Citation
Socioeconomic constraints to the production, distribution and consumption of sorghum, millet and cash crops in North Kordofan, Sudan

Material Information

Title:
Socioeconomic constraints to the production, distribution and consumption of sorghum, millet and cash crops in North Kordofan, Sudan a farming systems approach : aspects of agricultural production, the household economy, and marketing
Series Title:
Farming systems research in North Kordofan, Sudan
Creator:
Reeves, Edward B
Frankenberger, Timothy R
Place of Publication:
Lexington
Publisher:
Dept. of Sociology, Dept. of Anthropology, Agricultural Experiment Station, College of Agriculture, University of Kentucky
Publication Date:
Language:
English
Physical Description:
xi, 151 p. : ; 28 cm.

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Rural development -- North Kordofan (Sudan) ( lcsh )
Farm management research -- North Kordofan (Sudan) ( lcsh )
Millets ( lcsh )
Sorghum ( lcsh )
Agriculture -- Economic aspects ( lcsh )
Genre:
non-fiction ( marcgt )

Notes

General Note:
INTSORMIL (International Sorghum/Millet) project title: Sociocultural constraints in the production and consumption of grain sorghum and pearl millet in less developed countries; leader: C. Milton Coughenour.
General Note:
Report no.2 on INTSORMIL contract AID/DSAN-G-0149.
General Note:
Cover title: Farming systems research in North Kordofan, Sudan.
Funding:
Electronic resources created as part of a prototype UF Institutional Repository and Faculty Papers project by the University of Florida.
Statement of Responsibility:
Edward B. Reeves, field director, Timothy Frankenberger, research associate.

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11304501 ( OCLC )
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Full Text
INTSORMIL
Farming Systems Research in North Kordofan, Sudan
Report No. 2
Edward B. Reeves Field Director
Timothy Frankenberger Research Associate
Department of Sociology Department of Anthropology Agricultural Experiment Station College of Agriculture University of Kentucky Lexington, Kentucky




intsormil
Project Title: Sociocultural Constraints in the Production and Consumption of
Grain Sorghum and Pearl Millet in Less Developed Countries
Leader: C. Milton Coughenour
Institution: University of Kentucky
* Collaborative Research Support Program (CRSP)
A Research Development Program of the Agency for international Development, Participating Land-Grant Universities, Host County Research Agencies and
*Private Donors.
~' Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources University of Nebraska-Lincoln




SOCIOECONOMIC CONSTRAINTS TO THE PRODUCTION, DISTRIBUTION AND
CONSUMPTION OF SORGHUM, MILLET AND CASH CROPS IN NORTH KORDOFAN, SUDAN
A Farming Systems Approach
Report No. 2 Aspects of Agricultural Production, the Household Economy, and Marketing
Edward B. Reeves
Field Director Timothy Frankenberger Research Associate
With the Assistance of: Muhammed Majzoub Fideil Sumaya Ahmed Hammid Ibrahim M. K. Zurgan
INTSORMIL
Contract No. AID/DSAN-G-0149
November 1982




A SUMMARY OF THE MAIN FINDINGS
This research report of the University of Kentucky INTSORMIL (International Sorghum and Millet) Project is the second of two reports written during the course of field investigations carried out in the el-Obeid area of Sudan. Like its predesessor this is a report of work in progress. Succeeding reports will analyze larger data bases which may call for the modification of a few of the conclusions found in this manuscript.
Part I of the report presents an analysis of the data collected from a preliminary survey of 40 farm households in three villages. Part II describes major aspects of the rural marketing system in the area based on data collected from four marketing centers. Part III is an analysis of the main constraints to agriculture in the area. This section also describes how farmers attempt to deal with these constraints at present, and it proposes new strategies for alleviating each constraint. Following Part III, there are a number of appendices which present additional data that could not be easily reviewed in the main body of the report. A glossary of Arabic terms and a copy of the questionnaire used for surveying the 40 households are also found in the appendices.
Overview of the Farming System
The el-Obeid area receives on the average 347 mm of rainfall annually,
most of it falling in the period of July through October. The amount of rainfall varies greatly from one year to the next, and within a single season the pattern of its distribution is quite irregular. These characteristics of the climate make consistently successful farming extremely difficult to achieve, given the rudimentary labor-intensive technology that farmers are able to apply. El-Obeid lies on the transitional zone between the clayey sand soils to the south of it and the goz soils (stabilized sand dunes) lying to the north. These two principal soil types are associated with some differences in cropping patterns and livestock rearing. Both types of soil are characterized by low fertility. Fallowing is the principal means for restoring soil fertility. The natural propagation of Acacia senegal, a native of the region, allows farmers to gain an income from their fallow land through the collection of gum arabic produced by these trees.
The rural population is dispersed in villages that vary in size from five or six households to 1,000 or more. The number of villagers that occupy a village varies with the season. The population is greatest during the rainy, cropping season and lowest during the dry season. The average household numbers between seven and eight members. Nuclear family residence seems to be preferred but extended families, matrifocal families, and other household arrangements are fairly common. 'Whereas the household is the basic unit of consumption, agricultural production is typically in the hands of more than one decision-maker in the household. A common pattern is for husband and wife to manage separate farms. Unmarried sons and daughters who are old enough are also given land to manage, if it is available. Besides farming, virtually every household has members who work in secondary occupations,) usually on a seasonal basis. The survey




of households revealed that nearly two-thirds of the members were productive in some way during a part of the year. The usefulness of children as producers and income-earners is well understood by parents.
The average cultivated landholding of a household head is 18 makhammas.
Most farmers are cultivating more than one-half of their total land 'holdings, a fact that supports the view that soil fertility in the region is steadily declining due to insufficient fallowing. One-third of all cultivated lands are rented rather than owned by farm managers. Most of the rented land is
leased by better-off farmers from farmers who are poorer than average. Because labor is the key constraint on cultivating land and because poorer farmers lack the equity to hire labor, they gain an income from idle land that they own by renting it to others.
The four most common crops are millet, sorghum, sesame and groundnuts. The cereals are primarily subsistence crops though surpluses are sold to other farmers and at local markets. Millet is the preferred staple of the
rural diet, and the stalks of the millet plant are ubiquitously used as a building material. Thirty-eight per cent of the cultivated lands were found to be cultivated in millet, while 95 percent of the households grew it. Sorghum is not nearly as important a crop although about three-quarters of the farmers do grow some sorghum. Local varieties (milo type, red and white) are frequently seen intercropped (in the same hole) with sesame. White sorghum is preferred for making bread and porridges. Red sorghum is used to make beer. Sorghum is also an important animal fodder and both
the seed and the stover are used for this purpose.
Forty-eight per cent of the cultivated land is planted in sesame, while 93% of the farmers grew sesame in their fields. Sesame is often intercropped with sorghum, cowpeas, watermelon or karkadee. Some farmers sow varieties of sesame which mature at different rates in order to avoid the labor bottlenecks that can occur during the busy harvest season. Since sesame is threshed by hand, it must have the characteristic of shattering easily. Sesame is the bread-and-butter crop. Most of it is sold at regional markets and is destined for processing into oil which is consumed in the urban centers. Market prices of sesame tend to be stable and predictable. Ten per cent of the cultivated land was planted in groundnuts during the 1980-1981 season. Barbiton variety is grown exclusively and seed quality is said to be very poor. Groundnuts are grown primarily for the export market where wild price fluctuations have occurred in recent years. Price instability makes this a high-risk crop for farmers.
Besides these four major crops, a variety of lesser-important crops are grown. Roselle is usually sold for cash or traded in kind. Cowpeas and okra are intended for domestic consumption but may also be sold or traded. Watermelon is grown as a water source and fodder for livestock during the dry season. It is also consumed domestically and sold in local markets. These minor crops are frequently interplanted with sesame and sorghum.
The cropping cycle begins in the period of January to April with land clearing. Then, between April and August all four major crops are planted. Millet is planted earliest because the locally preferred variety is long-maturing. If the early plantings succeed in germinating owing to an early arrival of the rains the crop will mature before the season in which insects and birds usually attack the immature candles. If the early plantings of millet do not germinate the farmer may replant after a month. Alternatively he may switch to a shorter




maturing crop, like sesame or sorghum. Regular plantings of sesame, groundnuts and sorghum generally occur in June and early July. These crops, too, may have to be replanted if rains are insufficient for germination or if sandstorms kill the seedlings.
According to an ideal expressed by farmers, every crop should be weeded at least twice. Although wealthy farmers can afford to hire labor for a third and even a fourth weeding of groundnuts, poor farmers are forced by their need for cash to hire their labor to other farmers and thereby neglect an adequate weeding of their own fields.
Harvesting operations are spread out over the period of late August to January, with the most activity occurring in October and November. All threshing operations are accomplished with hand labor.
Next to the vagaries of the climate, labor is the most important constraint on the cropping system. For many farmers the cost of hiring agricultural laborers is the largest input expenditure that they make. Looking at returns to labor by crop it was calculated that the rate of return was highest for millet, followed by groundnuts, sesame, and sorghum. Sesame's popularity among farmers, although its rate of return is lower than either millet or groundnuts, can be attributed to risk-aversion. Millet is relatively a greater risk to plant than sesame because of its higher susceptibility to pest attack, while unstable prices and a high outlay for the labor input limits the planting of groundnuts.
Animals play an important role in this farming system. The availability of drinking water, first, and pasture during the dry season, second, are the central-most constraints on livestock raising. Crop residues as well as commercial sorghum are an important source of fodder for working animals but herd animals subsist largely on the pasture that lies beyond the village's zone of cultivated lands. Most farm families own a donkey and several goats. Better-off families are able to invest in sheep and cattle. The largest herd of cattle recorded was 60 but the average herd size was only 6. Similarly, the largest herd of sheep was 120 but the average herd was also about 6.
Nearly every farm household supplements its income through off-farm activities. The latter include dry-season migration for a wage, charcoal manufacture, water-hauling, tailoring, carpentry, metalworking, itinerant marketing, and the operation of such capital-intensive enterprises as village shops, bakeries, flour mills, oil presses, cisterns, and trucks. Monetary gifts from relatives living elsewhere is another important source of income for about one-fourth of the farm households.
Farming in this region is not subsistence-oriented. Farm households
purchase foodstuffs at village shops each day, or several times per week at least. These goods are paid for either in cash or in kind. In the latter case a crop is usually offered to the merchant as payment, the price of the crop having been determined by the schedule of prices prevailing among all crop buyers in the village. To obtain a cash income from agriculture, farmers may sell their crops (primarily sesame, groundnuts, roselle, and gum arabic) to a variety of buyers, including the shopkeeper, the urban crop merchant's agent who buys at rural crop markets, and jobbers and




iv
truck-owners who are prepared to haul the purchase immediately to the urban market.
To gain a general overview of marketing in the study area, observations
were made in four heterogeneous villages which are marketing centers. Government records for crop auction and livestock sales were copied down for two villages with large market places. Through this study we identified a number of important marketing institutions including the village shop, periodic vendors attending weekly markets, the government administered crop market, and the government administered livestock market.
Two kinds of crop marketing systems were found. The most prevalent is the system in which the crop's price is determined in auction, after which the farmer's produce is weighed. The government prefers this procedure because the tax rate is precisely assessed. The other kind of system relies on an estimation of the weight and price of the crop according to a formula set by the district council. This procedure results in a lower tax estimation than the weighing and auction system, but it appears to be well suited to small, isolated markets where the extra incentive of reduced taxes encourages crop buyers to visit the market.
Smuggling that is the illegal conveyance of certain crops, particularly sesame, from the farm gate to crop buying agencies in el-Obeid without the full assessment of taxes is believed to be a widespread practice. Farmers as well as crop merchants are seen to benefit from it.
Millet, the subsistence crop, is supplemented by the importation to the region of sorghum (feterita) grown principally on the mechanized farming schemes at Habila, South Kordofan. Only the wealthier households are able to satisfy the ideal of eating from their own millet stores throughout the year. This is because only they have enough equity to purchase the labor to cultivate a large field of millet. Alternatively, they buy millet from farmers who are in need of cash. Most families buy feterita at least during the dry season in order to save their millet for rainy season consumption. A prevailing belief is that feterita is an undesirable food for the rainy season. During this period of hard physical labor, only millet can provide the required nutriment. Information from the sample of forty households suggests that the typical farm family supports itself on its own millet for only about four months in the year. The rest of the time it buys feterita.
A preliminary analysis of crop marketing channels revealed a number of
incentives and constraints for the participants. For example, farmers whose production is small or who lack equity are typically unable to hold their crops off the market until the post-harvest rise in prices occurs. They have to begin selling their crops immediately after the harvest to pay their consumption bill. Better-off farmers, on the other hand, may be able to reserve their crops several months in anticipation of a rise in prices.
From government records of livestock sales it is possible to guage the dramatic effect which the seasonal presence of nomads is having at a large rural market. A conclusion to be drawn is that the relation between nomad and farmer, who are frequently in conflict over access to forage and water, is complimentary when it comes to livestock marketing.




V
Possible Alternatives to Reduce Constraints
The research has identified a number of farming system constraints. The following summarizes these and lists some possible strategies to alleviate each type of constraint.
I. Natural constraints
A. Wind erosion
1. Improve intercropping practices
2. Discourage early land clearing and planting
3. Adopt mulching practices
4. Shelter-belts
B. Pests and disease
1. Investigate life-cycle of santa (Crytocamenta spp.) with the aim
of eradicating this most important pest of millet.
2. Develop high-yielding, bird resistant varieties of millet.
3. Promote use of seed dressings.
C. Loss of soil fertility
1. Investigate optimum rotation and intercropping systems taking
farmers' labor and seed constraints into account.
2. Experiment with using Acacia senegal and cowpeas in the rotation
system.
3. Encourage continuation of minimal tillage techniques.
4. Explore the advisability of mulching.
D. Availability of rainfall
1. Introduce improved, early maturing, draught resistant varieties
of present crops. Introduce new draught resistant crops.
2. Investigate optimal planting period for each crop while considbring the constraint of labor bottlenecks.
3. Mulching practices and shelter-belts to conserve soil moisture.
4. Research focused on the benefit of creating water catchments
around plants.
11. Input constraints
A. Access to labor
1. Introduction of early-maturing varieties of crops would allow
poorer farmers to resolve the conflict between the need to work
in their own fields during the second weeding period and the
need to earn cash by hiring their labor.
2. Credit programs to provide farmers with funds with which they
could purchase additional labor.
3. Consider introducing plow cultivation with animal traction.
Minimal tillage technologies would be optimal.
B. Access to seeds
1. increase availability of seeds of early maturing varieties.
2. Consider use of village merchants as primary distributors of
improved seeds.




vi
C. Chemical inputs
1. At present, herbicides and fertilizers do not appear to be
economic for small farmers in el-Obeid area.
2. Continue and expand the program of distributing seed dressing,
perhaps using local merchants.
3. Look for a substitute for DDT which is used excessively to
.prevent insect attack on food crops.
4. Discourage the practice of using salt on millet and sorghum
threshing floors. An alternative should be introduced to
protect these grains from termites..
D. Availability of drinking water
1. The scarcity of drinking water is an important constraint on
crop production since farmers are reluctant to cultivate in
areas where there is not a reliable water supply. Care must be
taken, however, to insure that increased access to water
through the excavation of reservoirs or the sinking of wells
may have dire consequences if it leads to growth of herd
populations in excess of available pasture. Careful regional
planning is required to ensure the optimal distribution of
watering points.
III. Other constraints
A. Credit
1. The Sudan Agricultural Bank i'n its program to make cropping input
loans to small, traditional farmers should consider raising the
interest rate upward from the present 14% to a level in excess of
the annual rate of inflation plus the amount needed to reimburse
the cost of administering the program. An alternative to this program might be to make loans to farmers on the basis of valuables left as collateral.
B. Procedures for auctioning crops
1. Randomize the assignment of farmer's crops to lots.
2. Randomize the order in which crop buyers may bid at the auction.
C. Pricing policy with respect to gum arabic
1. The difference between the farm gate price for gum arabic and
the international price is greater than 100%. The Government of
Sudan must find the means to increase the farmers' share of the
income from gum marketing. Otherwise, the area under Acacia
senegal will continue to decrease.
2. A program is needed to teach farmers to better propagate and
care for the trees.
D. Limited knowledge of farmers
1. A low-cost method for disseminating farming and marketing
information to illiterate farmers. Radio programming would seem
to be an optimum means of accomplishing this since radios are
common in the villages.
E. Transport and storage
1. In the el-Obeid area these operations do not seem to pose major
constraints for village farmers.




vii
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Introduction. .. .. ........ ........ ........ ...1
Contents of the Report. .. ...... ........ .......2
The Transliteration of Arabic Terms .. .. ...... ........2
Part I. Agricultural Production and the Household
Economy .. .. ........ ......... ........5
Introduction .. .. ..... ........ ...........5
General Overview of the Farming System. .. .. .........5
Results of the Preliminary Farming System Survey .. .. .....7
The Sample. .. ...... ........ .........7
Demographic Data. .. ..... ........ .......7
Land Tenure and Land Use .. ... ........ ......8
Cropping Patterns .. .. I..... ........ ......11
Intercropping. .. .. ........ ........ ...21
Thinning .. .. ......... ........ ......24
Timing of Cropping Activities. .. .. ......... ..24
Cultivation-Fallow Rotation. .. .. ........ ....32
Agricultural Inputs .. .. ..... ......... ...33
Seed Requirements .. .. ..... ......... ....33
Seed Acquisition. .. ...... ........ ......35
Chemical Inputs .. .. ...... ........ ......38
Labor Inputs .. ... ........ ......... ..40
Animal Husbandry. .. ...... ........ ......47
Migration .. .. ..... ......... .... ......
Monetary Gifts from Relatives Living Elsewhere .. .. ....1 Selling Charcoal and/or Wood .. .. ......... ...52
Other Types of Income Generating Activities. .. .. ....52
Part II. Some Features of Marketing in el-Obeid Area .. ... ......54
Research Methods and Data Collection .. .. ..... ......55
An Overview of Marketing in the Study Area .. .. .... ....58
Village Shop .. .. ......... ........ ...58
Periodic Vendors. .. ...... ........ ......62
The Mizaan System .. .. ..... ........ ......68
The Shiishna System .. .. ..... ........ ....70
The Va~rk6fing of Sorghum and Millet .. .. ..... ....71
The Marketing of Major Cash Crops .. .. ...... ....77
Livestock Marketing .. .. ..... ......... ...83




viii
Part III. Farming System Constraints and Possible Solutions. .. .....90
Constraints to Crop Production .. .. .... ..........90
Natural Constraints .. .. ........ ........ ..90
Wind Erosion. .. .. ........ ........ ....90
Pests and Diseases. .. ..... .. .. ...... .. .....92
Loss of Soil Fertility .. .. ..... ........ ...93
Availability of Rainfall .. .. ..... ...........95
Input Constraints .. .. ......... ........ ..96
Access to Labor .. .. ........ ........ ...96
Access to Seeds .. .. ........ ......... ..98
Chemical Inputs. .. ..... ......... .......10
Availability of Drinking Water .. .. .... ........101
Other Constraints. .. ..... ......... ......102
Credit Market. .. ..... ........ ........102
Procedure for Marketing Crops. .. ...... .......104
Pricing Policy with Respect to Gum Arabic .. .. ......105 Limited Knowledge. .. ..... ........ .......15
Transport and Storage .. .. ........ ........106
Appendices:
A. Seasonal Cycle. .. ..................107
B. Typologies of Sorghum and Millet Grown in the
el-Obeid Area .. .. ..... ........ .......108
C. Farmers' Perceptions of Growth Stages in the Millet
Plant. .. . .................................... ll
D. Farm Implements and Harvesting Procedures. .... ....114
E. Producers' Boycott at El Karra Crop Market .. .. .....121 F. Some Fodders Used in the el-Obeid Area .. .. .......125
G. Household Food Preparation and Consumption .. .. .....128
H. Financing Small Traditional Farmers in North Kordofan
An Experimental Program of the Sudan Agricultural
Bank .. .. .... ..................................135
I. A Grass-Roots Credit and Self-Help Program .. .. .....138
J. Preliminary Farming Systems Survey Form. .. .. ......139
K. Glossary of Arabic Terms .. ... ....... ......149




ix
LIST OF TABLES
1. Distribution of Farmers by Size of Cultivated Unit .... ......... 8
2. Distribution of Farmers by Proportion of Total Land Cultivated 9
3. Distribution of Farmers by Type of Millet Produced ... ......... 1-2
4. Distribution of Land by Type of Millet Planted ..... ........... 12
5. Distribution of Farmers by Type of Sorghum Produced ............ 14
6. Distribution of Farmers by Type of Cultivation: Separate Stands and Intercrop ...... .... .. ............................ 14
7. Distribution of Farmers by Type of Sesame Produced ........... ..17
8. Distribution of Land by Type of Sesame Planted ..... ........... 17
9. Distribution of Farmers Who Intercropped by Types of Crops with Sesame ...... .... ............................. ..21
10. Distribution of Farmers Who Intercropped by Number of Crops
with Sesame ...... ..... ........................... .22
11. Seeding Rate by Crop . . . . . . . . . . . . 34
12. Sources of Seed ...... .. ........................... ...36
13. Chemical Inputs Used ..... ... ........................ .38
14. Labor Expenditure per Makhamas by Crop ...... ............... 43
15. Yields of Principal Crops ...... ....................... ..44
16. Rate of Return to Labor by Crop ..... ................... ...45
17. Average Number of Animals Owned by Type of Beast ............ ...47
18. Distribution of Farmers by Type of Animal Owned .............. ...48
19. Market Villages in the Study Sample ..... ................. ..55
20. Comparison of Prices of Selected Food Products at Abu-Jahal
(el-Obeid), Abu-Haraz and el-Geifil ..... ................. ...59
21. Commercial Structures at Abu-Haraz and Umm Ramad Markets ........ ..61
22. Periodic Markets in the Four Sample Villages ... ............ ...64




x
LIST OF TABLES (Continued)
23. Periodic Vendors and Their Products in the Abu-Haraz and
el-Obeid and el-Geifil Markets ... 65
24. Auction Prices of Crops at the Abu-Haraz Market .... . . .. 68
25. Crop Auction Prices at Abu-Haraz, Transport Costs to el-Obeid
and Median Price at el-Obeid Crop Market . . . . ...... 69
26. High and Low Prices of Sorghum, Millet and Wheat at el-Obeid
Grain Market 73
27. Distribution of Feterita Purchased by Household . . . . . 75
28. Distribution of Feterita Purchased by Source . . . . . . 76
29. A Qualitative Analysis of Crop Marketing in the el-Obeid Area. . 79




xi
LIST OF CHARTS
Chart 1. Timing of Cropping Activities Millet .. .. ..... .... 26
Chart 2. Timing of Cropping Activities Sesame. .. .. ..........27
Chart 3. Timing of Cropping Activities Groundnuts .. .. ..... ...28
Chart 4. Timing of Cropping Activities Sorghum .. .. ..........29
LIST OF FIGURES
Figure 1. The Marketing System for Cash Crops in the el-Obeid Area . 78 Figure 2. Monthly Transactions for Livestock Sales at Abu Haraz
Market, March 1980 January 1982. .. .. ............ ..85
Figure 3. Livestock Sold at Abu Haraz Market, March 1980January 1982. .. ...... ........ ..........86
Figure 4. Average Monthly Prices of Cattle, Sheep and Goats
at Abu Haraz Market, March 1980 January 1982. .. ....... 87
Figure 5. Livestock Marketing by Major Tribal Groups at
Abu Haraz Market, March 1980 January 1982 .. .. ..... ..89




INTRODUCTI ON
This second research report of the University of Kentucky INTSORMIL Project in North Kordofan, Sudan provides information about agricultural production and marketing in the sample villages described in the first report (November,.1981). The basis for the information reported in this report is the farming systems model developed in the first report..
Our research project aims to analyze the farming system found in 15 villages* that are within 50 kilometers of el-Obeid, capital of the Kordofan Region. This is a transitional zone between clayey sand soils that lie to the south of el-Obeid and the qoz soils (stabilized sand dunes) that lie to the north. El-Obeid receives, on the average, 347 mm of rainfall annually, nearly all of it falling between July and October. The amount of rainfall is highly variable from one year to the next, and the pattern within a single season is quite irregular as a result of sporadic cloudbursts. The rainy season is often marked by a drought period that occurs after the first month of rains and lasts up to three weeks.
The agriculture of the region combines sorghum and millet production, primarily as subsistence crops, with the production of cash crops, particularly sesame, groundnuts, roselle and watermelon. Farmers endeavor to diversify their production even more by raising livestock (cattle, sheep, goats, camels, donkeys, horses) and poultry (chickens and pidgeons). Acacia senegal, which is a native of the region's sandy soils, produces gum arabic wici~ih~ another important cash crop. Gum tree growth on exhausted land is a recognized means of restoring soil fertility while the land continues to yield an income. In addition, nearly every farming family supplements its income through non-farm enterprises (e.g. charcoal making and selling, hauling water, operating a shop).
During the cropping season poorer households sell labor services in
order to pay for consumption needs. Dry-season migration to the cities or to the mechanized farming schemes in search of wage labor is a major source of income for some families. Still others rely on gifts of money sent by relatives who work abroad in high-paying jobs.
As pointed out in research Report No. 1, the project has two basic objectives:
1. To identify the socioeconomic constraints that impede agricultural
production and marketing in the el-Obeid area. In this regard,
special attention is given to the relationship between cash crops
and millet and sorghum.
*The original sample on which a survey of villages was carried out numbered eighteen. The size of the sample has been reduced to 15 villages to economize research costs.




