research institutes, civil society, academia, and the private sector. As a donor to the CGIAR Fund, Sudan supports the development and dissemination of improved crop varieties, livestock vaccines, and sustainable agroforestry and farming practices – public goods that are freely available to all, and adaptable to local needs and conditions.
The World Bank’s partnership with CGIAR complements its existing technical assistance to Sudan’s agricultural sector, which includes a study on agricultural transformation and participation in the Enabling the Business of Agriculture Survey, as well as support in the area of land governance.