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2. To collaborate with the Western Sudan Agricultural Research Project
(sponsored by the Government of Sudan, USAID, and the World Bank).
Our goal is to provide WSARP with an extensive baseline study of
traditional agriculturalists in the el-Obeid area. WSARP is
presently constructing an agricultural research station at el-Obeid
which will pursue a research program of integrating crop and livestock production in the region.1
Contents of the Report
Tim Frankenberger and Ibrahim Zurgan have completed a preliminary farming system survey of 40 households. Part I of this report is concerned with an initial analysis of these data.
Ed Reeves and Muhammad Majzoub are studying the marketing system. Part II reports their findings. In Part III an assessment is made of the major constraints which limit farming in the el-Obeid area. After describing each constraint, we indicate how farmers are currently dealing with the problem. Finally, we make recommendations about possible solutions to these problems. Part IV, the Appendices, presents data on a wide variety of topics which are too limited or narrow in scope to include in the main body of this report.
The information on food preparation and consumption, was compiled by
Sumaya Ahmed Hamid, a new member on our research team. Sumaya has a degree in home economics from Alexandria University and was released by the Kordofan Regional Ministry of Agriculture to assist us. Her objective is to gather information pertaining to nutrition and the family budget.
The Transliteration of Arabic Terms
This report, like the previous one, makes frequent reference to Arabic words and phrases. These are the local Sudanese terms which designate activities, socioeconomic roles, technology, botanical species, and so forth. The reason for including so much of this terminology in the report is to provide the non-Arabic speaking researcher with a basic vocabulary that pertains to agricultural production and marketing in this area of the Sudan.2
A difficulty that is always faced in transcribing Arabic words in
English letters is that usually either the transliteration is accurate but difficult to learn and cumbersome to use or it is simple and agreeable to use but almost worthless because a system of transliteration rules is not
1Collaborative links have also been established with a number of other development programs and agencies. The earlier research report contains a description of these. We would also like to acknowledge the assistance and advice that we have received from the Department of Geography, Khartoum University, which has a strong tradition of research in Kordofan Region. Our warmest thanks to Dr. Ya'goub Abdallah, Dr. Anna Beshir, Dr. Muhammad el-Samani, and Dr. Siddiq Muhammad Abdallah.
2The terminology may also be of interest to Arabic speakers who do not know the local words for the various agricultural operations.




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rigorously and unambiguously followed. In the first case, the reader is quickly discouraged by the difficulty; in the second case, he has to guess how to pronounce many of the words. Our first research report suffered from the shortcoming that Arabic terms are not spelled in English letters according to a consistent procedure. We have remedied that in this report by using a transliteration system developed by the Summer Institute for Linguistics. The system is described in the book Sudanese Colloquial Arabic for Beginners (1979) by Andrew arid Janet Pe'rsson. With it, Arabic words can be accurately recorded with a normal English typewriter and while it is not one of the easiest systems to learn, the effort required is repaid by the accuracy of recording the sounds of Arabic words.
The sounds of Sudanese colloquial Arabic that are unfamiliar to the English speaker are described below. The other sounds are pronounced more or less as they are in English. Of course, fully accurate pronunciation of Sudanese Arabic can only be learned by listening to native speakers.
Arabic consonants not found in English:
d pronounced like an English "'d" but with the back of the tongue raised
toward the soft palate in order to give the sound a deeper resonance.
t pronounced like an English 'It" but with the back of the tongue raised
toward the soft palate.
z pronounced like an English "z" but with the back of the tongue raised
toward the soft palate.
S pronounced like an English "Is" but with the back of the tongue raised
toward the soft palate.
gh- a voiced uvular fricative.
H much more emphatic than the English "h"; muscles of the throat are
constricted so that a rasping or hissing sound is made; this consonant
is unvoiced.
kh pronounced like Scottish "ch" in "loch".
sh pronounced like English "sh" in "shore".
r a rolled "r"
9 a voiced pharyngial fricative; something like a Parisian "r".
? glottal stop.
Vowels:
It is convenient to think of Arabic as having six vowels long and short "la", long and short "i", long and short "u" plus two diphthongs. The pronunciation of the vowels is influenced by the consonants that come before them, particularly in the case of long and short "a".




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a pronounced like "e" in "met" except after "r" and the velarized
consonants (q, s, t, ) when it sounds like "a" in father.
aa pronounced like "a" in "mat" except after "r" and the velarized
consonants when it sounds like "ah".
i pronounced like "i" in "sit". ii pronounced like "ee" in "feet".
u pronounced like "u" in "but". uu pronounced like "oo" in "boot".
ee -pronounced like "a" in "fate" oo pronounced like "o" in "ode"
A glossary of Arabic terms that appear in the main body of this report
is found in the final appendix. In addition, further terminology is explained in several of the other appendices. Proper names of villages and towns and of persons are spelled using a more traditional transliteration in conformity with the spellings used in Sudan Surveys maps and in Sudanow, the Englishlanguage news magazine.




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Part I. AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTION AND THE HOUSEHOLD ECONOMY
Introduction
This section of the report presents a review of the data collected thus
far in the ethnographic study of agricultural production and the household
economy of the El Obeid region of North Kordofan. In Report No. 1, the
primary focus of this study has been on three villages in our village sample.
These villages are El Kharta (north of El Obeid), El Geifil (east of El Obeid)
and Umm Ramad (southwest of El Obeid). These three village-s were selected for intensive study of the farming system in this area of North Kordofan in
order to design a survey instrument of farming operations. This survey
instrument was used with a sample of farmers in 15 villages in the El Obeid
* area beginning in late May, 1982.
Between July 1981 and January 1982, an extensive amount of data was
collected from the three villages in our study area. First, we attempted to
collect data on all aspects of the farming system found in this Sahelian
environment. Such data include farmers' access to land, labor, and capital,
* how they manage these resources, as well as how these resources are channeled
into cropping patterns, animal husbandry and off-farm economic activities.
Second, detailed descriptions of farming practices have been obtained as well
as the local names of the operations and tools involved. Some of this information is presented in Appendix D of this report. Third, information regarding
the growth cycles of crops and the various stages of growth which farmers
* recognize as being important is being collected. The stages of millet growth
as identified by farmers in this area and their distinguishing attributes are
presented in Appendix C.
General Overview of the Farming System Found in the El Obeid Region
of North Kordofan
To fully understand farming in this area of the Sudan, one has to take
into account the constraints imposed by the environment. First, this area
averages 347 mm of rainfall annually, most within the period between July
and October. This rainfall is highly variable from one year to the next, making consistantly successful farming almost impossible to achieve. Second, the
agricultural area surrounding El Obeid is a transitional zone as far as soils are concerned, with clayey sandy soils lying to the south and qoz soils (stabilized sand dunes) lying to the north. These soils in conjunction with the limited rainfall limits the types of crops that can be grown. The character
of agriculture also is heavily influenced by the'socio-economic environment which is characterized by extreme poverty, a high inflation rate, unstable
government policies, the lack of infrastructure, labor intensive agriculture,
a low level of education, and the survival of many traditional beliefs and
val ues.
A detailed description of the farming system characterizing the El Obeid
region was presented in our first field report, so no attempt will be made
here to deal with it in depth. The five major components of this system are
the cropping patterns, animal husbandry, off-farm economic activities, marketing and consumption. Cropping patterns in this system consist of a mixture




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of subsistence crops (sorghum, millet, watermelon and some cow peas) grown in conjunction with cash crops (sesame, groundnuts, roselle and watermelon). These patterns result from the strategies followed by farmers regarding the types of crops grown, area cultivated in each crop, intercropping practices,
thinning practices, timing of cropping activities and rotation of fallow land. Both the environmental constraints and the decisions of farmers in allocating resources for agricultural inputs, such as seeds, chemicals, and labor have a tremendous influence on these cropping patterns as well. These decisions directly effect crop output which influences consumption, marketing and investment.
Animal husbandry in this system involves the rearing of livestock such as cattle, sheep, goats, camels, donkeys, horses and poultry. Animals serve several functions including: 1) a source of investment; 2) a food source; and 3) a transportation and labor source. They represent a channel of investment for high crop production as well as a cushion in case of crop failure. Patterns in animal rearing result from the strategies farmers follow regarding investment of their resources in different types and amounts of livestock and the various uses to which they are put. Such strategies have a direct bearing on consumption and marketing as well.
Off-farm economic activities consist of all the various income generating activities that farmers pursue to supplement the income generated by their own farms. These include dry season migration for wage labor, wage labor for other farmers, specialized nonfarm occupations (e.g. tailors, bedmakers, carpenters, blacksmiths), government occupations (e.g.
guards, clerks, school employees), manufacture and sale of charcoal and building materials, service charges for crop and water hauling, and income generated from capital intensive enterprises (e.g. shops, trucks, cisterns, oil presses, flour mills, bakeries). The activities of farmers are often limited by the resources and opportunities available to them. This often results in a limited number of options being pursued by farmers so recurring patterns of non-farm economic activities often appear. The income generated by these activities can be channeled into agricultural inputs for cropping, animal purchases, or consumption needs.
Marketing consists of all sales made by farmers of agricultural
products (both crops and animals) and all purchases of consumption goods by farm households (food and material goods). In addition, marketing includes the purchase of livestock for investment purposes. Marketing patterns result from the strategies of farmers regarding the timing of the sales of agricultural products (e.g. cash crops, livestock), the timing of the purchases of consumption goods (e.g. food stuffs like millet and sorghum), and the timing of the purchase of livestock for investment. Marketing is closely related to cropping patterns because farmers are price responsive in selecting the mix of crops they grow. Likewise, market prices heavily influence animal sales and purchases. Marketing strategies can also influence consumption patterns. For instance, farmers' decisions to purchase sorghum at low prices may result in forgoing the consumption of millet during the dry season.
3Marketing will be discussed in greater detail in the following section of this report.




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Consumption in the farming system involves both food intake by the
* household as well as material goods consumption. Given available resources,
consumption patterns result from the strategies farmers follow with regards
to types of foods consumed, seasonal variations in the types of foods eaten,
social practices as to which members eat together and preferences for various
material goods. Consumption strategies also involve the procurement of
food and other commodities which has a direct bearing on the types of crops grown, the rearing of livestock and the need for pursuing off-farm economic
activities. Consumption is also closely integrated with marketing. For
instance, seasonal preferences in millet and sorghum consumption correspcind
to seasonal variations in purchasing patterns of these commodities.
The interrelationships between all five of these components must be
* stressed. Each has an influential and somewhat limiting effect on the others.
For this reason, to fully understand farming in this area, all or most of
these components must be considered. Thus, a survey instrument which
intends to collect comprehensive information on farming should address all
of these components. It has been our intention to design this type of
instrument for our survey. Well grounded in ethnographic data, this
* instrument contains questions dealing with the intracacies of farming in
this area (a copy of this interview schedule is found in Appendix J). The
information collected from 40 farmers in three villages is summarized below.
Results of the Preliminary Farming System Survey
* The Sample
The 40 farmers surveyed were selected from the three intensively 4
studied villages in our study area. Using the nearly 100 percent samples of cultivated landholdings in the three villages as the sampling frame, a stratified random sample was drawn. Farmers were stratified according to property and size of household. After selection, these farmers were carefully scrutinized with regard to crop mix to insure that variable cropping
patterns could be investigated. Fifteen farmers were selected from
El Kharta, 15 from Umm Ramad and 10 from El Geifil. A smaller number were
selected from El Geifil because it is a much smaller village than the other
two. Unless noted -otherwise the data refer to the 1981-82 agricultural year.
Demographic Data Household Composition
All 40 farmers surveyed were the heads of households; 34 of which were
male and 6 were female.5 The average household size was 7.7 members and
1The types of data collected on each farmer included: 1) total size of
household; 2) total size of landholding and 3) area cultivated in millet,
sorghum, sesame and groundnuts. Report No. 1 presents the analysis of
this data for El Kharta.
5More females were not included in this sample because of the difficulty
we had as male researchers in interviewing females in these villages and
because of the low frequency of occurance of female household heads.
Fortunately, much data~ were collected on married female farmers and their
farming practices through interviews with married male household heads,
because these females usually operated their own separate small farms.




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the range was 1-20. This average household size corresponds nicely with the average estimated for the North Kordofan region, which was 7.7 members also.
To understand labor utilization in these households, the ratio of the productive members in the household to the total was calculated. By productive, we mean that the person was involved in farming activities or helped to generate income through other means for himself or the household. The average proportion of productive members was .64, and the range was .1 to 1.0. In other words, 64% of the members residing in these households were to some extent productive. This high proportion indicates how important family labor is to the household economy of this region.
Another important factor regarding household production is the number
of household members who own or operate their own farms. These farm operators are referred to as Farm Management Units (FMU). In the first report, a FMU was defined as consisting of a farmer who makes cropping decisions for a parcel of land and his or her dependents. In many cases, the FMU and household are the same; however, FMU takes into account farmers who do not represent a separate household (unmarried men and married women), yet still manage a piece of cultivated land. The average number of FMUs per household in our sample was 2.1, and the range was 1 to 4. This indicates that at least two FMUs are in the average household. In most cases, these are the male head of the household and his wife. The wife is usually given a small piece of land to farm by her husband, and the income generated is used according to the wife's discretion. This income is often used by the wife to purchase cloth and other household necessities.
Land Tenure and Land Use
The total land area available to farmers in our sample was 1,967.5 mukhammas.6 Of this, 722 mukhammas were cultivated (37%). The average size of cultivation was 18.05 mukhammas, and the range was 2 to 77 mukhammas. The following frequency distributFon illustrates the number and percentage of farmers operating various sizes of parcels of land.
Table 1. Distribution of Farmers by Size of Cultivated Unit
Size in mukhammas Frequency Percentage
1-10 14 35
11-20 17 42.5
21 and above 9 22.5
Total 40 100.0
6A mukhammas = 1.73 feddans or 1.80 acres.




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When the proportion of land cultivated by each farmer is calculated, a somewhat different picture of land use appears. The average proportion of land cultivated by the 40 farmers was 53 percent. The difference between the percent of all land under cultivation (37%) and the average percent of farm holdings under cultivation (53%) is due to the presence of a few large holdings which had relatively little cultivation. Table 2 presents a frequency distribution and percentage of the farmers in our sample that were cultivating different proportions of their land.
Table 2. Distribution of Farmers by Proportion of Total Land Cultivated
Proportion of
Land Cultivated Frequency Percentage
O-.25 3 8
.26-.50 16 40
.51-.75 13 33
.76-1.00 8 20
Total 40 100
Although there seems to be enough land to continue a fallow rotation system of farming, when the land available to each farmer is considered the majority of the farmers are approaching the limit whereby land is not sufficient to permit this practice to continue. Undoubtedly, increases in population in the area threaten the continuation of this farming practice and the implications for the continued agricultural potential of the area are ominous. FAO has suggested that the ideal fallowing system would be to maintain 4/5 of the arable land in Acacia tree fallow while only 1/5 is cultivated. Therefore, present fallowing practices are grossly inadequate.
Another important factor in land-use is land rental, which is quite prevalent. Overall, 234 mukhammas were rented-in, which represents 32 percent of all cultivated land. Of the 40 farmers surveyed, 15 rented-in land (38%). These 15 farmers rented an average of 15.6 mukhammas, or 65 percent of the land they cultivated.
It seems that the better-off farmers were doing most of the renting. Of the 15 farmers who were renting-in land, 9 were cultivating more than 15 mukhammas. In fact, 68% of all the rental land (158 of 234 mukhammas) was by6 farmers who were cultivating 21 mukhammas or more. The reason for the concentration of rental land in larger operations is because these farmers can afford to hire the necessary labor to expand their cultivation. The cost of rental arrangements is relatively low and is not the main reason why poor farmers do not rent-in more land. Instead, access to labor is the key constraint to the amount of land which a farmer cultivates. Because poor farmers can't afford to hire additional labor, they don't expand their cultivation through renting.
So far, we have identified three types of rental arrangements. These are futra, ijar/dugundi and muktuu9iya. Futra, which is the most common arrangement, is a yearly rent paid to the landowner in the form of 10 percent of the total crop produced. For instance, if the renter produces




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10 sacks of millet on the rented piece of land, 1 sack will be given to the landowner. Eleven of the 15 farmers had futra agreements.
The ijar/dugundi7 rental arrangement is a yearly rent paid to the land owner in the form of a specified amount of cash. This amount varies from
2 to 5 L. S. a mukhammas. Only 3 of the 15 farmers who rent-in land did so by dugundi.
The muktuu9iya8 rental arrangement is a lump-sum paid to the landowner giving the renter access to the land till the fertility of the soil is exhausted. For instance, the renter will pay 40 L.S. to fa m a single piece of land for 7 to 10 years. This is the least common rental arrangement. Only one farmer in our sample rented-in land in this manner.
In all cases, thus far investigated, all land which was rented was
fallow land. Previously cultivated land was rarely rented on a first time basis. One benefit that landowners gain in renting land is that the renter will bear the costs in clearing the land. For those rental arrangements which are on a yearly basis (futra and ij ar/dugundi), landowners can reclaim the land after the third year of cultivation, so that in effect the renter is providing a cheap means for landowners to clear their land. The only rental arrangement which does not favor the landowner is the muktuu9iya arrangement. Since a renter can continue to utilize the rented land till the soil is exhausted, he is compensated for his initial clearing costs. For this reason, this arrangement is not preferred by landowners, which might explain its rare occurence.9 The muktuu9iya arrangement can also have adverse environmental consequences because renters may not adhere to proper land-use management practices since it is not their land. This arrangement promotes the over-utilization of cultivated land because renters will try to get the most for their initial investment.
Our findings indicate that differences did exist between the 3 villages regarding renting-in land. Umm Ramad had the greatest number of renters (8 of 15 or 53%) followed by El Geifil (3 of 10 or 30%) and El Kharta (4 of 15 or 27%). Umm Ramad may have had a higher proportion of renters because several farmers had migrated into the village from outside for the facilities and services it offers. Umm Ramad has a primary school, a permanent water source, and a relatively large market.
Considering the other side of rental arrangements, we also made inquiries as to how many farmers were renting their land out. Twenty-eight percent (11) of the farmers surveyed had rented 182.5 mukhammas to other
7During the colonial period, the term dugundi was used to refer to the tax collected by the Shaikh of each village based on his estimation of crop output of each farmer's field. East and North of El Obeid the term dugundi is used to refer to annual rent paid in cash.
8The term mukluu9iya means a piece of something. The term is sometimes used by farmers when they rent one tract of land by an annual agreed upon price. In El Kharta the term is used to describe a lump sum rental arrangement as described above.
9The farmers in need of a sizable amount of money for an emergency may rent by the muktuu9iya arrangement.




farmers. Of these farmers, the average percentage of their total landholding rented out was 30 percent, and the amount rented averaged 16.59 mukhammas. The most common rental arrangement was futra (7 to 11 or 64%) followed by ijar/dugundi (2 to 11 or 18%) and by mukluu9iya (2 to 11 or 18%).
While the richer farmers usually rent-in land, the poorer ones rent it out. Of the 11 farmers who rented land out, 10 were cultivating 15 mukhammas or less. In fact, 5 of these farmers were cultivating 10 mukhammas or less. An explanation for this trend is similar to that given earlier. Poor farmers can't afford to hire the labor necessary to expand cultivation, even on their own land, so that they are renting their land out to gain some bebiefit from this resource.
Land sales are very uncommon in this area. We found only 2 cases,
where such purchases were made, and both buyers were women. Women may be purchasing land as a way to gain access to land since inheritance practices in this area make it difficult for them to accumulate large land holdings. Overall, the infrequent occurrence of land purchases illustrate the importance of inheritance to farmers in this region.
Cropping Patterns
The four most important crops in this area of North Kordofan are millet, sorghum, sesame and groundnuts. After a discussion of each crop, the planting and cultivation system is discussed.
Millet
Millet is the principal subsistence crop grown in this area. Thirtyeight of the 40 farmers cultivated this crop. Thirty-five percent of the cultivated land was in millet (249.5 mukhammas). In addition, for each farmer, the average proportion of his total cultivated land that was planted in millet was .38.
Several types of millet are grown in the study area. The local names for these types are dukhun baladi or dimbi, dukhun HireeHri and 9ish barnu. Dukhun baladi or dimbi is a late maturing variety (90-110 days), ciracterized by long slender candles and small seeds. Dukhun HireeHri is an early maturing variety (70-80 days) with candles which 'are shorter and thicker than baladi candles. 9ish barnu is an intermediate maturing variety (8090 days) characterized by-very long candles ranging from greenish yellow to dark brown in color.1
109ish barnu is also referred to as 9ish al-ghariib or maang.
llSee Appendix B for a typology of the millets grown in this area.




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Table 3. Distribution of Farmers by Type of Millet Produced
Type of Millet Frequencya Percentageb
baladi/dimbi 25 66
HireeHri 12 32
9ish barnu 3 8
Total 40
From the Table 3 it is apparent that baladi/dimbi is the most common type grown in this area, followed by HireeHri and 9ish barnu. To get a better idea of the importance of each of these millets, we calculated the amount of land planted in each type. Table 4 presents the amount of land and percentage planted to each type of millet.
Table 4. Amount of Land and Percentage Planted in Each Type of Millet
Type of Millet Area Planted Percentage
(mukhammas)
baladi/dimbi 122.5 49
HireeHri 108.5 44
9ish barnu 18.5 7
Total 249.5 100
These findings are similar to the ones presented above in that dukhun baladi is the most important in area cultivated. However, dukhun HireeHri was also grown quite extensively. The extensive cultivation of HireeHri is due to the large tracts of this variety grown by the larger farmers in El Kharta.
The villages tend to differ in the types of millet grown. In El Kharta, the dominant variety grown was HireeHri. Seventy-six percent of all land cultivated in millet was in HireeHri, and 67 percent of all farmers interviewed grew this crop. El Kharta is north of El Obeid where the rainfall is lower and HireeHri will produce better than the other varieties according to farmers.
In contrast, El Geifil grew more baladi than HireeHri. Eighty-six percent of the land cultivated in millet was in baladi, and all farmers interviewed planted some of this type. We do not believe that the increased rainfall is sufficient to account for this difference.12 The dominance of
aln this distribution the number of farmers is 38, but 2 of the farmers grew two types of millet which raised the total to 40.
bsome farmers grew more than one type of millet, so the percentages add up to more than 100.
12The difference in rainfall that El Geifil and El Kharta recieve is slight.




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baladi in part is due to the shortage of HireeHri seeds in El Geifil, and the long tradition of growing baladi.
In Umm Ramad, baladi was also the dominant type. Sixty-four percent of the land cultivated in millet was in baladi, and 79 percent of the farmers surveyed planted it. A higher rainfall could definitely explain this pattern, since Umm Ramad is south of El Obeid. Higher rainfall also could explain the appearance of another millet variety called 9ish barnu. Twenty-seven percent of all the Cultivated millet was planted in this type.
The extent of millet cultivation demonstrates its importance in the
farming system. In addition to serving as one of the main sources of food for farm households, millet stalks are used for various purposes. They are, for example, the main construction material for houses and other structures in these villages. In fact, the importance of millet stalks as a building material might ensure that millet will never be totally displaced by other cash crops, unless another building material were introduced (possibly another type of grass). Presently, such an alternative building material is not widely available, especially for villages north of El Obeid. In addition, millet leaves are sometimes used as fodder. Thus, the many uses of millet in this area must be evaluated in assessing the implications of proposed changes in millet cultivation practices.
Sorghum
Another important subsistence crop grown in the area is sorghum.
Although it was not as extensively grown as millet, the majority of the farmers we surveyed were planting some sorghum in their fields. Seventyfive percent of the farmers interviewed were growing sorghum (30 out of 40)P Sixty-three percent (19 out of 30) of the farmers who grew sorghum planted it in the same field with another crop (usually sesame). Only 43 percent (13 out of 30) of the farmers surveyed planted sorghum in separate stands. Unfortunately, it is too difficult to estimate what proportion of the total land cultivated was in sorghum since so much was intercropped with sesame or other crops. However, the importance of this crop is well demonstrated by the extent to which farmers were planting it, either intercropped or separately.
Farmers in the area grow several different types of sorghum. The local names for these types are quite numerous; however, they can be grouped under three basic categories (See Appendix B for the local names). These are mareeg/zunaari baladi, mareeg/zunaari HireeHri, and najaaq/feterita. As for distinguishing characteristics, mareeg/zunaari varieties tend to have curved necks and large seeds which may be either red, black or white in color. There is essentially no difference in shape or color between the baladi versions and HireeHri versions of mareeg/zunaari. The major difference is maturation length, with HireeHri maturing much earlier (70-80 days) than baladi (90-120 days). Also, baladi tends to produce more heads
13Some farmers grew sorghum in separate stands as well as intercropped with other food crops. This especially is true of farmers to the south of El Obeid.




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per plant than HireeHri. In contrast, najaaq/feterita varieties are usually straight-necked types of sorghum with small seeds. The types of najaad/ feterita grown in this area usually have whitish or reddish seeds.14 These types of sorghum are typically intermediate in maturation length when compared to the mareeg/zunaari types (90 to 100 days).
Table 5. Distribution of Farmers by Type of Sorghum
Type of Sorghum Frequency Percentagea
mareeg/zunaari baladi 19 63
mareeg/zunaari HireeHri 13 43
najaad/feterita 2 7
aSome farmers planted more than one type of sorghum, so the percentages add to more than 100.
Mareeg/zunari baladi is the most common type of sorghum grown in the area followed by mareeg/zunaari HireeHri and najaad/feterita (Table 5). To determine if farmers who planted sorghum in separate stands grew different types from those who intercropped it, we compared the sorghum varieties grown by each. Table 6 presents the frequencies and percentages of farmers who grew the various types of sorghum comparing those who grew it in separate stands with those who intercropped.
Table 6. Frequency Distribution of Farmers Comparing Those Who Planted
Sorghum in Separate Stands with Those Who Intercropped
Separate Stands Intercroppeda
Type of Sorghum Frequency Percent Frequency Percent
mareeg/zunaari baladi 7 54 12 63
mareeg/zunaari HireeHri 5 39 9 47
najaad/feterita 1 8 1 5
aSome farmers intercropped more than one type of sorghum, so the percentages add to more than 100.
Table 6 indicates that mareeg/zunaari baladi was the most commonly
grown sorghum both by farmers who grew it in separate stands and those who
14To the south of El Obeid in the Nuba mountains area, straight-necked
varieties of sorghum with black seeds have been found.




intercropped. Likewise, mareeg/zunaari HireeHri was the second most common type regardless of planting strategy. In other words, no real difference existed between these farmers regarding types of sorghums grown. Only4 farmers in the sample, all in El Kharta, planted more than one type of sorghum, and all of them intercropped sorghum with another crop.
Sorghum cultivation patterns differed in important ways in the three villages. In El Kharta, 93% of the farmers (14 out of 15) grew sorghum, and all of them intercropped it with sesame. No farmer surveyed grew sorghum in a sep ate stand. Only the mareeg/zunaari varieties were grown in this village, and the early-maturing HireeHri and late-maturing baladi types were grown in equal amounts.
In El Geifil, only 40% of the farmers interviewed (4 of 10) grew sorghum. Three of these farmers intercropped sorghum with sesame and one grew it in a separate stand. The mareeg/zunaari varieties were the dominant types grown although one farmer grew a naajaq/feterita type. The major reason for the failure of other farmers in El Geifil to grow sorghum was the difficulty in acquiring seeds. Several farmers indicated that they would have planted sorghum if the seeds had been available.
In Umm Ramad, 80% of the farmers in our sample (12 of 15) grew sorghum, and all of these farmers grew it in separate stands. Sorghum is usually planted in separate stands in this village because the higher amounts of rainfall and clayey soils characterizing this area allow for successful sorghum cultivation.16 In fact, 20% of all the land cultivated in Umm Ramad was in separate stands of sorghum, This cropping pattern gives this village a unique character when compared to the other two. Mareeg/zunaari varieties were the main types of sorghum grown, with baladi planted more extensively than HireeHri. One farmer did grow a type of najaad/feterita. In addition, two farmers also intercropped sorghum with groundnuis in this village, however, intercropping sorghum was not a common pattern.
The role of sorghum in the farming system found in this area is quite important due to the multiple functions it serves. First, it serves as a food source for farmers, often as a substitute or supplement for millet, and therefore is considered the second most important subsistence crop grown in this area. Second, the stems of sorghum also serve as a food source for both farmers and their animals. The high moisture and sugar content of the stems make it a thirst-quenching energy source in the field where it is consumed in great quantities by farm laborers harvesting crops like sesame. This is especially true in villages where water is in short supply.17 In
15Mareeg/zunaari varieties seem to be better suited to the environmental
conditions found at El Kharta, such as low rainfall and sandy soils (qoz).
16Other possible reasons why sorghum is cultivated in large amounts in
Umm Ramad are 1) in addition to serving as a human resource, the sorghum stems are a fodder source for the large herds of cattle these people own; and 2) the sorghum is also used extensively in the village to produce mariisa, a locally-brewed beer.
17Watermelons are often planted with sesame also to serve as a water source
for laborers.




-16
fact, many farmers in villages to the north of El Obeid said that this is one of the main reasons why they plant sorghum in their sesame fields. Likewise, animals such as cattle, donkeys, goats and sheep find sorghum stems a palatable fodder, and farmers will often cut and save the stems to feed animals throughout the long dry season. This practice emphasizes the importance of sorghum to animal husbandry in this area. Third, sorghum is used to manufacture a local beer called mariisa. This beer is often used as the main source of food for many farmers for at least one meal during the day, especially during the harvest season. The extent to which mariisa is consumed varies from one village to the next.18 Fourth,sorghum is intercropped with sesame to serve as a wind break for sesame plants. Wind erosion is a serious constraint to sesame production in this area, and farmers have found that planting sorghum in their sesame fields helps guard against wind damage. The sorghums grown in this area are usually firmly rooted and have strong stems which aid in resisting wind erosion. Thus, farmers gain three advantages by planting sorghum in their sesame fields: 1) it serves as a food source for humans; 2) it serves as animal fodder; and 3) it serves as a wind break for sesame plants. Therefore, sorghum production in this farming system is very critical, and it is necessary for agricultural researchers to understand the many functions it serves to fully assess its importance.
Sesame
Sesame is one of the most important cash crops farmers grow in this region of North Kordofan. Ninety-three percent of the sample farmers (37 of 40) grew some sesame in their fields. Fifty-one percent of all land cultivated was in this cash crop (365.5 mukhammas). In addition, for each farmer, the average proportion of his tota-cultivated land that was planted in sesame was .48.
Several locally recognized types of sesame are grown in the El Obeid region. The local names for these are simsim baladi/danameet, simsim jabarook, and simsim HireeHri. Simsim baladi/danameet is a long maturing variety (100-120 days) with multiple branches and the highest pod production of the sesames grown. Simsim jararook is an intermediate maturing variety (80-100 days) with fewer branches and lower pod production than baladi/danameet. Simsim HireeHri is an early maturing variety (70-80 days) with few branches and the lowest pod production of the three types. Baladi/danameet tends to be dark green in color while jabarook and HireeHri are successively lighter shades of green. Simsim HireeHri is usually planted by close spacing on previously fallow land (buur) in order to realize a higher yield while the other two types are usually planted on previously cultivated land.19
181n two of the villages under study, mariisa is consumed by most of the
farmers, while in the other village, very few people drink mariisa. The
strictness with which Islamic values are upheld appears to account for
this difference between villages.
19
There were exceptions to this pattern. Sometimes farmers plant jabarook
or even baladi/danameet on previously fallow land if simsim HireeHri seeds
were not available.




-17
Table 7. Distribution of Farmers by Type of Sesame Produced
Type of Sesame Frequencya Percentagea
simsim baladi/danameet 23 62
simsim jabarook 18 47
simsim HireeHri 11 29
aThere were 37 farmers growing sesame, but some farmers grew more than one type. The frequency thus is greater than 37 and the percentages add to more than 100.
Simsim baladi/danameet was the most common type of sesame grown in this area, followed by simsim jabarook and simsim HireeHri (Table 7). We also calculated the amount of land planted in each type to determine the extent of cultivation of these various kinds of sesame.
Table 8. Amount of Land and Percentage Planted in Each Type of Sesame
Type of Sesame Area Planted Percentage
(mukhammas)
simsim baladi/danameet 198.5 54
simsim jabarook 128.0 35
simsim HireeHri 34.0 9
other 5.0 1
365.5 100
The conclusion from Table 8 is the same as from Table 7; simsim baladi/ danameet was the most extensively grown sesame in this area, followed by simsim jabarook and simsim HireeHri. When Tables 7 and 8 are viewed together, it appears that while almost 30% of the farmers were planting HireeHri, the area cultivated in this type was rather small (9%). This indicates that simsim HireeHri was grown in relatively small plots compared to the other two types. Furthermore, of the 12 farmers in our sample who planted more than one type of sesame, 10 of these grew HireeHri in addition to one of the other kinds. This pattern often results when farmers plant HireeHri on small plots of newly cleared fallow land while one or the other varieties are planted on previously cultivated land. Farmers' adherence to this practice could account for the small area cultivated in HireeHri.
Another interesting finding was that some farmers were mixing seeds of different types of sesame and planting them together in the same field.




-18
Although only 4 farmers were doing this, the implications of the practice are worth noting. When farmers plant one type of sesame in their field, the sesame tends to ripen all at once. From the time the sesame ripens, the length of time that farmers have for cutting the sesame before the pods shatter is usually 10 to 15 days. This short cutting period often forces farmers to mobilize laborers (paid or communal) to cut their sesame as rapidly as possible. Serious labor bottle-necks arise because of the high demand, and farmers often have to pay high wages to obtain the necessary labor. This may force the farmers to take out a loan from a merchant to cover the labor expenditure.
By mixing seeds of sesame with different maturation lengths, the farmer is assured that the field does not ripen all at once. This spreads the labor requirement, allowing the farmer to harvest his crop over a longer period of time. This longer period also enables the farmer to cut his sesame field by himself and/or with the help of his family rather than paying for a large number of laborers.
In addition to mixing seeds, farmers use other strategies to ease the strain on labor for sesame cutting. First, to lengthen the duration of sesame cutting in a field, farmers will plant sections of the field at different times. They may plant one part of the field after one rain, and then wait until the next rain before planting another part. Second, farmers will often plant sesame on soils with different drainage patterns so that the crop doesn't mature all at once. For instance, the sesame planted on well-drained slopes will mature faster than the sesame planted in depressions where water accumulates. Third, farmers will go through their sesame field and cut the bottom stems of the plants first since they tend to ripen first. Then they will go back through the field and cut the top stems. This cutting strategy ensures that the ripest stems are cut first, so that little seed is lost due to pod shattering. All of these strategies have been adopted to help alleviate the labor constraints associated with sesame
cultivation.
Farmers in the three villages have different sesame cultivation patterns. In El Kharta, 64 percent of the land cultivated was in sesame, and 93 percent of the farmers surveyed grew this crop (14 of 15). Baladi/danameet was the dominant type planted, followed by jabarook and HireeHri. Five farmers grew more than one variety in their fields, and 3 mixed seeds of two different types before planting.
In El Geifil, 54 percent of the land cultivated was in sesame, and all farmers interviewed grew some of it in their fields. In contrast to El Kharta, farmers in El Geifil planted more jabarook than the other two types. Thus far, we are unable to account for this trend. In addition, 60 percent of the farmers in this village planted some HireeHri. This percentage is much higher than in the other two villages. Fifty percent of the El Geifil farmers grew more than one type of sesame, and only one farmer mixed seeds before planting. El Geifil's unique cropping patterns bear further investigation.




-19
In Umm Ramad, only 29 percent of the land cultivated was in sesame,20 however 87 percent of the farmers planted some in their fields (13 of 15). As in El Kharta, baladi/danameet was the dominant type grown, followed by jabarook and HireeHri. Only two farmers grew more than one type, and no farmers mixed seeds of different types before planting.
The extensive cultivation of sesame among farmers in this region has an important bearing on the farming system of this area. Sesame has significantly displaced subsistence crops such as millet and sorghum to the point that farmers are depending on the revenue gained from sesame to purchase food supplies which supplement the grain supplies grown on their own fields. For this reason, the extent of sesame cultivation is a good measure of the integration of these farm communities into the cash economy. Aside from foodstuffs, cash generated from sesame sales is also used to purchase other commodities offered by urban markets which cannot be locally purchased. This shift away from locally produced goods to market purchased goods represents a shift in taste and values, to the point that farmers are relying heavily on sesame to satisfy their material wants. Therefore, a cash crop like sesame does, and will continue to play a critical role in the farm household economy.
Aside from being a source of cash sesame is also used as a source of food. Farmers consume sesame raw, mix it with other vegatables and consume it as a main dish, or grind it up to make an oil used in food preparation. In addition, sesame is used as a source of fodder. The pods are saved during threshing and fed to camels, and the leafy stems remaining in the fields after cutting are consumed as fodder by livestock.
Thus, as with the other crops farmers grow, sesame serves a number of functions in addition to being a source of cash. Agricultural researchers should be aware of these when they consider ways of improving farm production in this region.
Groundnuts
Groundnuts are the second most important cash crop grown in the El Obeid area. This crop is more extensively cultivated to the southwest of El Obeid than to the north and east. Since two of the villages in this initial sample are in the areas where few groundnuts are grown, the crop's importance is perhaps under-represented in the findings below.
Forty-eight percent of the farmers interviewed grew groundnuts (19 of 40). The total amount of land cultivated in this crop was 70 mukhammas, which represents 10 percent of the total land cultivated.21
20Umm Ramad farmers grow two main cash crops. Aside from sesame, groundnuts
are also extensively cultivated. Most farmers plant some of both.
21The size of the cultivated holdings in groundnuts tend to be smaller than those of other crops because of the high cost of labor inputs required to grow this crop.




-20
Although farmers provided us with several names for the kinds of
groundnuts they grew, these are essentially several different names for the same type, Barbatee22 is the most commonly used name for the type of groundnuts grown in this area, but alternative names used include jukki and baladi.
As expected, differences did exist between the three villages regarding groundnut cultivation. Only 5 farmers in El Kharta grew groundnuts (33%) and only 2 in El Geifil (20%). Traditionally, these villages are not in areas where groundnuts are grown. However, a few farmers grew groundnuts this year because of a government sponsored program to encourage farmers in these areas to start growing this cash crop. The Farmer's Union based in El Obeid had distributed groundnut seeds provided by the Government23 to some farmers in each of these villages. Only a small number of farmers from El Kharta and El Geifil participated in this program, which was reflected by the few numbers of farmers in oursample who grew them.
In Umm Ramad, groundnuts have been grown by farmers for many years. Eighty percent of farmers surveyed grew this crop (12 of 15). Twenty-two percent of the land cultivated in this village was in groundnuts. The importance of groundnuts in Umm Ramad can be partially explained by the more favorable environmental conditions to which it is exposed. This village receives more rainfall and has access to more clayey soils than either El Kharta or El Geifil. These conditions are favorable to groundnut production. For this reason, groundnuts are considered to be just as important to a farmer's cash earnings as sesame. This second cash crop gives farmers in this village more flexibility as far as cropping decisions are concerned. The opportunity to grow two cash crops as well as two subsistence crops (millet and sorghum) allows these farmers to plant several different combinations of crops. This added diversity makes farming in Umm Ramad more viable than farming in El Kharta or El Geifil. Farms with only a few crops are more vulnerable to environmental hazards like pests. Reliance on four crops instead of two increases the chances that one of the crops will succeed. Likewise, farmers with two cash crops are less vulnerable to yearly fluctuations in market prices than farmers who only grow one. For this reason, groundnuts are a very important crop to farmers in Umm Ramad.
Aside from cash earnings, groundnuts also serve other functions as
well. First, they are a source of food. Farmers often consume them raw, roasted or boiled as a snack between meals, or use them in soups and other main dishes. Second, groundnuts are sometimes used to produce an oil used in food preparation.24 Third, the leaves of groundnut plants are used as a
22Barbatee was the name farmers used for barbiton.
23This program was sponsored by the Ministry of Agriculture and the Office
of Extension for Kordofan Province.
24Farmers in these three villages rarely use groundnuts to produce oil.
They usually use sesame for this purpose.




-21
fodder for cattle, sheep, goats and donkeys. These various uses of groundnuts add to its importance to farmers in this area. Therefore, to understand the role of groundnuts in this farming system, these must be taken into account.
Intercropping
Farmers in this region of Kordofan practice intercropping quite extensively. Two types of intercropping techniques are used. First, farmers will plant more than one crop in the same hole. For instance, sesame and sorghum are often planted together in the same hole. This is the most common intercropping technqiue used in this area. Second, farmers will plant a crop between the rows of a different crop previously planted or planted simultaneously. For example, sorghum may be planted every fourth row in a field of groundnuts. A variation of this second intercropping strategy which farmers follow involves planting different crops in the spaces of a field where the crop originally planted did not germinate.25 For instance, farmers may plant sesame in the wind blown spaces of a millet field.
Intercropping Sesame
Sesame was the most common crop which in this area intercropped with other crops.
Table 9. Distribution of Farmers Who Intercropped by Types of Crops with Sesame.
Either
Intercropping
Same Holea Between Rowsa Methodb
Type of Crop Freq. Percentage Freq. Percentage Freq. Percentage
Watermelon 24 65 7 19 27 73
Luuba (Cowpeas) 17 47 6 16 21 57
Sorghum 17 46 1 3 17 46
Karkadee 11 30 7 19 16 43
a Some farmers intercropped more than one type of crop with sesame, so the percentages will not add up to 100.
bEither intercropping method is a category which represents the sum of farmers who intercropped a type of crop with sesame using one or the other method. If a farmer used both methods of intercropping for a given type of crop he/she was only counted once.
251n the analysis that follows, the two variations of the second technique will be lumped together and referred to as between-row intercropping.




-22
The majority of the farmers surveyed planted another crop with sesame, and usually in the same hole (Table 9). Watermelon was the most common crop intercropped with sesame, with 73 percent of the farmers planting it in the same field. Cow peas (luuba) was second, with 57 percent of the farmers growing it. Sorghum was third (46%) followed by karkadee (43%).
In addition to identifying the other crops farmers intercropped with sesame, we were interested in determining how many different crops farmers planted in their sesame fields.
Table 10. Distribution of Farmers Who Intercropped by Number of Crops with Sesame.
(N=37)
Number of Crops w/Sesame Frequency Percentagea
At least 1 crop 34 92
At least 2 crops 24 65
At least 3 crops 15 41
More than 3 crops 9 24
aSince these categories overlap, the percentages do not add to 100 percent
Table 10 shows that over 90 percent of the farmers who grew sesame
intercropped it with at least one other crop. As stated earlier, the most common crop was watermelon. Sixty-five percent of the farmers surveyed planted at least 2 other crops with their sesame. The most common combinations were watermelon and cow peas (16 of 37 or 43%) or watermelon and sorghum (15 of 37 or 41%). Forty-one percent intercropped at least
3 crops with sesame. The combination most frequently mentioned was watermelon, sorghum and cow peas (13 of 37 or 35%). In addition, about one-fourth of the farmers in our sample planted at least 4 other crops in their sesame fields. In fact, 5 of these farmers planted sorghum, watermelon, karkadee and cow peas all in the same hole with sesame.
Several reasons can be given for farmers' tendency to intercrop other crops with sesame. First, labor is a critical constraint in farm production in this area. Because many farmers cannot afford to expand their cultivation through land clearing, they grow several crops on the same field to take advantage of what limited area they can cultivate.26 This practice also helps cut down on weeding costs since several crops are weeded at once when they are in the same field. Second, many crops are grown in one field to ensure that some output will be retrieved from the piece
261n fact, better-off farmers tend to plant sesame in separate stands.




-23
of land they are cultivating. Should drought conditions or pests adversely affect one of the crops, farmers are helping insure that one of the other crops will produce something. In limited resource farming under fluctuating environmental conditions, this is not a bad strategy. Third, by having one or more crops germinate from the same hole with sesame, the sesame crop is less suseptible to wind erosion. This is one of the main reasons why sorghum is planted with sesame. As stated earlier, the sorghum root structure is fairly firm and the stalk is strong which helps prevent sesame plants growing beside it from blowing away. Fourth, watermelon and sorghum are also consumed by laborers when they are cutting sesame in the fields. In many of these villages, drinking water is in short supply so watermelons provide a water source in the field for these laborers. Sorghum stalks, which have a high water and sugar content,27 also help quench the thirst of these laborers.
An additional advantage of intercropping is that it may help maintain
soil fertility. This is particularly so with legumes like cow peas. Although some farmers recognize this effect, the other reasons given for intercrooping are viewed as more important.
Intercropping Millet
As for millet, very few farmers in our sample intercropped it with
another crop. Seventy-one percent of the farmers who grew millet grew it in a separate stand (27 of 38). Of the 11 farmers who did intercrop millet with another crop, the most common crop grown was watermelon. Our findings indicate that the usual pattern is to plant other crops with millet only in the spaces of the millet field where it did not germinate. Seven of the 11 farmers intercropping millet followed this pattern. However, 4 farmers did plant watermelon with millet in the same hole, and 1 farmer planted watermelon between the rows.
The main reason given by farmers for not planting other crops with
millet is that millet is too "hot", and tends to compete vigorously against other crops. This advantage is due to millet's extensive root system and tendency to tiller. When farmers do plant other crops in the open patches of their millet field, they do so for the same reasons they plant crops in their sesame fields. They are making use of what limited cultivated area they have access to given the high cost of land clearing and labor. These other crops planted in the spaces tend to be unaffected by the "hot" qualities of millet due to the low density of the millet.
Intercropping Groundnuts
Of the 19 farmers in our sample who planted groundnuts, only 4 intercropped them with another crop. Sorghum was grown with groundnuts by two farmers, planting a row of sorghum between every 3-6 rows of groundnuts. Other crops like watermelon, cowpeas, and sesame were sometimes planted in the spaces where the groundnuts didn't germinate.
27Sorghum stalks taste like sugarcane.




-24
Groundnuts are a labor intensive cash crop usually planted close together in small plots. Since labor cost is high compared to sesame, farmers usually plant groundnuts in small separate stands to obtain the maximum production possible. Intercropping is sometimes viewed as detrimental to the potential output of this cash crop.
Intercropping Sorghum
Thirteen farmers in our sample grew sorghum in separate stands. Of
these, 9 planted some other crop in their sorghum field. All nine of these farmers were from Umm Ramad, and all but one planted watermelon with his or her sorghum. These crops were usually planted in the same hole, which makes a lot of sense because these farmers own livestock, especially cattle, so fodder is an important consideration. Aside from being human food sources, sorghum stalks and watermelons are excellent sources of fodder. Once the sorghum heads have been cut and the large watermelons have been collected, the animals can be allowed to graze the fields. Thus, these intercropped sorghum fields serve the dual purpose of providing both human and animal food. This is an example of efficient use of limited resources.
Thinning
A considerable number of farmers in our sample indicated that they practiced crop thinning. Seventy-five percent of the 32 farmers interviewed had engaged in this activity.28 In every case, thinning was done during the first weeding. Millet was the most frequently mentioned crop which was thinned (23 of 24, or 96%) followed by sesame (20 of 24, or 83%) and sorghum (12 of 24, or 50%).29 Thinning for these farmers involves removing excess stems germinating from several seeds planted in the same hole. Some farmers could specify the number of stems they normally left after thinning for each crop, while others said they just removed excess stems with no specific number in mind.
Some major differences did exist between the three villages regarding thinning practices. In El Kharta, only 46 percent of the farmers interviewed practiced thinning (6 of 13). In contrast, all the farmers surveyed in El Geifil thinned their crops (5 of 5), and 93 percent of the farmers in Umm Ramad had engaged in this practice (13 of 14). Farmers in El Kharta said that they used to thin their crops in the past when their farms were smaller, but do not do so nowadays because the farms are larger and it would take too much time and effort to do it. Increased farm size does not seem to be a constraint for thinning in the other two villages.
Timing of Cropping Activities
An essential part of our farming systems survey involved eliciting information regarding the timing of cropping activities. With this in
28The total was not 40 because not every farmer interviewed was asked
this question.
29Groundnuts are not thinned because usually only 1-2 seeds are planted
per hole.




-25
mind, we asked farmers when they started planting, replanting, first weeding, second weeding, cutting or pulling and threshing. This information
* was collected on each of the main crops they grew. In addition, we asked
farmers when they started clearing their fields for next year's cropping
season.
One problem we encountered in these inquiries was that farmers were
not always conscious of the exact dates they began these activities.
* Several cues were used to jog farmers' memories such as having them relate
the timing of the activity to important religious events like Ramadan,
or having them indicate what month in the traditional.Islamic calendar the
activity took place. Usually farmers were able to specify what part of
the month the activity began such as the first, the middle or the end,
but it was not possible for them to be any more accurate than this. For
* this reason, the following charts which specify the timing of cropping
activities for each crop are quite general as far as dates are concerned.
However, they do reflect general patterns in the timing of such activities.
The following discussion briefly summarizes the data on these charts taking
each crop separately.
Millet Cropping Activities (1981-1982 Season)
1. Planting The first planting of millet by sample farmers occurred between the first of April and the first of July. The most common planting period was from the first of May to the first of dune. Seventy-one percent of the farmers planted their millet before rains (rameel) and 29 percent planted after rains (nadaaya). Farmers planted their millet early for several reasons: 1) to avoid the peak seasons of pests such as santa (Cyrtocamenta spo.) and birds; 2) to take advantage of all possible rainfall in a cropping season; 3) to hire labor for planting which is relatively inexpensive and available; and 4) to obtain a food crop from their field as soon as possible. Unfortunately, the timing of the first millet planting is not always appropriate and replanting is a common practice.
2. Re lanting Replanting of millet occurred between the end of May and temddle of duly. The most common replanting period was
from the end of dune to the middle of duly. Sixty-five percent of the farmers surveyed replanted, and most of these after rains (87%).
3. 1st Weeding The first weeding of millet occurred between the
end of dune and the first of August. The most common first weeding period was from the first of duly to the first of August.
4. 2nd Weeding The second weeding of millet occurred between the iddle ofJuly and the end of September. The most common second weeding period was from the first of August to the first of September.
5. Cutting The cutting of millet occurred between the end of August and the first of january. The most common cutting period occurred from the middle of October to the first of November.




Chart 1
MILLET (N=38)
Timing of Cropping Activities
Apr May June July Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec Jan Feb Mar
1stjMidjEnd 1st|Mid End 1st|MidjEnd 1stj Mid Endj1st|Midj End 1st Mid End 1stJMid End 1stjMid End 1st Mid End 1st Mid End 1st Mid End 1st Mid End Cropping Key
Activities
fl Rarely
1. Planting
2. Replanting Low'Frequency
S High Frequency
3. 1st
feeding
4. 2nd
Weeding
5. Cutting/
Pulling
6. Threshing
7. Land
*Clearing
Time of 1st Planting Replanting
N % N %
Before Rains 71 3 13%
After Rains 11 29% 20 87%




Chart 2 SESAME
(N=37)
Timing of Cropping Activities
Apr May June July Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec Jan Feb Mar
1stlMidjEnd 1stjMid End 1st Mid End 1st Mid End 1st MidjEnd 1stjMid End 1st MidjEnd 1st Mid End 1st Mid End 1st MidjEnd 1st Mid End 1st Mid End Cropping Activities Key
1. Planting D Rarely
2. Replanting Low Frequency
2. Replanting
3. ing -High Frequency
3. 1st
Weeding
4. 2nd
Weeding
5. Cutting/
Pulling
6. Threshing
Clearing
Time of 1st Planting Reolantinq
N %N %
Before Rains 10 27 T
After Rains 27 73% 9 82%




Chart 3
GROLIUNDNUTS
(N=19)
Timing of Cropping Activities
Apr May June July Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec Jan Feb Mar
1st Mid End 1stjMid End 1stjMidjEnd 1stjMid Endj1stjMid End 1st|MidEnd 1st MidEnd 1stMidjEnd M MidjEnd 1st]Mid End 1stjMidjEnd 1stjMidEnd
Cropping
Activities ey
1. Planting Rarely
2. Replanting Low Frequency
3. feeding High Frequency
4. 2nd
Weeding
5. Cutting/
Pulling
6. Threshing
7. Land
Clearing
Time of 1st Planting Replanting
N % N
Before Rains 7 37% 0 0%
After Rains 12 63% 1 100%




Chart 4
SORGHUM
(N=30)
Timing of Cropping Activities
Apr May June July Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec Jan Feb Mar
1stMid End 1st MidjEnd 1st Mid End 1st Mid End 1st Mid End 1stjMid End 1stjMidjEnd 1st|MidjEnd Ist MidjEnd 1st MidjEnd 1stjMid End 1st Mid End Cropping Key
Activities
_ _ _ ~Rarely
1. Planting Rarely
2. Replanting Low Frequency
High Frequency
3. 1st
Weeding
4. 2nd
Weeding
5. Cutting/
Pulling
6. Threshing
7. Land
Clearing
Time of 1st Planting Replanting
N % N %
Before Rains 9 30% 1 10%
After Rains 21 70% 9 90%




-30-0
6. Threshing -Threshing of millet occurred between the middle of
October and the end of January. The most common threshing period
was from the middle of December to the first of January.
7. Land Clearing Farmers in our sample began clearing land for next
year's cropping season between the first of January and the first of May. The first of March and the first of April were the most
common times when farmers said they begin clearing their fields.
(Since land clearing data are the same for all crops, they will
not be repeated in the discussions which follow.)
Sesame Cropping Activities (1981-1982 Season)
1. Planting The first planting of sesame occurred between the first
of May and the end of July. The most common planting periods were
the first of June and the end of June/first of July. Seventy-three
percent of the farmers planted their sesame after rains (nadaaya), while 27 percent planted before the rains (rameel). Farmers tend
to plant their sesame later than millet because it is more susceptible to wind erosion. This also accounts for planting sesame 0
after rains. They wait to plant their sesame until the-rains are
more frequent, which usually occurs in late June. They can afford
to wait with sesame because it does not have to contend with
seasonal peaks in pest attack to the same extent as millet.
2. Replanting Replanting of sesame occurred between the first of 0
June and the end of July. The most common replanting period was
the first of July. Thirty percent of the farmers surveyed
replanted, and most of these after rains (82%).
3. 1st Weeding The fir .st weeding of sesame occurred between the
middle of June and the end of August. The most common first
weeding period was from the first of July to the first of August.
4. 2nd Weeding -The second weeding of sesame occurred between the
middle of July and the end of September. The most common second
weeding period was from the first of August to the first of
September.
5. Cutting The cutting of sesame occurred between the middle of
August and the first of January. The most common cutting period
was from the middle of October to the first of November.
6. Threshing Threshing of sesame occurred between the first of
September and the first of February. The most common threshing
periods were the first of December and the first of January.30
3These two peak threshing periods probably correspond to two different varieties of sesame.




-31
Groundnut Cropping Activities (1981-1982)
1. Planting The first planting of groundnuts by farmers in our
sample occurred between the end of May and the first of August.
The most common planting periods were the first of June and the
first of July. Sixty-three percent of the farmers planted after
rains (nadaaya) while 37 percent planted before rains (rameel).
Farmers often planted their groundnuts after the first weeding.
This practice can be explained by the fact that because groundnuts
are so closely planted together, it is difficult to weed them in the early growth stages without damaging some of the plants. So farmers often opt to have the whole field weeded prior to planting. The weeding costs are less by doing it this way as well.
2. Replanting Replanting does not usually occur in groundnuts
production. Only one farmer did so in our sample. He replanted
during the first of July.
3. 1st Weeding As stated earlier, farmers often weed before they
plant their groundnuts. So the first weeding occurred between the
first of June and the first of August. The most common first
weeding period was the first of July.
4. 2nd Weeding The second weeding of groundnuts occurred between
the end of June and the first of September. No common second
weeding period was detectable from our sample.
5. Pulling The pulling of groundnuts occurred between the middle
of September and the end of November. The most common pulling
period was the middle of October to the end of October.
Sorghum Cropping Activities31 (1981-1982 Season)
1. Planting The first planting of sorghum occurred between the middle
of May and the end of July. The most common planting period was from
the first of June to the first of July. Seventy percent of the
farmers planted their sorghum after rains (nadaaya), while 30
percent planted it before rains (rameel). The majority of the farmers who planted sorghum in our sample intercropped it with sesame, so considerable overlap should exist between these two
crops regarding the timing of planting, replanting and first and
second weeding.
2. Replanting Replanting of sorghum occurred between the end of
June and the first of August. The most common replanting period
was the first of July. Thirty-three percent of the farmers surveyed replanted sorghum, most of these after rains (901).
3. 1st Weeding The first weeding of sorghum occurred between the
middle of June and the middle of August. The most common first
weeding period was from the middle of July to the first of August.
31Sorghum was planted both in a separate stand as well as intercropped, usually with sesame. These were lumped together in this chart.




-32-0
4. 2nd Weeding -The second weeding of sorghum occurred between the
middle of July and the middle of September. The most common
second weeding period was from the first of August to the first
of September.
5. Cutting The cutting of sorghum occurred between the first of
September and the first of December. The most common cutting period was from the first of November to the end of November.
6. Threshing -Threshing of sorghum occurred between the first of
October and the middle of January. The most common threshing
period was the middle of December.
Cultivation -Fallow Rotation
The length of time that a field is cultivated varies from one farmer to the next, but the usual time period is 6 to 10 years. The number of years that a farmer will consecutively plant in the same field is dependent on the fertility of the field and a farmer's access to other crop land. To help offset the degradation of soil fertility which results from the continuous cropping, farmers plant cash crops and subsistence crops in the same field in alternating years (e.g., millet, then sesame or groundnuts, then millet again). The appearance of striga (buuda) is recognized as a sign by most farmers that the field should be allowed to go fallow. Fallow periods last anywhere from 3 to 15 years, again depending on the farmer's access to other farmland. If a farmer does have access to other farmland, he will usually allow gum arabic trees to germinate on his fallow field and begin tapping these after 3 to 4 years. Tapping of gum may continue for as many as 10 to 15 years, but frequently farmers return their fields to cultivation after a shorter time period.
What is interesting about this shifting cultivation pattern is that although decisions to shift are often made by individual farmers, the decisions significantly impact other farmers whose fields are adjacent to the shifters. The usual pattern involves a couple of farmers who decide that next year they will allow their fields to go fallow.* The following year other farmers' fields which are adjacent to these fallow fields are invaded by pests and animals which accumulate in the fallow areas. As a result, these farmers opt to shift as well the following year rather than contend with the animals and pests. This process continues until all the farmers cultivating in the area are forced to shift due to pest and animal invasion from fallow areas. The net result is that large tracts of land next to the village will be fallow, while other areas will be extensively cultivated. From first observation this land-use pattern gives the impression that farmers are making collective decisions to shift from one fallow area to another. In fact, what is happening is the result of accumulated individual decisions.32
32 We are indebted to Dr. James Beebe and Abd .el-Moniem el-Obeid of USAID/
Khartoum, who were primarily responsible for bringing this shifting
pattern to our attention. They discovered such patterns during their
stay in Umm Hijliij, a village to the northwest of El Obeid. One variation in this shifting pattern which they identified was that sometimes
some extended family members may make collective decisions to shift.
Our findings indicate that such decisions are more commonly made on an
individual basis in the villages selected for our study.




* -33One consequence of this shifting pattern is that farmers need access to
other farmland elsewhere. In many cases, farmers own several pieces of land,
* so shifting is not that much of a problem. However, some farmers don't own
enough land elsewhere to shift to, so they either borrow land from a relative
or rent in land.33 They farm this borrowed or rented land until shifting back to the fallow land which they own. This is a common pattern in this
area.
One adverse effect which shifting has on poor farmers is that due to
time and money constraints they often cannot afford to clear a piece of land for cultivation comparable to the piece they left fallow. As a result, they
may cultivate as much land as they can afford to clear during the first
year of shifting, and rely on wage labor earnings to make up the difference.
Thus, many poor farmers rely on wage labor activities to a greater degree
* during the initial phases of shifting than they do at other times. The
second and third year after the shift, poor farmers will be less dependent, on wage labor because they will have had sufficient time to finish clearing
their land for cultivation. Given their current circumstances, this periodic
dependency on wage labor during the shifting cycle appears to be one consequence poor farmers cannot avoid.
Agricultural Inputs
An important objective in farming systems research is to identify the
inputs farmers have access to that impact agricultural production. The
following discussion will focus on the major agricultural inputs of seed,
* chemicals, and labor used by farmers in this region.34
Seed Requirements
Before discussing where farmers get their seed, we will examine how
much seed farmers use to grow each crop. Farmers were asked how much seed they used in planting sesame, millet, sorghum and groundnuts. To standardize these data, we calculated the average amount of seed planted per mukhammas
for each crop. These amounts are expressed in a volumetric measure called
locally a mid,35 which is the standard measure used by farmers in this area.
Groundnuts, on the other hand, will be expressed in sacks per ujkhammas since
this is the common measure farmers use for planting this crop."0 Table 11
33Population pressure in this area is causing a reduction in the size of
landholdings owned by farm families. Renting-in land has become a common
practice, as a result. Also some farmers opt to rent land near the village
rather than farm a piece they own which is hours away.
340ne important input not included in this discussion is farmers access to
drinking water. This was extensively addressed in an appendix in the first
field report, so it will not be discussed here.,
35A mid is the same as a mallowa in Eastern Sudan, which is 4.125 liters.
36A sack of groundnuts refers to a sack of unshelled seeds.




-34
presents the mean amount of seed planted per mukhammas for each crop as well as the range. This table also presents seed averages for first planting and multiple plantings for each crop.
Table 11. Seeding Rate by Crop
Amount Planted: Amount Planted: Amounted Planted:
Single Planting Multiple Plantings Overall Average
Type of Crop Average Range Average Range Average Range
Millet .73 .32-1.0 1.12 .5-2.2 .92 .32-2.2
expressedd (n=17) (n=17) (n=34)
in mids)
Sesame 1.23 .5-2.2 2.09 .75-6.0 1.54 .5-6.0
(expressed (n=22) (n=12) (n=34)
in mids)
Groundnuts .78 .13-1.67 1.17 -- .80 .13-1.67
(expressed (n=18) (n=1) (n=19)
in sacks)
Sorghum .99 .5-2.0 1.05 1.01-1.5 1.01 .5-2.0
(separate (n=7) (n=3) (n=10)
stand)
(expressed
in mids)
Sorghum .18 .11-.29 .64 .20-2.0 .37 .11-2.0
(intercropped (n=9) (n=6) (n=15)
with sesame)
(expressed
in mids)
The average quantity of seed used in planting millet was .92 mids per
mukhammas, and the range was .32 to 2.2 mids. The average amount of seed used by farmers who planted their millet only once was .73 mids, and the range was .32 to 1.0 mids. As for farmers who planted their millet more than once, the average amount used was 1.12 mids and the range was .5 to 2.2 mids.
Farmers who planted sesame tended to use considerably more seed per
mukhammas than they did of millet. This might be explained by the fact that farmers often follow a strategy to compensate for wind erosion by planting large amounts of sesame seeds per hole. The average amount of seed planted in sesame was 1.54 mids per mukhammas, and the range was .5 to 6.0 mids. For those farmers who only plaited their sesame once, the average was 1.23 mids and the range was .5 to 2.2 mids. Some farmers had to replant their sesame, and the average amount of seed they used was 2.09 mids. The range was .75 to 6.0 mids.




-35
Farmers who grew groundnuts usually only planted their fields once. Only one farmer planted his field twice. This trend might be accounted for by the fact that groundnut planting is very expensive and one planting is all most farmers can afford. In addition, seed for replanting is sometimes difficult to obtain. The overall average amount of seed planted in groundnuts was .80 sacks per mukhammas, and the range was .13 to 1.67 sacks. The reason for this wide variation in reported planting rates is unclear.
As for sorghum planted in separate stands, farmers used about the same pr slightly more seed per mukhammas as they did for millet. The average amount of seed planted in sorghum was 1.01 mids per mukhammas, and the range was .5 to 2.0 mids. Farmers who planted their sorghum only once used .99 mids. The range was .5 to 2.0 mids. A few farmers planted their sorghum more than once, and the average amount of seed used was 1.05 mids. The range was 1.01 to 1.15 mids.
Farmers who intercropped sorghum with sesame planted less seed per mukhammas than those who planted sorghum in separate stands. The overall average amount of intercropped sorghum seed was .37 mids per mukhammas, and the range was .11 to 2.0 mids. For farmers who planted sorghum with sesame only once, the average amount used was .18, and the range was .11 to .29 mids. Some farmers planted sorghum seed with sesame more than once, and the average amount used was .64 mids. The range was .20 to 2.0 mids.
Seed Acquisition
Farmers in the study area acquire seed from a number of different sources. Inquiries into this subject area revealed that aside from reserving seed from their own fields, farmers obtained seeds from other farmers, merchants, urban markets and government distribution programs.
Fifty-three percent of the farmers interviewed obtained their millet
seeds for planting from their own fields (Table 12). Only 5 per cent obtained seed as a gift from relatives. However, it is significant that 45 percent of the farmers purchased millet seed. Most of these seed purchases were made from other farmers (12 of 17 or 71%), but some farmers purchased seed from local merchants as well (5 of 17 or 29%). Farmers told us that they preferred to purchase millet seeds from other farmers rather than merchants because farmers take greater care in keeping millet varieties separated. When a farmer purchases seed from another farmer, he can be sure of what he is buying. Merchants on the other hand tend to mix different varieties of seeds together in the same sack, so the farmer doesn't really know what he is getting.
To account for such a large percentage of farmers purchasing millet
seed for planting, it is quite probable that most of these farmers consumed all of their millet before the planting season. Farmers often resort to consuming their millet early, especially if they had a low millet yield the previous season due to pests or some other adverse environmental condition. In fact, because farming is so precarious in this fluctuating environment, we believe that millet seed purchases are and will continue to be a common pattern in this area.
As for sesame seed, 76 percent of the farmers obtained some or all of their seed for planting from their own reserves. This high percentage might




Table 12. Sources of Seeda
I Purchased
Reserved Purchased from
fown Fild Mrhan Armter Markbetd Favrmno ascGiftd
fOm fild Mroman Fother Elarbeid Govrmein Received
Fe.% F e.% Freq % Frq. % Fre. Freg. %
Millet 20 53 5 13 12 32 0 0 0 0 2 5
(n=38)
Sesame 28 76 6 16 7 19 0 0 0 0 0 0
(n=37)
Groundnuts 8 42 1 5 0 0 2 11 11 58 0 0
(n= 19)
Sorghum 22 73 5 17 4 13 0 0 0 0 ,0 0
(n=30)
a Since some farmers obtained seed from several sources, the percentages will not add up to 100 percent.




-37
be explained by the fact that farmers often retain their sesame crop until
April or May before selling it to help pay for farm expenditures in the coming cropping season. Aside from being a form of short-term savings, this strategy
enables farmers to keep enough seed in reserve to meet planting requirements.
This pattern would account for the findings presented in the Table above.
In addition to reserving their own seeds, 35 percent of the farmers
were purchasing sesame seeds as well. About an equal number of farmers
purchased seed from other farmers as from merchants. An examination of seed purchasers indicates that the majority were poor farmers. A possible reason
for why poor people are purchasing sesame seed is that they often have to sell most of their sesame crop early to pay off debts, buy food, water and other household necessities. These early sales make it. difficult to retain adequate seed reserves for the coming cropping season, so these farmers are
* often forced to use what little money they have to purchase seed. If additional seed purchases are required for replanting these poor farmers are
often forced to borrow from another farmer or a merchant at high interest
rates. 36a
Most farmers in our sample obtained their groundnut seeds for planting
* from a Government sponsored seed distribution program which was implemented
by the Farmers' Union. The Farmers' Union distributed groundnut seed to
farmers in several villages in Kordofan. The only stipulation was that
farmers had to return to the Farmers' Union an equal amount of seed after
harvest. Fifty-eight percent of the farmers surveyed obtained their seed in
this manner.
Aside from this seed source, 42 percent of the farmers reserved their
own groundnut seed for planting. Only three farmers purchased groundnut
seed. Two purchased seed from the El Obeid Market while one purchased seed
from a local merchant. The relatively small number of farmers who purchased
seed may be due to the unavailability of groundnut seed from other farmers or merchants. This also may account for why groundnuts are usually only planted
once.
As for sorghum, 73 percent of the farmers got their seed for planting
from their own reserves. This pattern is understandable if one considers the fact that sorghum seeds are somewhat scarce in many of these villages in this area. Farmers have had some difficulty in obtaining sorghum seed from local merchants as well as from other farmers. For this reason, one
36a The classic sheel (usury) credit system of the Sudan still serves as an
important source of seed for many poor farmers. Here sheel is a kind of
crop mortqaging. The lender gives the poor farmer an amount of seed on
the condition that he is repaid in kind a two-fold, or greater, amount
after the harvest. An alternative seed lending arrangement, which is
commonplace nowadays, is to peg the values of the seeds loaned out and
repaid according to their current market prices. The borrower may repay
his loan in seed or in money. In recent years, seed loaned in this manner
has generally earned the lender a rate of return between 150% and 200%.
Defaults as well as long delays in repayment are problems the lender
must anticipate if he makes seed loans.




of the only reliable sources of seed is the farmer's own reserves, which accounts for the pattern found in Table 12.
Despite the relative scarcity of seed, some farmers were able to purchased sorghum seed. Thirty percent of the farmers interviewed obtained seed through purchases from other farmers as well as local merchants. However, most of these farmers were from Umm Ramad, where sorghum cultivation is quite extensive.3' Greater availTaiity of sorghum seems to allow for more purchases. In El Kharta and El Geifil, sorghum is less available, so farmers rely more on their own reserves rather than purchasing seed.
The fact that a considerable number of farmers are purchasing all types of crop seed is worth noting. These seed purchasing patterns provide a means through which short-maturing better adapted seed varieties can be introduced into an area. This is especially true for millet. Development efforts aimed at introducing such new varieties should seriously consider farmers' seed purchases as a viable way to disseminate such crops. (This matter will be addressed later in the recommendation section of this report.)
Chemical Inputs
Our findings indicate that some chemical inputs are commonly used in farming in this area. These include seed dressings (e.g., Aldrex-T or Dawa Suwait), DDT and salt. Seed dressings help protect seeds from pests during planting. DDT is used to protect post-harvest storage of sesame from ants and termites. It is placed around sesame piles left in the field to dry. Salt is used to protect post-harvest storage of millet and sorghum from termites. It is placed under and around millet and sorghum drying piles (jurun) left in the field.
Table 13. Chemical Inputs Used
Type of Chemical Input Frequency Percentage
D DT 25 63
Seed Treatment Dressings 9 23
Salt 6 15
Total 40 100
The findings indicate that 63 percent of the farmers surveyed used DDT in their sesame fields (Table 13). All used it around their sesame-drying piles to protect them from ants and termites. Four farmers also spread DDT around their sorghum and millet drying piles. Forty-four percent purchased their DDT from El Obeid (11 of 25) while 48 percent purchased it from local
37 Eighty percent of the farmers surveyed from Umm Ramad grew sorghum and
20 percent of the land cultivated was in separate stands of this crop.




0 -39merchants (12 of 25). Only one farmer obtained DDT from the government. No
real difference existed between the three villages regarding DDT use.
* Although effective in pest control and relatively inexpensive, DDT is
a highly poisonous substance. Unfortunately, the techniques employed by
farmers in using DDT expose the sesame seeds directly to this toxic material.
The mixing of DDT with sesame during threshing is unavoidable. As a result,
the sesame that is sold to oil mills and urban populations contains high
levels of DDT. It is very difficult to discourage the use of DDT because of
*its low cost. 'If it should be discouraged, substitutes have to be provided
which are also inexpensive and effective in ant and termite control. Convincing farmers that they should not use this substance would be facilitated
by offering a viable alternative.
40 As for dressing, only 23 percent of the farmers interviewed were doing
* this. Aldrex-T (or Dawa Suweit) was used most frequently on groundnuts
(7 of 9). Only four farmers surveyed used it on all their crop seeds. Not
surprisingly, these were more affluent farmers. There was a tendency for
less well-off farmers to use seed dressing on only one crop (usually groundnuts) because of its expense. Eighty-nine percent (8 of 9) of the farmers
who used a seed dressing purchased the chemical from the El Obeid market.
* Only one farmer obtained this substance from a local merchant. No farmers
interviewed acquired it from a government agency. Comparing the three
villages regarding the use of this material, Umm Ramad had the greatest number of users (6) followed by El Kharta (3). No farmers in El Geifil
used seed dressing.
* A seed dressing helps protect seeds from ants, termites and millipedes
(surfa) when they are first planted. Unfortunately, it is a relatively
expensive input for poor farmers in this area. Another factor contributing
to its infrequent use is the lack of adequate information. Our experience
has been that most farmers know about it, but they often are not aware that
it can be used on other seeds besides groundnuts. We believe that farmers in
this area should be encouraged to use seed dressing and that information
regarding its proper use should be disseminated through any means possible.
Ways should be considered on how to provide it to farmers at a lower cost
than they are presently paying. Lowering the cost would definitely encourage greater use.
Another input used by some farmers in this area is salt. Fifteen
percent of the farmers surveyed use salt to protect their millet and/or sorghum drying piles from termites (6 of 40). All six of these farmers
are from Umm Ramad. These farmers indicated that they have been using
salt for years, and that its use is a well established farm technique in
the area.
Although it may be effective against termites, salt adversely affects
soil fertility.. Continuous use of salt on the same field will significantly
lower production. In fact, farmers themselves have acknowledged that their
crops do poorly in 'areas of the field where salt was previously applied.
Unfortunately, the application of salt is a strategy with short-term benefits but long-term detrimental consequences for the environment. Therefore,
the use of salt by farmers should be discouraged. However, once again this




-40
should be done in conjunction with the introduction of an inexpensive, yet effective alternative to salt which controls for termites.38 Otherwise, farmers will continue applying salt to their fields despite its bad effects on the soil because termites are the more immediate problem.
Labor Inputs
Next to environmental conditions, labor is the most critical input in the farming system. This input usually determines the size of the area under cultivation and, thereby, the limits of a farmer's crop production. For this reason, understanding the role of labor in the farming system is essential.
Labor is obtained from three sources. First, farmers use their own labor and the labor of their households. From the data presented earlier regarding productive members per household, this is the main source of labor for most farmers. Second, farmers will hire labor from within their own village. This labor source is especially important when time constraints are imposed on cropping activities. For instance, farmers who want to plant sesame after a rain must do so within three days.40 Often they hire laborers from the village to help in planting. Third, farmers will hire labor from outside their village. These laborers perform some or all the agricultural operations. Some farmers prefer outside laborers because they usually will work on a particular task until it is completed. Local laborers may not always do this because they have their own fields to take care of. Various combinations of these three sources of labor are often used, depending on the availability of the labor, the monetary resources of the farmer, and the time limitations imposed by the task.
There are several types of labor arrangements. First, farmers may hire by piece work or the completion of a task for a given piece of land. The standard land unit is a mukhammas (1.73 feddans or 1.80 acres), and laborers will be paid for the number of these units they complete. For instance, a laborer will be hired to do the first weeding on a farmer's field. He will be paid a specified amount according to how many mukhammas he has weeded. Farmers usually pay by mukhammas for those operations for which time constraints are not that important. These sometimes include planting before rains (rameel), first and second weeding, and the cutting of millet and sorghum. In addition, outside labor is usually hired by mukhammas. The two reasons given by farmers for this practice are that: 1)-outside laborers usually work until the job is completed; and 2) less supervision of somewhat untrustworthy laborers is required than if they were paid by the time worked.41
38This could be another substance or a technique.
39Not all the data collected on labor have been fully analyzed, so they will
not be presented in this report. This information will be addressed in
detail in our final report.
40
Common rule of thumb among farmers in this area is that crops will successfully germinate if they are planted within three days after a rain.
41There is a general mistrust of outside laborers, because farmers believe
that such laborers would attempt to take advantage of a time-based wage
arrangement since it is to their benefit to take longer to complete the task.




-41
Sometimes farmers pay wages for work done within a specified time period. There are several of these types of arrangements, depending on the length of time worked. Morning wage work (7-11 a.m.) is locally referred to as daHwa. Wage work done in the late afternoon (3-6 p.m.) is called sarba. A full days work for wages is called yoomiya. Farmers hire laborers on a time basis when time constraints are critical to the successful completion of tasks. Labor is hired on a daily basis for planting after rains (nadaaya), and cutting sesame. Inside village laborers are usually hired by such arrangements because they are more readily available at times of peak labor demand. Farmers also feel more comfortable hiring laborers from their own villages in this manner because they believe kinsmen are more trustworthy than outsiders.
A third type of wage arrangement found in this area involves paying a negotiated lump-sum of money for completing a task. This arrangement is referred to as guwaal. For instance, farmers will sometimes hire labor to cut the millet in a field. A total price for the completed job is agreed upon before the work begins. Another task which is usually paid by a guwaal arrangement is the tapping of gum trees. Farmers often pay an agreed sum of money to tap all the gum arabic trees in their gum gardens. A third task which is done by this arrangement is land clearing. Farmers will negotiate a price for clearing a field of crop residue and the small bushes and trees. Outside labor is commonly hired by guwaal, but occasionally inside village labor is hired on this basis as well.
A fourth type of wage arrangement used by these farmers is to pay
laborers for the quantity of threshed grain. The standard used for measuring output is a sack (shuwaal or reeka), and a specified rate is paid for each sack produced. For instance, laborers threshing groundnuts will be paid so much for each sack. Millet and sorghum threshing also are paid by the sack (reeka). Inside village labor is often hired by this arrangement, although we have found instances where outside labor was paid in this manner.
A fifth type of wage arrangement involves in-kind payment for work
performed. Women are often paid in this manner for winnowing sesame, millet and sorghum. These women receive a small portion of the harvested crop for their services. This form of arrangement has a long established tradition in this area, and is practiced by most farmers.
Hiring-in labor is a common practice. Seventy-three percent of these farmers hired-in some labor to aid them in their farming operations (29 of 40).42 Comparing hiring practices across the three villages, El Geifil and El Kharta had equally high percentages of farmers hiring-in labor (80%), while Umm Ramad had somewhat less (60%).
These findings indicate that wage labor is a critical input in crop production in this region. Wage labor may have displaced communal work
42Farmers had to pay out more than 5 L.S. before they were considered labor
employers.




-42
groups in recent years as a primary source of labor. Nowadays, communal labor activities most often occur in times of extreme need, such as providing aid to a family following the death or illness of one of its members, or helping a poor farmer harvest a crop which matured too quickly and otherwise would be lost. However, communal work arrangements are still important for poor farmers in millet threshing. These farmers use communal labor for threshing because: 1) the work is too difficult for one farmer to do; 2) they usually can't afford the costs of hiring labor to thresh their crop; and 3) the timing of threshing is such that other farmers are available to help. In fact, to ensure the availability of labor farmers will often wait to thresh their millet until all other competing activities are finished. For this reason, poor farmers who use communal labor in threshing millet will not start until the end of December or even the first of January. Except for millet threshing, however, communal labor is rarely used in farm operations.
Some farmers in our sample worked for wages for other farmers; however, this pattern was not as prevalent as hiring-in. Twenty-eight percent of the farmers surveyed had worked for pay. This estimate may be too low because some farmers refused to acknowledge working for others.43 Umm Ramad had the largest percentage of farmers who reported working for pay TYTq followed by El Geifil (30%), and El Kharta (20%). Only two farmers in our sample were hiring-in labor as well as-Whiring their labor out.
One detrimental consequence of working off the farm for pay is that the worker's own fields suffer from lack of attention. Several farmers we interviewed who worked for wages on other farmers' fields were not able to do the second weeding of their own crops. This has the effect of lowering their own production. As a result, these farmers are forced to rely on wage labor and loans from merchants year after year because they cannot sustain a livelihood from fields which receive insufficient labor input. This cyclic pattern appears typical of many poor farmers in the area. The only solution to this problem involves breaking this pattern by allowing
farmers to allocate their labor to their own fields. One way of doing this is to institute programs which release farmers from the necessity of selling labor to others. Some suggestions for such programs will be discussed later in this report.
Labor Costs
Labor costs are an important constraint to crop production in this area. To better understand this, we calculated the average total labor cost per mukhammas to grow each of the main crops.44 Bearing in mind the difficulties
43 In several cases, we discovered later that some farmers' responses were
inaccurate or incomplete. This reluctance to acknowledge working for other
farmers is due to a common belief that such activities reflect a person's
poverty. Farmers in this area are very proud people, and want to be viewed
as self-reliant rather than dependent on others.
Thmis calculation was made by adding up the total costs for planting, replanting, first and second weeding, cutting and threshing and dividing this total
by the number of mukharmmas planted in the crop.




-43
in accurately determining the labor costs of Door farmers who rely heavily on family labor, we opted to base these calculations on only those farmers who paid for all labor operations necessary to grow these crops. Although it is possible that these calculations slightly over-estimate the cost of labor for poor farmers, they provide a basis upon which to compare each of the crops grown.
Table 14. Labor Expenditure Per Mukhammas by Crop
Type of Crop Average Total Labor Costs Range
millet 20.69 L.S. 14.00 L.S. 27.22 L.S.
(n=10)
sesame 20.50 L.S. 17.80 L.S. 24.65 L.S.
(n=11)
groundnuts 33.45 L.S. 27.41 L.S. 38.30 L.S.
(n=7)
sorghum 21.22 L.S. 18.33 L.S. 23.20 L.S.
(n=4)
The findings in Table 14 indicate that the average total labor cost per mukhammas to grow millet was about the same as it was for sesame and sorghum. Farmers were investing about 21 L.S. a mukhammas on labor when they grew any one of these crops. These findings made s-ense because the spacing pattern used by farmers in planting these crops is nearly the same, and therefore weeding costs would be similar. It also appears that threshing costs were not that much different.
As for groundnuts, the average total labor cost per mukhammas was much higher than it was for the other crops. Farmers were spendT-ig 33.45 L.S. a mukhammas on labor for groundnuts. This was approximately 12.50 L.S. more than for the other crops. This high average labor expenditure is due to the closer planting of groundnuts than other crops, which means that planting takes more time and effort. Likewise, weeding groundnuts takes more time and effort. Therefore, the cash investment required to grow groundnuts was quite high when compared to the other crops, which could explain why farmers tended to plant smaller plots of this crop.
The next step was to determine what the farmer gained in output from his labor investment in each crop. Therefore, the average output gained from each crop was calculated. The following discussion presents our findings on crop output.
Crop Output
To determine the average yield per mukhammas for each crop, we took the total number of sacks produced in a crop and divided by the number of mukhammas planted in that crop.




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Table 15. Yields of Principal Crops
Type of Crop Average Yield (sacks) Range (sacks)
Millet 1.14 0.00 3.00
(n=38)
Sesame 1.06 0.04 2.10
(n=37)
Sorghum 1.09 0.14 3.00
(n=11)
Groundnuts 6.58 1.67 15.83
(n=19)
The average yield per mukhammas for millet was nearly the same as that for sesame and sorghum (Table-T5). All three crops yielded slightly more than one sack a mukhammas. As for groundnuts, the average yield was 6.58 sacks per mukhamma-s.
Despite the seemingly high output for groundnuts, these yields are
quite low and reflect the adverse environmental conditions farmers face in this region of North Kordofan. Insufficient rain, poor soil conditions, and numerous pests hurt production. It also is adversely affected by poor seed quality, the lack of pesticides, and insufficient labor. Given the situation these farmers find themselves in, their ability to make a living from farming is amazing.
Estimated Net Cash Gained Per Mukldammas for Each Crop
To determine what farmers net gain in earnings was after labor expenditures were deducted, we divided the average value of crop produced by the average total labor cost. This ratio indicated the amount of cash gained from crop output for every unit of cash invested in labor.45 Crop output was converted to cash by using an average market price for a sack of the crop and multiplying this by the average yield for that crop. The market prices we used were averages of the 1981-1982 crop prices of the El Obeid Government Crop Market.46
Analysis indicates that for every L.S. a farmer put into labor to grow millet, he received an average of 1.87 L.S. in return at current market prices (Table 16). This was the highest rate of return to labor for any of the crops grown. Farmers were making 18.07 L.S. for every mukhammas of millet they grew after total labor costs were deducted. Although most farmers didn't sell their millet, this is a good indication of the value of this crop to them. The millet would have been even more profitable if farmers could consistently produce two or three sacks per mukhammas. Such yields were not uncommon in this area. In addition, farmers Eo-uld generate more revenue from their
45The calculation of this ratio excludes the costs of other inputs like seed
and chemical inputs. Compared to labor costs, these other input costs are
minimal.
46These crop prices have been collected two days a week for the past six months.




Table 16. Rate of Return by Crop
(3) (4)
(1) (2) Average Rate of (5)
Average Average Total Labor Monetary Gain Net Cash
Yield Per El Obeid Cost Per (1) x (2) Per
Crop Mukhammas Price Mukhammas (3) Mukhammas
Millet 1.14 34.00 L.S. 20.69 L.S. 1.87 18.07 L.S.
Sesame 1.06 32.22 L.S. 20.50 L.S. 1.66 13.65 L.S.
Groundnuts 6.58 8.90 L.S. 33.45 L.S. 1.75 25.11 L.S.
Sorghum 1.09 23.50 L.S. 21.22 L.S. 1.21 4.40 L.S.




-46
millet crop by selling the stalks for building materials. Thus, the high cash value of millet, its use as a building material and its desireability as a basic foodstuff explain farmers' interest in growing it.
As for sesame, farmers were receiving 1.66 L.S. for every L.S. spent on
labor. This is a lower ratio than for millet. According to our figures, only 13.65 L.S. were gained by farmers for every mukhammas in sesame they grew when labor expenditures were subtracted. This cash gain when compared with that of millet does not seem great enough to account for its importance as a crop. However, there are several reasons for farmers' preference for sesame despite its lower cash gain: 1) it is one of the few cash crops that will grow in the area; 2) it has fewer major pests than millet; and 3) sesame is used as a source of savings to help reserve cash for labor expenditures during the cropping season. For these reasons, sesame is well integrated into the cropping patterns of this area and will continue to be grown.
Farmers who grew groundnuts received a better return for their labor
than they did for sesame. For every L.S. they spent on labor, they received
1.75 L.S. in return. The rate of return for groundnuts was second only to millet. Of greater importance, however, is that for every mukhammas in groundnuts, a farmer received 25.11 L.S. after total labor costs were deducted. This was the highest cash sum gained of any of the crops. Although these figures indicate that groundnuts are worth growing, the initial labor investment is a prohibiting factor. The high labor costs restrict most farmers (except better-off farmers) from growing large plots of groundnuts. This limitation accounts for the small plots of this cash crop commonly found in this area.
Of all the crops grown, sorghum had the lowest return to labor. Our findings indicate that farmers only received 1.21 L.S. for every L.S. they invested in labor at current market prices. Farmers only gained 4.40 L.S. over labor costs for every mukhammas of sorghum they grew.47 Clearly the profit ratio does not provide a satisfactory explanation for the extensive cultivation of sorghum in Umm Pamad.
What must be taken into consideration is the importance of sorghum in beer manufacture. Much of the sorghum grown in Umm Ramad is used for the production of beer, which greatly increases the value of the crop. Homemade beer from sorghum is sold at considerably higher rate of return than sorghum sold in the market, so farmers increase their cash gains considerably. Sorghum also is an important source of cattle fodder. These factors explain the extensive cultivation of sorghum in villages like Umm Ramad.
47This figure was based on the average current price of one of the more
expensive white sorghums (dabar) sold in the El Obeid Crop market. If
the average price of feterita were used instead, the calculations for the
return to labor would show a net loss of 51 piasters per mukhammas. The locally grown white sorghum (zunaari abyad) is preferred as a human food
over feterita. The villagers regard its quality to be comparable to dabar.




* -47Taking into consideration the uncertainty of output and cash gained per
mukhammas for all crops grown in this area, it is our assessment that farmers
* ar e living at the margin. For this reason, they find it necessary to pursue
other income generating strategies to meet minimal household needs. Animal
husbandry, off-farm labor pursuits, and other economic enterprises help
supplement these farmers' meager earnings from cropping activities. These
other sources of income are the topic of the following discussion.
Animal Husbandry
Animals play an important part in the farming system of this region.
Ninety-three percent (37 of 40) of the farmers in our sample owned animals.
The various types commonly owned include cattle, sheep, goats, donkeys,
camels, horses and poultry.48 Table 17 presents the average number of these
* animals owned by farmers and their respective ranges.49
Table 17. Average Number of Animals Owned by Type of Beast (n=40)
Type of Animal Average Number Range
Cattle 5.8 0-60
Sheep 6.4 0-120
*Goats 6.3 0-50
Donkeys 1.0 0-6
Camels < 1.0 0-2
Horses < 1.0 0-3
Farmers own an average of six cattle, sheep and goats each. As for donkeys,
the average was one per farmer. Camel and/or horse ownership was far less
common, as indicated by the averages of less than one.
But animals are not evenly distributed among farmers. In particular,
cattle, sheep and goats are unequally distributed.
48 Although poultry such as chickens and pigeons are commonly owned by most
farmers in this area, accurate figures of these are difficult to obtain.
For this reason they will be excluded from our analysis.
49Farmers are very reluctant to report the number of animals they have because
of their belief in the evil eye. So the figures presented here are approximations which probably underestimate the actual number.




-48
Table 18. Distribution of Farmers by Type of Animal Owned
None 1- 5 6 -10 More thanlO0
Type of Animal Freg. % Freg. % Freg. % Freg. %
Cattle 18 45 13 33 2 5 7 18
Sheep 32 80 2 5 2 5 4 10
Goats 8 20 15 38 10 25 7 18
Don keys 15 38 24 60 1 2 0 0
Camel s 32 80 8 20 0 0 0 0
Horses 37 93 3 7 0 0 0 0
Analysis shows that 55 percent (22 of 40) of the farmers owned cattle (Table 18). Of these thirteen owned five or less cattle while two owned six to ten. Seven farmers in our sample were relatively big cattle owners, owning more than ten each. The largest owner had sixty cattle. Major differences also were found among the three villages. Umm Ramad had the largest percentage of cattle owners (12 of 15 or 80%), followed by El Geifil (5 of 10 or 50%) and El Kharta (5 of 15 or 33%). In addition, most of the big cattle owners were living in Umm Ramad (5 of 7).
Two reasons can be given for the high percentage of cattle owners in Umm Ramad. First, this village has a permanent source of water, and cattle can be watered near the village year-round. Second, environmental conditions are such that food and cash crops can be grown which also serve as fodder sources. One such crop is sorghum. The clayey soils around Umm Ramad favor the cultivation of this crop. Nine of twelve cattle owners from this village plant sorghum in separate stands, and are most likely using these fields to graze their animals. These cattle owners are also probably growing groundnuts, which can be used as a source of fodder as well. The leaves and stems are used for this purpose. Given these resources, the prevalence of cattle rearing in Umm Ramad is understandable. The other two villages do not have access to the same favorable conditions, consequently, fewer cattle are maintained.
Although slightly more than half of the farmers in our sample owned
some cattle, the majority owned very few. This is primarily because cattle are relatively expensive, and few farmers can afford to invest in them. This is especially true of poor farmers. Likewise, the lack of resources such as the availability of water and/or fodder can act as constraints to cattle rearing. Thus, cattle ownership is not a viable option for most farmers in this area. Fortunately, this has beneficial environmental consequences considering the susceptibility of this region to overgrazing and desert encroachment.
As for sheep, only eight farmers owned sheep (20%). Two owned one to five sheep while two others owned six to ten. Four farmers owned more than ten sheep. The largest owner had one-hundred twenty sheep.




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From these findings, it seems that the more successful farmers are
investing in sheep since half the owners had more than ten. Sheep are
* expensive animals when compared to goats and most poor farmers cannot afford
them. This explains why few farmers own sheep. Only the wealthier farmers
have the resources to rear sheep.
Most sheep owners live in Umm Ramad (7 of 8). Only one lives in El Kharta
and none live in El Geifil.* As with cattle, sheep are easier to maintain in
Umm Ramad because of the permanent water source and the availability of fodder.
The lack of these resources make sheep rearing more difficult in the other two villages. In fact, the sheep owner in El Kharta is forced to graze his
sheep to the south of El Obeid where fodder and water are more abundant.
Although few farmers owned sheep, the majority did own goats. Eighty
percent (32 of 40) of the farmers interviewed owned a few goats., Fifteen
owned one to five goats, while ten had six to ten. Only seven farmers had more than ten goats. The largest number of goats owned by a single farmer
was fifty.
The majority of the farmers had less than ten goats. This is because
most households only keep a few goats to provide milk for consumption,
primarily for their tea. Aside from their milk, goats also serve as one
of the main meat sources for the households. For many farmers goats
represent a meat reserve to fall back on when cash is in short supply and
the household cannot afford to purchase meat.
The main reasons for the large percentage of farmers who maintain goats
are, first, goats are relatively inexpensive when compared to sheep and
cattle, so poorer farmers can afford them. Second, goats are very adaptable
animals and can subsist on a wide range of plant resources which other animals cannot. Therefore, fodder is less a constraint for goat rearing than
it is for cattle and sheep. Unfortunately, the fact that goats can eat
nearly anything has detrimental consequences for the environment. Goats
denude the landscape of what little foliage there is, which contributes to
wind erosion and desert encroachment. Ironically, their ability to adapt to adverse environmental conditions leads to the worsening of these conditions.
Donkeys are another important animal to the farming system of this area.
Sixty-three percent of the farmers surveyed had a donkey. Most of these owners did not have more than one although one rich farmer did have six.
Farmers' use of donkeys for hauling and transportation make it an
important asset. However, not all farmers own a donkey. Many poor farmers cannot afford to buy one although they frequently may borrow a donkey from
a relative when one is needed. Also, farmers who own camels have little
need for donkeys because camels perform the same functions.
As for camels, only eight of the farmers surveyed owned one. Four of
these farmers owned one each while the other four owned two each. Four of
these owners were from El Kharta, three from Umm Ramad and one was from
El Geifil. Very few farmers own a camel because they are an expensive




-50
investment. 49a Those farmers who do invest in camels use them in income generating activities such as hauling crops, oil presses, and hauling wood, charcoal and millet stalks for sale.
Horses are rarely found in most of the villages around El Obeid. Only three farmers in our sample owned a horse. All three of them were from Umm Ramad. One of these farmers had three horses, but this was quite unusual. Horses are most frequently used to pull the carts (kaaroo) on which crops, water, building materials or other supplies are transported. Several of these carts are in use in Umm Ramad. The other two villages do not have such carts nor the horses to pull them. They rely on camels and donkeys for such services.
The extent to which farmers are investing in animals is worth noting. Such investrfients are considered a form of savings. For instance, when a farmer's crops do poorly, he can rely on his animals to help him get through a bad year. In addition to being a source of meat or milk, income obtained from animal sales can be used to purchase foodstuffs and other household commodities. Thus, animal investment is another strategy followed by farmers to help deal with the uncertainty imposed on them by their environment. Unfortunately, the long term effects of this short term strategy are detrimental to the environment, and are increasing the danger of desert encroachment. Overgrazing has become such a severe problem that it can no longer be overlooked. Steps should be taken as soon as possible to impress on farmers the need for better range management practices. This should be done in conjunction with the introduction of proper crop rotation practices. Otherwise, environmental degradation will continue on its present course.
Although many farmers are investing in animals, such a strategy is not a viable option for poor farmers with limited resources. These farmers must rely on other means to supplement their meager farm incomes. The following discussion will focus on some of these alternatives.
Migration
One alternative farmers pursue to supplement their incomes is to migrate to other areas for seasonal work. In 40 percent of the forty farm families someone had migrated for seasonal employment, and this included nine of the farmers. Half of these migrants left their villages for employment in El Obeid (8), while the rest migrated to places like Khartoum (2), Habila (2), Gezira (2), Rahad (1) and Wad Medani (1). El Geifil had the greatest number of migrants (5 of 10 or 50%) followed by Umm Ramad (6 of 15 or 40%) and El Kharta (5 of 15 or 33%).
The usual pattern for those who migrate is to wait till the harvest is through for all crops then to leave beginning in late December or early January.50 They usually return at the end of May or early June in time to
49a Several informants mentioned buying camels from nomads passing near their
village as a way of acquiring an animal cheaply, but in such cases the
camel sometimes was weak or sick so that it died in the first year that
the farmer owned it.
50 Some farmers left as early as November or as late as March; however, the usual time for migration was around January.




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begin clearing fields and to start planting when the rains come. Many of
these migrants get jobs as construction workers in the cities like El Obeid
or Khartoum, or they work as farm laborers on the mechanized agricultural
schemes picking cotton or cutting sorghum. Although a few migrants are
employed in skilled professions like tailoring or shoe manufacture and
repair, most work as unskilled laborers.
In addition to gaining income, many farmers migrate because of severe
water shortages in their villages. This is one of the key factors in
farmers' decisions to migrate. Unable to afford the high costs of water
during the dry season ,51 farmers may take their entire family with them or
go by themselves and make arrangements to supply water to those members
who stay behind. This may involve sending money home periodically or
* leaving enough revenue behind to meet these expenses. Thus, water availability has a strong influence on migration patterns.
The income derived from migration is a valuable input into the household economy of many poor farmers. It helps supplement farm revenues,
especially during years of poor crop production. Therefore, seasonal
migration for employment plays an important role in the farming system
of this region.
Monetary Gifts from Relatives Living Elsewhere
Another source of funds to supplement farm incomes is money sent home
from relatives living in other places. About one-fourth of the farmers (9 of 40) in our sample received money in this fashion. The amount of
money received varied from 30 L.S. to 450 L.S. a year. In about half the
cases, sons sent money home to fathers, while the rest involved brothers
sending money to brothers. Often the largest sum was sent during the rainy
season to help pay for labor expenditures. Umm Ramad had the largest number
of farmers receiving money from relatives (6 of 15 or 40%), followed by
El Geifil (2 of 10 or 20%) and El Kharta (1 of 15 or 7%).
To implement this strategy, many farmers realize that well-paid relatives living elsewhere and education are closely linked. Many government
jobs or other relatively high paying professions require some education;
at least primary school. Therefore, if families wish to have one of their
members in such a position they have to allow them to receive the necessary
training. Once this member receives the appropriate training and secures a good job, he can start supplementing the family income through periodic
monetary gifts.
It is perhaps with this strategy in mind that many of the farmers in
our sample are encouraging some of their children to obtain an education.
In most cases, they only send a couple of children to receive such training,
while the rest contribute their labor to farm activities., Given their limited resources and dependency on family labor, the inability of poor farmers to educate more than one or two is understandable. But, such a
strategy can pay off in the long run if these children can secure positions
which enable them to give some financial assistance to the family.
511In El Kharta the price of water sold from private cisterns was 35 plasters
a ti'nabout four gallons). This price was starting to force many farmers
to migrate to El Obeid because they couldn't afford it.




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Selling Charcoal and/or Wood
Another activity of some farmers to gain additional income is the selling of charcoal and/or wood. Twenty-two percent (8 of 37) of the farmers in our sample were involved with such activities. Almost all of them (7 of 8) produced charcoal for sale, while half also sold wood for building material. Only one farmer sold firewood.52 Most of these farmers (6 of 8) had either a donkey or a camel to haul their wood or charcoal, however, two farmers relied on borrowed or rented animals to do the hauling.
Although the selling of charcoal and/or wood is a way of supplementing the family income, many farmers view this strategy as a last resort. This is especially true of charcoal manufacture. Many of the charcoal producers we interviewed considered this activity hard, nasty work and if they had a choice, they wouldn't do it. Exceptions to this were some camel owners who found it profitable to sell charcoal in urban areas like El Obeid. They willingly pursued such activities. Thus, the farmers who are doing this are either poor and/or camel owners.
Other Types of Income Generating Activities
A number of other activities help supplement farm incomes. These include regular off-farm occupations as well as income generating capital investments. For instance, farmers may be employed by the government as guards, clerks, school teachers or other school employees, policemen, medical assistants, mill operators, etc. Or they may work in the private sector for merchants, truck owners, mill owners, and bakery owners. The number of these employment opportunities which are available to farmers is highly dependent upon the size and institutional development of their village.
In addition to off-farm occupations, some farmers are investing in capital intensive enterprises to gain additional income. The particular investments heavily depend on how much cash they have at their disposal. Some of the enterprises in which they commonly invest include shops, trucks, bakeries, flour mills, oil presses, cisterns, wells, camels for transport, and hauling carts (kaaroo). Due to the resource requirements of such investments, it is only the wealthier farmers who can do this.
From a farming systems perspective, all of the alternative strategies farmers use to supplement their farm income are very important. Given the uncertainty of the environment, farmers cannot always depend on the output gained from cropping activities to meet their minimal household needs. Therefore, they find it necessary to rely on additional income sources to help meet these needs, such as wage labor for other farmers, animal husbandry, migration, monetary gifts from relatives, off-farm occupations and capital intensive enterprises. Which of these strategies farmers pursue and how they combine these with their cropping activities vary from one farmer to the next.
It has been the purpose of this section of the report to discuss the preliminary findings of the initial farming systems survey conducted in the El Obeid region of North Kordofan up to March, 1982. Our aim was to present
52 Firewood collection is usually done by women of the household.




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an overview of the demographic characteristics of households, land tenure and land use patterns, cropping patterns, agricultural inputs and outputs, animal husbandry and other income generating strategies which farmers pursue to supplement farm incomes. The next section will focus on the marketing component of the farming system which heavily influences all major economic decisions farmers make.




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Part II. SOME FEATURES OF MARKETING IN EL-OBEID AREA
An assumption of this study is that marketing poses both incentives and constraints for farmers. Consequently, a farming system analysis cannot neglect the influence of market phenomena. The first research report characterized the relationship between marketing and the farming system in the following terms: (1) The marketing system provisions the farm household with most of its consumption requirements as well as with farm inputs like seeds, seed dressing, insecticides and agricultural tools. The village shop is the source of most consumption goods that are purchased by farming families and is also an important source--but not the only one--for obtaining technical farm inputs. (2) The prices, or anticipated prices, of agricultural products have far-reaching effects on the selection of crops which farmers plant. One evidence of this in recent years is the shift back to producing more millet for subsistence and relatively less cash crops. This change has come about owing to the steady increase in the price of sorghum that is being shipped to the el-Obeid area from the mechanized farming schemes. Another example is the fluctuation in the amount of land planted in groundnuts in relation to the price that this crop will bring in international markets.
In addition, (3) it is appropriate to look at credit as a market
phenomenon. Village merchants are accustomed to making loans in cash and in kind. Market forces determine the terms of repayment and the rate of interest. The characteristically high interest rates that rural creditors charge are due to several factors. At the season when the demand for credit is highest (about one month before harvest), the supply of credit is low because the merchant's funds are tied up in hiring agricultural labor. Another factor contributing to high interest rates on loans is that the merchant is a local monopolist. He faces very limited competition from other merchants in the same village. On the contrary, the usual practice is for merchants to divide the village into clienteles, each family doing business with a particular merchant and taking loans from him as well. Finally, since defaults do occur, the high interest rate protects the lender' s investment. (4) Non-farm market related roles (e.g., shopkeeping, oil milling, charcoal making and selling, beer making, truck driving, camel transport) provide a second source of income to many farming families.
Such occupations confer a strong advantage to these families in meeting seasonal cash flow requirements. A shop is ideal because it brings an income throughout the year. Moreover, the shopkeeper may feed his family directly from his provisions. Other occupations are performed on a seasonal basis. Many of these take place in the hot, dry season and have a definite significance for farming. The dry-season occupation provides income for the farm family to purchase food and water daily while reserving their cash crop (usually sesame) as a savings. The sesame is sold late in the market season (March-June) and the profit is used to buy animals and feterita and to finance planting and weeding operations for the coming cropping season.
When Report No. 1 was written the study of marketing had only just begun. No attempt was made at that time to sketch the marketing system. Instead, we described the role of the village shopkeeper and the operation of the government crop market at Abu Haraz. In the present report, the aim is to present an overview of rural marketing.




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Research Methods and Data Collection
The sources of the data for the marketing side of the study are two:
documentary evidence contained in government tax receipts for crop and livestock sales and ethnographic material obtained through observations and interviews. We have collected information about crop sales using government tax receipts for Abu Haraz market and Umm Ramad market. We also have collected from tax receipts information about livestock sales at Abu Haraz market. Before the project ends we will attempt to collect the same data for the crop and livestock markets at Kazgeil. Bi-weekly sales data have been gathered from the government crop market at el-Obeid, and we are keeping a bi-weekly record of grain prices at the urban grain market, which is in the hands of private merchants. Finally, we have collected prices of a market basket of goods sold at village shops and have comparable prices of the same goods at Abu Jahal Market in el-Obeid.53 We have also mapped the distribution and characteristics of shopkeepers and periodic vendors at three villages Abu Haraz, Umm Ramad and el-Geifil.
It proved impractical to devote equal time to collecting data about marketing in each village in the sample of fifteen villages. One reason for this is that the marketing system was found to be far more complex than we initially supposed. To deal with this we were obliged to concentrate attention on four marketing centers chosen for their heterogeneity. Seven of the fifteen villages in our sample have a designated area where a periodic market takes place (Table 19). Of these seven, six villages have a registered government crop market. The seventh village has a market square surrounded by shops but lacks a crop market. Two of the villages with crop markets also have registered government livestock markets.
Table 19. Market Villages in the Study Sample
Name of Village Periodic Market Crop Market Livestock Market
Abu Haraz yes yes yes
Kazgeil yes yes yes
Ayara yes yes no
Umm Ramad yes yes no
el-Geifil yes yes no
Umm Kuka yes yes no
Bengedid yes no no
53Villagers prefer to buy in Abu Jahal when they are visting el-Obeid.
Prices are lower than at el-Obeid main market.




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The remaining eight villages in the sample of fifteen lack a formally instituted market place. Here marketing is parceled among the economic functions of the village shop, the flour mill, and the oil press as well as the roles of assemblers and crop-buying agents living in the village and outside.
In choosing a small sample of marketing centers for intensive research it was desirable to represent as much variation as possible; but it was also important, because only one vehicle was available to the project,54 to coordinate the market research with the farming production and household economy study. The latter was being carried out in three villages--el-Kharta, el-Geifil and Umm Ramad--which were selected as representative of different soil types, rainfall patterns, agricultural practices and community services. Fortunately, from the viewpoint of marketing these three villages showed a lot of the diversity we were seeking. Umm Ramad has a rather large market place and its crop market operates on the mizaan (weight) and dalaala (auction) system.5 El-Geifil is a small marketing center struggling against competition from neighboring markets, owing to its location on the boundary of two administrative districts. Unlike Umm Ramad, el-Geifil crop market is not operated on the basis of weighing crops but instead the weight and value of the crop for purposes of assessing taxes is estimated. This system is called shiishna (estimation).56 It does not entail the use of an auction procedure. IT-Kharta differs greatly from both Umm Ramad and el-Geifil. It has eight shops scattered among its households and there is a flour mill and several cisterns where water is stored for sale. Although it lacks an identifiable market place, el-Kharta is an important marketing center for smaller neighboring villages. To understand why this is so, one needs to realize that the headman of the village owns a market lorry and his sons and grandson are merchants and crop buyers.
These three villages give a good indication of many of the variables
that have to be dealt with in studying rural markets in the el-Obeid region, but still lacking in this sample is a big rural market with both a crop market and a livestock market. The need for a marketing center of this type has been filled by selecting Abu Haraz as the fourth village in the sample. Abu Haraz is one of the largest rural markets in the area. During the rainy season it is visited by great numbers of nomads who migrate north from South Kordofan. Moreover, the Abu Haraz crop market exercises hegemony over crop prices in Umm Ramad. Umm Ramad is within the rural council district of Abu Haraz. Merchants from Abu Haraz make "raids" on Umm Ramad crop market and are able to bid prices which are uneconomic for Umm Ramad's local merchants.
Another reason for limiting our study to only four market villages was to develop rapport with our informants, the merchants. As a general rule,
54We later solved this problem to some extent by using market lorries as
transportation.
55This system is described below.
56The shiishna system is described below.




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we found merchants to be somewhat reticent about their business dealings.
This means that we had to interview the same merchant on repeated occasions
until he had taken the measure of us and a relationship of candor had been
developed. We knew that we had broken through our informant's reserve if he would explain smuggling methods to us. Of course, we never got that far with
a number of merchants, but we did with some.
A problem, which is related to that of rapport-building and which we
confronted in interviewing merchants, was to select an optimum time for
meeting informants. We found that the best times were early in the morning
and late in the evenings. Typically, the merchant opens his shop around
7:30 or 8:00 a.m. It remains open until mid-afternoon, at which time the
merchant may go home--after locking up--for lunch and a nap. The shop opens
* again for several hours in the evening. Interviewing a merchant on detailed
issues is not very productive during the period from mid-morning to mid-afternoon, because the merchant is busy looking after customers at this time.57
Also, he may be reluctant to discuss his business with his customers in
earshot. The evening is an especially good time to interview because merchants like to gather in front of their shops for tea and conversation.
Four interview forms are being used in the market study: (1) an inventory
of marketing services, which is being administered in all villages; (2) an
interview of village merchants (social characteristics, career history, capital assets, description of business activities including crop buying and loans,
farming activities); (3) an interview addressed to periodic vendors (social
characteristics, residence, stock-in-trade, sources of goods, price mark-ups,
attendance at markets, farming activities); (4) an interview addressed to market visitors (social characteristics, occupation, residence, sales and
purchases, frequency of visits to market, other markets visited). The original
plan to carry out a systematic survey in all markets with these interview
instruments proved to be too ambitious. The modified objectives that are now
being sought are to conduct the market service survey in all villages in the
sample and to carry out a survey of merchants in all villages.58 The previous
plan was to carry out the merchant survey from December to February, but this
timing was found to be inappropriate for gathering data about crop marketing
because the season continues from late October until April and May .59 A
systematic survey of periodic vendors and market visitors is no longer planned
due to the time constraints and limited research personnel. These interview
schedules are being used to assemble a sample of 15 to 20 case studies of each
57This is an excellent time to make observations of the shop's operations,
however. One is quickly made aware of how farm produce is a substitute
for cash and how the merchant is continuously making small commodity loans
to his customers, recording the merchandise and its value in a notebook.
58A 50% sample of merchants in each village would total about sixty-five
interviews. In villages which have only one shop, the merchant is always
included in the sample.
59The merchant survey was postponed, therefore, until April and May, 1982.




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kind of informant. Some of the case studies are presented below in talking about periodic vendors.
An Overview of Marketing in the Study Area
A quick grasp on rural marketing is gained from a consideration of the village-level media through which market exchanges occur. In the previous research report only two of these--the merchant's shop and the government crop market60--were singled out. Research carried out since the last report was completed leads us to identify a number of important marketing institutions.
Village Shop
This category includes, besides the ubiquitous grocery store, the flour mill and the bakery. As the previous report indicated, the village shop is responsible for the day to day provisioning of village households. It is the first-line buyer of many of the goods which are produced by the household. It is also a source of credit to the household, particularly late in the farming season before the grain can be harvested--a period when many farming families lack income to purchase their consumption needs. Of considerable importance to crop marketing is shopkeeper's willingness to accept small quantities of sesame, groundnuts, roselle and gum arabic as payment for goods. Sesame and groundnuts are measured by the mid while roselle and gum arabic are weighed in rootls on the merchant's balance. The farmer who sells his crop in this manner receives less than he would at a government crop market but gains from the convenience of selling only enough of his crop to buy current requirements. There is the added convenience of not having to leave his own village when buying supplies. The merchant collects crops piecemeal in this manner, storing them in sacks inside his shop or burying them in a maVmuura until he is ready to sell, usually to an urban merchant's agent or directly to a crop agency at el-Obeid. These crop sales are not under the direct supervision of government tax collectors. This poses a serious problem to the rural councils, which depend on the tax revenues from crop sales. The movement of crops directly from the villages to the oil seed agencies in el-Obeid without payment of taxes is believed to be a widespread practice.
A list of commodities that are commonly sold in the village shop was reported in the first research report. Most families purchase foodstuffs from a shop every two or three days, if not every day. The items that are needed for meals every day are tea, coffee beans, sugar, sesame oil, onion and feterita.61 In Table 20 the comparative prices of these commodities at Abu Jahal (el-Obeid), Abu Haraz, and el-Geifil are listed.62
60The earlier report describes Abu Haraz market as typical of government crop
markets in the study area. It has since become evident that two major types of government crop markets exist and Abu Haraz market represents only one of
these types. See analysis below of the mizaan and shiishna systems.
61If the family has stored millet or sorghum from its own production it may,
depending on the season of the year, prefer to eat from its own stock rather
than purchase feterita from a shop.
62Data collected between 1/5/82 and 1/8/82 from one shop selected at each
location.




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Table 20. Comparison of Prices of Selected Food Products
at Abu Jahal (el-Obeid), Abu Haraz, and el-Geifil
Commodities Abu Jahal Abu Haraz el-Geifil
teaa 0.150/wagii9 0.120/wagii9 0.125/wagii9
coffee beans 0.190/wagii9 0.180/wagii9 0.180/wagii9
sugar 0.400/nus rootl 0.450/nus rootl 0.350/nus rootl
sesame oil 0.650/rootl 0.700/rool 0.700/rootl
feterita 0.700/mid 0.900/mid 0.900/mid
onion 0.250/rootl 0.200/rootl 0.250/rootl
Totals 2.340 2.550 2.505
aThe prices for tea are not fully comparable. The tea sold in the shop at Abu Jahal is Indian; the teas sold in Abu Haraz and el-Geifil are Ugandan.
Comparing the totals of the columns of figures which represent the market basket for each location, el-Obeid market prices are predictably lower than those found in either village, but the effective mark-up is not extreme-9% in the case of Abu Haraz and 7% in the case of el-Geifil. An impressionistic inspection of the rest of the market basket data which we have suggests that this pattern of moderate mark-up by village merchants generally holds true. Once on the shelf a commodity may remain several months before it is sold. Village merchants, of course, buy their stock from wholesalers and economize transportation costs by shipping crops to el-Obeid on the same truck that hauls the provisions they buy. In these cases, the earnings from crop sales provide the capital for restocking the shop. This activity of resowing earnings in new investments is called bighlib ("turning the money over").
A merchant depends on maintaining the goodwill of a clientele of regular customers. Subtle forms of competition develop between merchants, but anything so blatant as advertising is absent. For example, we found a merchant in Umm Ramad who had lowered the price of chewing gum and candy in an attempt to lure children away from the other shops. The implications of this ploy become clear when it is realized that children are important buyers of the household's daily needs. Merchants value customers who come from neighboring villages and compete for their business. This pattern stems from the fact that the presence in the village of a flour mill attracts families from neighboring villages to have their grain ground into flour once or twice per week. This provides the opportunity for the visitors to buy at village shops outside their own village. Merchants encourage this practice by showing the visitors their hospitality. It is usual to find a rukuuba (millet stalk shelter) adjacent to the shop where the travelers may rest in the shade. The merchant provides drinking water and perhaps tea or coffee. He may also offer groundnuts, wild fruits, or biscuits to snack on. If it




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is meal time, the visitors may be invited to join the merchant in eating 9asiida and mulaah,63 which has been prepared by the merchant's wife and carried to the shop by his children. Another kind of competition has to do with the merchant's readiness to make loans and his leniency on repayment. Indeed, it is scarcely an exaggeration to say that a merchant who fails to extend credit to his customers is soon bereft of his clientele. Still another form of competition is to offer customers a price for their cash crops which is slightly above the general price prevailing at the other shops in the village. All such strategies will be for naught if the merchant does not secure a dependable relationship with a truck owner to transport goods at a competitive price.64 Even if this requirement is met the merchant may still find that his costs press too hard to offer better prices to farmers for their crops. Precisely at this sticky point crop smuggling becomes attractive to many merchants: farmers receive better prices; merchants receive higher profits; excessive costs are charged to the government's lost revenues.
The commercial profiles of the smaller villages look much alike.
There is little diversity of function. Most of the shops primarily sell groceries. The storekeeper may operate a sewing machine in the winter season when families have money to spend and sell cloth. In the smaller villages, merchants may use their own shops to store the crops they buy in exchange for consumer goods but it is also common to have a separate storage building, usually a millet stalk shed or hut. Sometimes, several merchants share a storehouse together, or the owner rents space to other merchants. Often, however, money does not change hands in such arrangements. Merchants maintain generally good relations with one another and0 hold to the principle of "scratch my back and I'll scratch yours."
The contrast to this which a larger village presents is immediate and striking. Economic diversity increases as the village becomes larger. Table 21 illustrates this in a comparison of commercial structures at Abu Haraz and Umm Ramad markets. As the table shows Abu Haraz is developing an almost urban character with many specialized shops. It is also interesting to note that the biggest merchant in the village has no agricultural holdings. His earnings come entirely from his shop, crop buying, livestock and his trucks. Umm Ramad represents more nearly the norm for a large village market. The economic diversity of commercial structures does not extend to service trades (e.g., radio repair, barber, carpenter) as seen at Abu Haraz. Further evidence of the urban character of Abu Haraz can be gleaned from the fact that 25% of the storage buildings and 277 of the grocery and grocery/cloth shops are not owner-occupied but rented. By contrast in the more rural Umm Ramad, only 16% of the storage buildings and 12% of the grocery and grocery/cloth shops are rented rather than owner-occupied. It should also be noted that absentee landlords of commercial buildings are more prevalent in Abu Haraz than in Umm Ramad.
63 The most common dish of this rural area. 9asiida is a thick porridge made
from millet or sorghum. Mulaah is a sauce made from meat, whey or cowpeas.
64 Wealthy merchants solve the problem by buying their own truck.




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Table 21. Commercial Structures at Abu Haraz and Umm Ramad Markets Abu Haraz Umm Ramad
Use No. % No. %
Grocery 16 15.7 13 31.7
Grocery/Cloth 14 13.7 4 9.8
Storage 28 27.5 19 46.3
Coffee Shop 19 18.6 0 0.0
Bakery 6 5.9 1 2.4
Flour Mill 2 2.0 1 2.4
Tailor 3 2.9 0a 0.0
Utensils 2 2.0 0 0.0
Grain Merchant 1 1.0 0 0.0
Butcher's Stand 1 1.0 1 2.4
Radio Repair 1 1.0 0 0.0
Barber 1 1.0 0 0.0
Carpenter 1 1.0 0 0.0
Cloth/Utensils 1 1.0 0 0.0
Crop Merchant's 1 1.0 0 0.0
Offi ce/Storage
Cloth 1 1.0 0 0.0
Vacant 4 3.9 2 4.9
102 41
aFour grocery/cloth shops have sewing machines that operate seasonally.




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Periodic Vendors
Selling goods at periodic markets provides some farm households with a supplementary income.6b Both men and women do this.66 Participation in the market is sporadic for many, however, since vendors may have goods to sell only at certain times or seasons. Thus, this kind of marketing is frequently opportunistic. Other vendors, working an itinerant circuit or having the opportunity to visit wholesalers regularly in el-Obeid, are found in the markets week after week. Something of the diversity of periodic vendors will be made clearer by describing several examples.
Abu-Haraz market twenty year-old woman selling handmade brooms
This woman lives with her parents and her husband in a village that is one-half hour away by truck from Abu Haraz. They are farmers. She belongs to the dominant tribe of the area, the Bideiriya. The only commodity that she is selling is straw brooms made from a species of grass that grows plentifully one-half hour from her village. She and her female relatives harvested the grass and tied it into loose bundles. The bundles are held in the hand for sweeping. She brought fifty brooms and is selling 0 em for 0.050 each. She came to Abu Haraz by a truck from her village. The
The charge was 0.500 for herself as a rider while her goods were hauled free of charge. This is only the third time she has been to this market in the past year.
el-Geifil market sixty year-old man selling sesame oil
This man is a member of the dominant Jawama'a Tribe. He is a prosperous farmer and operates an oil press in el-Geifil. He attends the market every Sunday during the season (Nov.-Apr.) to sell his oil. He buys sesame from farmers at 1.000/mid (Jan., 1982), and each mid produces about one rootl of oil and 5 rootls of umbaaz (sesame cake). The umbaaz is given to the Camel that turns the oil press and any surplus is sold for 0.050/rootl.68 He has brought 46 rootls of sesame oil to the market on this day and he is selling it at 0.650/ro6tl. This is the same price that oil is selling for in el-Obeid. The seller explains that he can demand this high price in el-Geifil market because he has no competition. At el-Karra market--one hour by donkey to the north of el-Geifil--there is more competition and the price is lower (0.600/rootl); however, the volume of sales is much more. This man also sells oil in the el-Karra market.
65The majority of the informants we talked to indicated their earnings at the
periodic market would go directly to the family budget. The vendor often
uses his or her earnings immediately to buy household needs while still at
the market.
66Our impression is that young girls are socialized earlier into this
practice than young boys. Often they are seen selling prepared foods that
have been made in their homes. Boys take up commercial roles in adolescence
as a means of earning spending money and to begin saving for marriage.
67The truck carried crops to be sold at the government market and empty barrels
for filling with water.
68The camel eats about ten roo ls of sesame cake per day.




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el-Geifil market thirty-five year-old woman selling utensils
She is a farmer and lives in a village that is two and one-half hours away from el-Geifil by donkey and is a member of the area's dominant tribe, the Jawama'a. She is selling utensils and kitchen wares. About once a month she rides a lorry from her village to el-Obeid in order to restock her merchandise. The round-trip to el-Obeid for herself costs 3.000 and she also pays 1.000 for each large box of goods. When interviewed she had brought three large boxes of merchandise on a donkey and she had ridden a second donkey. One of the donkeys belonged to her. The other she was renting that day for 1.500. She buys goods from a wholesaler in el-Obeid and sells them at a mark-up which covers her expenses and earns some profit. For example, she is selling a coffee pot for 0.750 which was purchased in a lot of twenty for 13.000, a mark-up of 15%. Aluminum wash tubs she sells for
3.50 apiece having bought them by the dozen for 40.000, a mark-up of only 6%. Plastic pitchers are selling for 2.500 apiece. She paid 24.000 per dozen for these, a mark-up of 25%.69 The woman says that she has been a periodic trader for the past ten years. She has been coming to el-Geifil market every week during the marketing season for the past three years (since the market was started). She also sells at three other village markets in the area.
Abu Haraz market forty year-old man selling millet and sorghum
This man is from a village that is a one and one-half hour walk from Abu Haraz. He belongs to the Rizeigat (a nomadic tribe) but has been a settled cultivator in this area for many years. He is selling millet and zunaari (local sorghum) which he grows on his farm. He has brought for sale one sack of millet and six mids of zunaari. These goods were transported from his village by camel, for which he is paying the owner 1.000. Before setting his price at Abu Haraz market the man asks the prices at which the merchants are selling millet and zunaari. Then he sets his price
0.050/mid lower than the prevailing price. On this occasion (Nov. 1981) he is selling millet for 1.20/mid and zunaari for 1.00/mid. He has been coming to Abu Haraz market for more than twenty years. He comes throughout the year except when he is sick or busy. If he has no grain to sell, he may sell wood, charcoal or animals.
Abu Haraz market seventeen year-old woman selling vegetables
This young woman is living in Abu Haraz with her parents since her husband left for Khartoum in search of a job. Her ethnic origins are Fellata (West African), although she was born in a village nearby Abu Haraz. She is selling tomatoes and turnips, which she has bought at wholesale in Abu Jahal market, el-Obeid. The tomatoes were bought for 3.000/box. Because some of the tomatoes were damaged, she only has thirteen good piles from the box. A pile contains five tomatoes. She is selling these at a competitive price of 0.200/pile. This means that she is losing 0.400 on the box of tomatoes. She really doesn't have much choice, however, since there
69These items are only a small sample of her stock in trade. The selling
prices indicated are only approximate since bargaining may occur.




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are two other tomato vendors beside her forcing her prices to be in line with theirs. She can't wait until later in the day to sell because early morning is the preferred time for selling tomatoes which go into the cooking pot to make a stew for lunch. She may fare somewhat better selling turnips. She has bought two large bunches of turnips with greens for 1.000. These two bunches are divided into small bunches of four turnips with greens in each bunch. There should be about twenty-five to thirty of these small bunches, and she is selling them for 0.050 per small bunch. These goods were brought the night before from el-Obeid by a truck from Abu Haraz. She had to pay 2.000 for herself and 0.3000 each for transporting the tomatoes and the turnips. This is her first time to try her hand at marketing. Her father, a vegetable dealer himself, has encouraged her to try selling vegetables in this market.
The comparative sizes of the markets in the four villages are reflected in the number of vendors. Abu Haraz is three to five times larger than el-Geifil (Table 22).
Table 22. Periodic Markets in the Four Sample Villages
Market Day Periodic Vendor
Abu Haraz Fri, Mon 100-200
Umm Ramad Sun, Wed 3-6
el-Geifil Sun 20-40
el-Kharta -a
aTwo men have an agreement to butcher animals on alternate days. From time to time itinerant traders come to the village.
From surveys made in Abu Haraz and el-Geifil markets, it is possible to get an idea of the number of periodic vendors and the relative importance of certain kinds of goods. Table 23 presents these data.
At Abu Haraz market, 68% of the periodic vendors were found to be women
and girls; 31% were men and boys. In addition, one periodic business consisted of a man and his wife working together. Specialization of goods sold by sex of the vendor is not very pronounced, although the prevailing pattern is for men to specialize in manufactured urban goods such as toilet articles. They also deal in fresh fruit and vegetables in larger quantities than the women. Bread is sold exclusively by men and boys working at the bakeries. Women are specialized in selling foods which they have prepared with their own hands at home. At el-Geifil women make up only 22% of the periodic vendors. The reason for this is not entirely clear, although a cultural factor may be involved. Our impression is that in el-Geifil women are more restricted and have fewer public responsibilities, whereas women are given a relatively free hand at Abu Haraz. It is tempting to suggest that the commercial, urbanizing milieu of Abu Haraz gives women more opportunities for pursuing their own enterprises, especially when the amount of cash outlay is tiny and no fixed capital is called for.




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Table 23 demonstrates that the most frequent commodities sold by periodic vendors in either Abu Haraz or el-Geifil markets are vegetables and prepared foods. Fresh fruits are also important commodities in both markets. Cereal grains, wild plant foods, and natural craft products, which were offered for sale at Abu Haraz, did not appear at el-Geifil market on the day the survey was made. To some extent this is sampling error but it may also indicate differential access to wild plant foods and natural products in the two locations, as well as differences in marketing patterns. A plausible hypothesis, for instance, is that the market for cereal grains is more active at Abu Haraz than at el-Geifil because the former village is visited throughout the year by nomads seeking to buy grain.
Table 23. Results of Surveys of Periodic Vendors in Abu Haraz
and El-Geifil Marketsa
Abu Haraz el-Geifil
No. of Periodic Vendors No. % No. %
Male 43 30.9 25 78.1
Female 95 68.3 7 21.9
Husband and Wife 1 0.7 0 0.0
Total 139 32
No. of Vendors Selling Abu Haraz el-Geifil
Each Kind of Commodityb No. %C No. %c
Vegetables 74 53.2 11 34.4
Prepared Foodsd 42 30.2 8 30.0
Cereal Grains 36 25.9 0 0.0
Fruit 23 16.5 8 30.0
Wild Plant Foods 21 15.1 0 0.0
Natural Craft Products 12 8.6 0 0.0
Spices 11 7.9 6 20.0
Empty Bottles and Cans 6 4.3 0 0.0
Utensils 5 3.6 3 10.0
Toilet Articles 4 2.9 2 6.2
Dried Meat 4 2.9 0 0.0
Live Chickens 3 2.6 0 0.0
Clothing 2 1.4 2 6.2
Jewelry 2 1.4 0 0.0




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Table 23 (Continued)
aThe survey of periodic traders at Abu Haraz was made on January 18, 1982, about noon, the busiest time of the day. This was a Monday market which is noticeably smaller than a Friday market. We estimate that 30-40% more vendors had attended the market on the previous Friday. The survey at el-Geifil was carried out on January 24, 1982, also at noon. bExamples of commodities in each category: Vegetables tomatoes, okra, onion, green onion, radish, pumpkin, cowpeas. Prepared Foods wheat loaves, clarified butter, peanut butter, watermelon seeds, shelled groundnuts, ta9miya, cookies, simsimiya (sesame candy), sugar candy, wadak (animal fat), coffee, tea, fava beans, fried meat.
Cereal Grains zunari (locally produced sorghum), millet. Fruit lemon, watermelon, bananas.
Wild Plant Foods 9aradeeb, tabaldi, nabag, kawal, garad (acacia nilotic pods) Natural Craft Products gourds, twine, brooms, habbaaba (fire fan), sa9af (weaving material).
Spices red pepper, garlic, ginger, green cumin, black cumin, koomba, shiiH Empty Bottles and Cans medicine bottles and pint-size paint cans. Utensils enamel pans, glassware, tea cups, coffee cups, tea sieves, spoons,
plastic water pitchers.
Toilet Articles mirrors, combs, brushes, razors and blades, kohl, towels. Dried Meat sharmuut (wild and domesticated species), mirz (dried stomach). Live Chickens
Clothing shirts, t-shirts, night gowns. Jewelry necklaces, rings, hair pins. CThe percentages total to more than 100% in each column because vendors commonly sell items from several categories.
dAt Abu Haraz, there are nineteen coffee shops operating daily in an area beside the market which serves as a truck stop. Their business is affected by the periodic market but they are not included in the frequency distribution since they are permanent rather than periodic businesses. At el-Geifil, however, there are five coffee shops which operate only on market day. The proprietors are all women. In this case, the five women are counted as periodic vendors of prepared foods.




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An observation that needs to be stressed is that most vendors are selling more than one kind of commodity. At Abu Haraz, for example, eighteen (24%) of the vegetable sellers are also dealing in wild plant foods and fifteen (20%) are dealing in cereal grains. Evidently, vendors mix commodities to attract more customers and to reduce their risks. Perishable foods are sold in conjunction with foods that keep well. Goods which sell early, like tomatoes, are paired with goods that will sell later in the day, like shelled groundnuts.
The periodic vendor is called farraash in Arabic, a term derived from
farash which is the mat or groundcloth on which the vendor displays his goods.
Government Administered Crop Market
Rural markets have been established by the rural councils to be a chief source of tax revenues. The typical pattern is to find a large rural market in the same village as the council headquarters while a number of satellite markets occupy secondary villages. The satellite markets are often set up near the boundaries of administrative districts reflecting the competition between neighboring rural councils to capture a larger tax base. El-Geifil market is an example of this phenomenon. It is in competition with two neighboring markets--Umm Hemeira and el-Karra--which are in different administrative districts.
Sesame, groundnuts, gum arabic and karkadee (roselle) are the major cash crops that are sold in government markets in our study area.70 At a minimum, the rural market is staffed with: (1) a clerk (kaatib as-suug) whose responsibility is to keep records of all sales, assess taxes, and hold the tax revenues in a strong box until the market supervisor (mulaaHiz) collects it (once a week or less frequently); (2) a guard (ghafiir) to maintain law and order. In the larger markets the clerk is helped by a deputy. Alternatively, small markets which are in the same general locale and which take place on different days of the week often share the same clerk, who travels back and forth to meet the marketing schedule.
Government administered crop markets were found to have two fundamental institutional forms. On the one hand, there are crop markets at which the weight of each crop is measured on a scales (mizaan) and its price is determined by buyers' bidding at auction (dalaala). By this procedure--which we may designate the mizaan system--the taxation on crops sold may be determined with considerable precision. The most important taxes assessed in our area are gibaana (a market use fee which is O.150/kantar) and 9ushuur (an ad valorem tax of 15% of the total price). On the other hand, at small, remote crop markets a procedure exists for selling crops that is little more than a formalization of the buying-by-the-mid procedure which village merchants use at their shops. In this case, the crop is measured volumetrically rather than by weight and a standard formula for converting from volume
70Watermelon seeds are an important produce in el-Obeid Crop Market but sales of this commodity do not occur to a significant degree in any of the rural markets we are studying.




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(i.e., mids or sacks) to weight (i.e., kantars) is used to estimate the weight, in order to assess gibaana. Then a standardized estimate of the crop's value71 is used to calculate 9ushuur. Because the taxes are determined in this case by estimations rather than precise measurements this system is termed shiishna (estimation).
The Mizaan System
Report No. 1 described in some detail the operation of the mizaan system at Abu Haraz crop market. The following reiterates and develops that discussion: The market place is open the year around, but crops are mainly sold between October and April. There are eleven local merchants who regularly buy crops at Abu Haraz; they all live in the village. However, the sales are usually dominated by four merchants who have capital and are agents of a crop buying agency based in el-Obeid which has a long history of relationship with the Abu Haraz area.72 Prices of crops are determined in a roundrobbin auction in which participation is limited to those merchants who have obtained a crop buyer's permit from the People's District Council.73 The auction is managed by the kaatib as-suug (market clerk). He starts the bid by setting a basement price and then each merchant in turn is allowed to increase the bid or to pass. Below are the results of an auction that occurred at Abu Haraz market on January 15, 1982. Only four merchants participated in the auction.
Table 24. Results of a Crop Auction at Abu Haraz
Crop Lot Quantity Start Bid Final Bid Buyera
Groundnuts Ib 8.76 7.000 8.350 Ibrahim
2 6.27 Ibrahim
Sesame c 23.40 15.000 17.450 Abdel-Rahman
2 52.42 17.300 17.450 Abdel-Rahman
Gum 1 38.73 18.000 19.400 Muhammad
2 50.83 19.250 19.450 el-Taj
3 89.32 19.300 19.450 Abdel-Rahman
Karkadee 1 0.86 27.000 28.050 Ibrahim
aThe names are fictitious.
bThis lot was completed late. No bids were taken on it and it was added to Ibrahim's other lot of groundnuts.
cThis lot was completed late. It was bid on separately and bought.
71This value is set at the beginning of the market season by the People's District Council.
72One of the two flour mills in Abu Haraz is owned by the family who owns the crop agency. This family also owns several of the commercial buildings in
the village.
73To obtain this permit the applicant must be recommended by one of the big merchants registered at the el-Obeid Crop Market. This makes the village
merchant the agent (wakiil) of the big merchant. However, this arrangement
does not obligate the village merchant to sell to the big merchant even
though he buys crops at the branch market in the big merchant's name. The permit to participate in a branch market auction does not require a fee to
be paid.




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When the auction was completed an agreement made between the three merchants that bought gum arabic gave all the lots to Muhammad who was prepared to transport the gum to El-Obeid the following morning.74 More examples of bidding results could be given but this one example will serve to illustrate several points. The number of merchants participating in the market is small. Furthermore, they tend to specialize in terms of the crops they are buying. Merchants are constantly comparing market prices of different localities and discussing transport costs so that they share a very clear idea of what the limits of their bidding should be before going to the auction. One notices a pronounced tendency for the first lot bid on each crop to carry a low price. Since farmers' crops are assigned to lots in the order in which they are delivered at the market, farmers arriving early are assigned the first lot and are routinely penalized by lower prices.
In Table 25 auction prices are compared with the median price at
el-Obeid Crop Market on the following day (January 16, 1982), the earliest these crops could be resold either to a crop agency or at el-Obeid Crop Market.
Table 25. Crop Auction Prices at Abu Haraz, Transport Costs
to el-Obeid and Median Price at el-Obeid Crop Market
Auction Price Transport Costs/ Median Price Crop in Abu Haraz Kantar at el-Obeid
Groundnuts 8.350 1.000 8.450
Sesame 17.450 1.000 17.450
Gum 19.450 1.000 20.090
Karkadee 28.050 1.000 28.000
The crop agency uses the median price as a benchmark for determining the price it buys crops from the village merchants and its agents. It also reimburses the merchant for the 9ushuur tax recorded on the tax receipt that was provided by the market clerk. The break-even point for the village merchant is that the auction price that he paid for the crop at Abu Haraz plus transport costs must not exceed the benchmark median price at lO6beid.
That the median price is exceeded in every case above requires some
explanation.75 First, in mid-January the price of each kind of crop, though
74Gum is marketed quickly because it loses water weight rapidly.
751n this instance, and on other occasions, merchants were usually reluctant to divulge their intentions. The discussion which follows addresses the options available to merchants in this kind of situation.




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relatively high for the season is not as high as it will get. The merchant may store his purchases until the day that a favorable median price appears. In this case, the merchants would have waited only two weeks for a favorable price increase for sesame. But this strategy nets a low rate of return (e.g., less than 12% expressed as an annual rate of return). Higher profits are possible only by mixing contraband crops with produce that is purchased in a government market and taxed accordingly. Gum that carries a proper tax certification, for example, is a favored crop for concealing contraband.76 It cannot be stored for a long time because it will lose up to 10% of its weight. Thus, when gum is sent to el-Obeid for sale a number of sacks of contraband sesame can be put on the bottom of the load. The contraband will pass und ected unless an inspection is made of the entire load, sack by sack.11
The Shiishna System
Much of what has been said, or implied, about the significance of smuggling in the mizaan marketing system applies equally to the shiishna system.78 Only in shiishna there is a legal procedure for assessing taxes which results in an underestimation of the values of crops. Probably this is well because the shiishna system operates in remote markets which might not attract agents and assemblers to purchase the crops if there was no such built-in incentive.
El-Geifil crop market illustrates how the shiishna system works. There are two shopkeepers and two other crop buyers in the village who are the agents of a truck-owner assembler from a neighboring village.79 The merchants at el-Geifil buy crops from the farmers in the weekly market in exchange for consumer goods that the merchants have in stock. This year, the buyers and merchants started out paying 0.800/mid for sesame in October, and the price increased to 1.100/mid in February. The assembler buys the goods from his agents for the prevailing price plus a commission of 0.020/mid for sesame and O.020/rootl for gum and karkadee. (Groundnuts are not an important crop in this market.) Thus, the crop buyers and local merchants can increase their profits by storing the crops for a period of several months. For example, if a merchant paid 0.90/mid in November for sesame and held it until January when the price was 1.00/mid, he would earn 0.120/mid profit.80 When the assembler buys the crops from el-Geifil merchants, the sale is recorded by the market clerk. A standard formula estimates the weight for assessing the gibaana tax: one sack of sesame = 1.80 kantars; one sack of gum = 1.80 kantars; one sack of karkadee = 0.35 kantars. A value estimator is then used for assessing the 9ushuur tax: sesame is valued at 13.000/kantar and karkadee is valued f 25.000/kantar; 9ushuur is not
76Partly this is because no 9ushuur tax is charged in the case of gum.
77This is a hard, time-consuming task. The police almost never require it.
78We don't find this a proper forum for discussing crop smuggling in detail. Our aim is to suggest its importance while safeguarding the confidentiality
of our sources of information.
79The agents say that this man is their relative but they are hazy about the exact genealogical relationship.
80This includes the commission, storage costs are nil since the assembler provides the local merchants and buyers with sacks.




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assessed on gum. In this case, the estimation procedure is mandated by the People's District Council at Umm Rawaba and is subject to an annual evaluation. After the assembler has loaded his truck, he takes the sesame and gum to el-Obeid and the karkadee to el-Rahad. He nearly always sells to a crop agency rather than at the Crop Market and receives the same terms as described above (i.e., the median price prevailing at el-Obeid Crop Market). As in the example given for the mizaan system, the assemblers' profit margin would be quite low were it not for the possibility to evade taxation on some of the crops he buys.
The Marketing of Sorghum and Millet
Sorghum, more than wheat, and millet to a lesser extent than either sorghum or wheat are common commodities in local markets in the el-Obeid area. A brief historical digression will explain this.
Historical Background
Early in this century the el-Obeid region was settled by subsistence cultivators living in scattered villages. Millet was the principal crop in this semi-arid zone. The other main pursuits of farmers were animal husbandry and gum arabic collection. The region had been depopulated in the previous century by the tribal upheavals that occurred during the Mahdiya (1881-1898). Resettlement came with the reimposition of Anglo-Egyptian Colonial rule, and through the media of administrative and marketing centers, such as el-Obeid, the region was gradually penetrated by the urban money economy that colonial rule fostered. But it was not until the last twenty years that agriculture experienced a strong change of direction. The new emphasis is on cash crops, particularly sesame and groundnuts,81 with the consequence that millet and sorghum have been partially displaced. This change can be related to a host of demographic, economic and cultural factors, but two stand out. The first point is that the population of the region has grown steadily in this century, especially in the towns like el-Obeid. Many of the townspeople are government workers. Of these, a large number have been transferred to the town from Khartoum and the eastern provinces. These immigrants prefer to eat wheat or sorghum to locallygrown millet and they have set the standards for urban consumers' tastes. Thus, the urban market for locally-produced millet is practically nonexistant. Moreover, townspeople have a constant demand for sesame oil--or, less preferably, groundnut oil--which is used for daily cooking. To meet this demand eleven oil processing mills have gone into operation at el-Obeid since 1960. Most of the sesame grown in the area is consumed locally after processing into oil. Groundnuts, by contrast, have become the main export crop in the region. The second point is that the last two decades have seen the development of mechanized farming schemes across the Sudan, along the 600 mm rainfall belt. Sorghum is the principal crop on these schemes. Improvements in transportation have made it possible to distribute the harvest from this grain belt to all parts of the Sudan and even outside the country. It is no longer necessary for a semi-arid region like the one
81To the east of el-Obeid in the vicinity of el-Rahad and Umm Rawaba
karkadee has assumed a major importance as a cash crop.




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surrounding el-Obeid to be self-sufficient in cereals. Because sorghum is imported to the region, farmers are released from the necessity of always looking first to their subsistence crop, and a variety of cash cropping strategies have developed. Owing to these historic changes, at least half of the grain consumed by villagers at this time is sorghum imported to the region from the mechanized schemes. The balance is made up of locallyproduced and consumed millet, and some local sorghum, along with a small amount of wheat that is produced in the Gezira or imported from abroad.
El-Obeid Grain Market
The marketing of cereal grain in the el-Obeid area is closely keyed to the supply of grains and prices prevailing in el-Obeid grain market. The el-Obeid grain market consists of about forty grain merchants in all. Half of these are located in a special enclosure where only grain is sold. Of these, six merchants are big wholesalers. Big merchants sell grain by the sack and by the mid (thirty mids to a sack) to their customers who are either small retail merchants or consumers. The small retail merchants generally sell to consumers by the mid only. Besides the grain market enclosure which lies in the center of town, there are several outlying 0
marketplaces which are near to the areas where trucks coming from the villages load and unload passengers. Although grain prices in these outlying markets are slightly higher than those found in the central market enclosure, there is the convenience for villagers of buying grain near to transport. The following cereal grains are regularly found at el-Obeid grain market:
(1) feterita this makes up 90% of the sorghum sold in the el-Obeid market; it is a.major staple of the urban and rural poor because it is the' least expensive of the cereals, although it is not a preferred food because the flour is dark. Most feterita marketed in el-Obeid area is transport by trucks from the mechanized farming schemes at Habila, South Kordofan.L
(2) habbashiya (or safra) and dabar (or gasabi) two sorghums grown in the Gedaref region and transported to el-Obeid mainly by rail via Kosti.83 Both sorghums generally show the same price at el-Obeid market and they invariably cost more than feterita. The flour of both habbashiya and dabar is prized for its whiteness and fine texture. Mainly it is eaten by the urban middle and upper classes.
(3) millet most of the millet is grown at Habila although some local millet finds its way into the-urban market; millet from Dar Fur is never sent to el-Obeid.
(4) wheat this grain is from two sources (a) wheat that is produced in the Gezira and (b) wheat produced abroad (called istraali). Wheat is eaten on an occasional basis even by villagers.
82Owing to the petrol crisis that currently afflicts the Sudan, the cost
of transporting one sack of feterita from Habila rose from 2.000 in January
to 4.000 in March.
83Transportation by rail is often delayed but the alternative--hauling by
truck from Kosti--is too expensive. Seventy sacks are hauled by rail for
56 L.S., while a lorry carrying seventy sacks costs 450 L.S.




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During the past year the highest prices encountered at the grain market
occurred in August, 1981; the lowest prices were in February, 1982. Table
26 presents the high and low prices for several kinds of grains.84
Table 26. High and Low Prices of Sorghum, Millet and Wheat at el-Obeid Grain Market
(1981-1982)
Month Year Quantity Feterita Habbashiya Millet Wheat
(High) Aug. 1981 1 mid 1.200 1.250 1.400 1.400
1 sack 36.000 37.500 41.000 41.000
(Low) Feb. 1982 1 mid 0.600 0.850 1.100 1.400
1 sack 18.000 24.000 32.000 39.000
There has been a 50% reduction in the price of feterita,85 a 36% reduction in the price of habbashiya, a 22% reduction in the price of millet, and
a 5% reduction in the price of wheat between the middle of the rainy season
and the middle of the dry season. The price of feterita, which again is
the most frequently consumed variety of commercial grain, rises sharply in
July and stays high until November when the local millet harvest reduces
the demand for it. Most of the feterita is sold at el-Obeid between
December and June. By early July the quantity of feterita in thatmarket has
dwindled. Most of the feterita is then in the hands of rural storekeepers and retailers. The price in el-Obeid increases owing to the small supply
and rural sellers adjust their prices upwards. Needless to say, rural
merchants take advantage of this price increase by stockpiling feterita
beforehand.
Marketing of Cereal Grains at the Village Level
There are essentially two separate marketing systems for cereal grains
in the rural areas. The first of these distributes locally-produced sorghum
and millet. Although these are primarily subsistence crops, some of the
harvest is sold between farmers and by farmers to village merchants. This
most often occurs during the early harvest season when the price of millet-owing to the influence of el-Obeid market--exceeds that of all other crops.
In this case millet (also local sorghum) is sold in small quantities--a mid
or two at a time--to buy goods from the merchant's shop, or to pay off a loan.
An example from Umm Ramad will serve to show the advantage which this practice
84Since habbashiya and dabar sorghums are roughly equivalent in price only
habbashiya is shown in the table.
85Seventy percent of the feterita crop planted at Habila was harvested this
year; the estimate for last year is that the yield was only 50% due to
lack of rain and pest attack.




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entails. In the first week of December, 1981, at Umm Ramad, a mid of millet brought 1,000 at merchants' shops while local sorghum brought 0.800 per mid. The prices of cash crops did not measure up. Groundnuts brought 0.200/mid, sesame 0.800/mid, and karkadee 0.200/rootl. Generally speaking, farmers do not like to sell millet, it being their preferred staple. But, for poorer households the high price is too enticing. In recent years, at Umm Ramad, groundnuts have been the main crop for meeting household expenses at the village store. If we assume that the daily cost of food for a household is 2.000, then last December it would take ten mids of groundnuts at Umm Ramad to purchase a family's daily needs. The same value of goods could be obtained for two mids of millet. Thus, a family may prefer to sell millet in small quantities when its price is high as needed for consumption while saving groundnuts in anticipation that the price will rise.
This strategy was even more attractive this season when the price of groundnuts failed to rise early and dramatically as had happened the season before. Selling millet for consumption needs also makes sense because feterita is the main substitute for the more expensive millet. At Umm Ramad, at the same time that millet was being sold to village merchants for 1.000/ mid, feterita could be bought from el-Obeid market for 0.085/mid and it would become less expensive during the next few months.
The locally produced millet and sorghum that village merchants buy from their neighbors are saved for consumption by the merchant's own household.86 Any surplus is stored and sold during the year to anyone who wants millet or zunaari for food or as seed for planting.
Another marketing channel for locally-produced millet and sorghum is
seen in the merchants' sale of these crops to flour mills in el-Obeid after arrangements are made with the mill owner. The mill owner is anxious to acquire millet or sorghum in this manner because the local crop does not carry the very high tax (4.650/sack) assessed on cereals shipped from Habila or Kosti. However, the government prohibits this type of sale, so, to disguise his purchases of sorghum and millet the village merchant may ask several small agents to buy for him in the periodic market. The agents (called kayyaal) are paid for the millet or sorghum which they have purchased at the going market price plus a small commission for each sack that they collect.
The second marketing system of cereal grains in the rural areas is
distribution of sorghum, almost exclusively feterita which is grown on the rainfed mechanized schemes at Habila. Village merchants buy feterita in bulk and sell it to farmers by the mid or by the sack. Normally, the merchant's strategy is to stockpile feterita at his shop during the months when its price is low, January until June. He begins selling feterita to villagers during the dry season and continues doing so during the rainy season when farmer's stocks of grain are depleted. The price that he will
86Because of this the merchant is often able to eat millet and local sorghum
throughout the year even though he does not plant an amount sufficient for his needs. Zunaari abyad, a local sorghum, is white and is preferred over
the red feterita for that reason.




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charge is based on the el-Obeid price plus a mark-up for transportation costs. The merchant's profit derives from the fact that the price of feterita will increase dramatically with the onset of the rainy season. As the harvest approaches, the demand for feterita will decline, because farmers will begin eating their own millet and sorghum while it is in the dough stage (fariik). The merchant's strategy at this period is to be rid of his feterita stocks in order to use the empty sacks and storage space for gathering cash crops while the harvest progresses. The merchant may not restock feterita for several months afterwards because the demand is low.
The ideal, which only the wealthier households satisfy, is to eat millet throughout the year either from the family's own stocks or from purchases from village merchants. We have already noted that the wealthier merchants routinely do this. Farmers that are less well off are compelled to buy feterita at least for the dry season in order to save their millet for rainy season consumption. The general belief is that feterita is "light" (khafiif) and "cold" (baarid) making it an undesirable food for the rainy season, a time when farmers are engaged in the heavy labor of weeding their fields. For this work they need a "heavy" (tagiil), "hot" (sukhan) staple, which millet is, to give them the strength to work hard. During the rainy season too, when meat is not affordable due to the farmer's low purchasing power,87 millet 9asiida can be eaten with oil rather than a meat sauce because it is filling, high in fiber, and good tasting. Feterita, on the other hand, is so bland that villagers prefer to eat it with a meat sauce for flavor.
Of the forty households which were surveyed at el-Kharta, el-Geifil, and Umm Ramad, thirty-two (80.0%) had purchased feterita in the past year. The range of purchases varied between two and eighteen sacks; the mean number of sacks purchased was 8.6 (Table 27).
Table 27. Distribution of Feterita Purchased by Household
Sacks of Feterita
Purchased Number of Households
1-5 8 (25.0%)
6-10 15 (46.9%)
11-15 6 (18.8%)
16 and more 3 (9.4%)
32
87At this season poorer farmers have no source of income except their hired
labor.




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The data indicate the wide variation among farming families in the amount of feterita purchased in a year's time. But, if we take the hypothetical case of the average family which buys 8.6 sacks of feterita and if we assume a consumption of one mid per day, then the 8.6 sacks provides food for the average family for 258 days (1 sack = 30 mids). A generalization that emerges from this analysis is that a typical farming family supports itself on its own millet for only about four months out of the year and buys feterita the rest of the time. A minority of the farmers, however, do not purchase any feterita. Presumably they are well supplied from their own production or they buy other types of cereal grain.
Some families purchase amounts of feterita that exceed their own consumption needs. To feed a donkey requires about 1/2 mid per day, for example. Women who make mariisa (sorghum beer) to gain a supplementary income may buy an additional fifteen mids per month above household consumption needs to be used in brewing.
A close relationship has been found between the selling of cash crops in bulk and the purchase of feterita by the sack. The relationship is most evident at el-Geifil where a truck owner hauls feterita to the village and exchanges it for the sesame held in the farmers' storage pits. The farmers are pleased with this arrangement because they trade sesame, which has reached its maximum price, for feterita, which is at a low price. Feterita is purchased from a variety of sources, of which the village merchant's shop and the jobber's truck are two that have already been mentioned (Table 28).
Table 28. Distribution of Feterita Purchases by Source
Sources of Feterita No. of Purchases
Urban Marketsa 20 (52.7%)
Village Shop 8 (21.1%)
Local Flour Mill 4 (10.5%)
Jobber (Truck Owner) 6 (15.8%)
38
aEighteen cases of purchases from el-Obeid, two from el-Rahad.
Feterita is most often purchased direct from an urban market, where the price is less than from other sources.
An analysis of the interview materials suggests that farmers are likely to adopt one of two fundamental strategies for buying feterita:
1. Feterita is bought by the mid daily or weekly. This strategy is used most often by poor farmers who rely heavily on their own labor as a source of




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income. Consequently, their farming production is low and they are unable to grow enough millet to feed themselves. They also lack capital to purchase feterita in bulk when the price is low.
2. Feterita is bought in quantities of one to three sacks at a time, usually during the seef (hot, dry season) and perhaps the khariif (rainy season). Probably ihe majority of farmers adopt this stra-tegy, making adjustments in the quantity of feterita they buy from year to year depending on the yield obtained from their millet crop. This strategy coordinates well with cash crop sales in the period of January to June. Hence, it depends on the farmer being able to save his cash crop until the price increases later in the marketing season. This coincides with the period when feterita prices are at their lowest.
The Marketing of Major Cash Crops
The survey of village merchants, which is presently underway, is intended to provide quantitative information about the flow of cash crops in the various marketing channels and the price mark-ups and costs in each channel. Our purpose here is to discuss the marketing system of cash crops in qualitative terms and to point out some of the major constraints and incentives which shape the behavior of different classes of marketers. Figure I is a diagram of the marketing system for cash crops in the el-Obeid area. The diagram illustrates that the flow of crops from rural producers, through intermediary institutions or dealers such as the rural branch market, village merchant, and agents/assemblers, to crop agencies based at el-Obeid. Alternatively, crops may be marketed at the el-Obeid government market where export agents-usually local big merchants--are the principal buyers. Most of the sesame grown in the region is locally consumed after processing into oil. Groundnuts and karkadee are exported to a large degree although they too have a local market particularly if world prices for these commodities are low. Gum arabic is strictly for export as the Gum Arabic Company88 is the sole buyer at Port Sudan. The marketing system shown in Figure #1 applies generally to all these cash crops. It remains to be learned from the village merchant survey what quantitative differences exist owing to the incentives or constraints which cause marketers to use different marketing channels for different crops at different times of the season.
88Fifty-one per cent of the shares are publically owned.




Figure I.
THE MARKETING SYSTEM FOR CASH CROPS IN THE
EL-OBEID AREA
Rural Market
Urban Market cer Village Merchant
Urban Mercha
Agent/Assembler Storage Processina I p




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Table 29. A Qualitative Analysis of Crop Marketing in the El-Obeid Area
Seller Buyer Channel Incentives and Constraints
Farmer Village Direct Sale The farmer trades small amounts of crops
Merchant (one to two mids at a time) to obtain
commodities from the merchant's shop. This is the most important marketing strategy for most farmers early in the post-harvest period when the prices of crops are still low. For poorer farmers whose production has not been good, this may be the only means they use for marketing crops. Essentially, their crops are a substitute for cash.
Branch Market The farmer sells in quantity (i.e., one Sale or more sacks at a time). This marketing strategy is more prevalent later in the marketing season when prices for crops at el-Obeid have risen thereby forcing up prices at the branch markets. The village merchant who bids in the branch market is closely constrained in the price he can offer. It must not exceed the median price at el-Obeid Crop Market less the cost of transportation from the village to el-Obeid. This price is what the crop agency at el-Obeid will pay the merchants. (They will also reimburse the 9ushuur tax.)
Farmer Agent/ Direct Sale A direct sale by farmers to an agent/
Assembler assembler is most likely to occur late
in the marketing season (March-May). At this time the farmers open their storage pits before the on-set of the rains and sell the remainder of their crops in order to pay for land clearing and planting as well as to buy feterita while the price is still low. Truckoperator agents may haul feterita to the village in order to make a direct exchange of sorghum for sesame. The produce is taken from the farmers' pits and put directly in the agent's sacks. The agreement to buy from farmers in this manner is made ahead of time so that the agent is assured of filling his truck.




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Table 29. A Qualitative Analysis of Crop Marketing in the El-Obeid Area (Continued)
Seller Buyer Channel Incentives and Constraints
Branch Market Prices are usually better from the proSale ducer's viewpoint if outside agents
enter the market. Typically, such agents are merchants from the larger villages who have enough capital to buy large amounts of crops and who have access to vehicles for hauling crops. They are attracted to the smaller markets because the prices are somewhat less than at a big rural market. Smuggling is also a factor here. In an auction market, the agent/assembler if he intends to smuggle,
may bid for the crops at prices near those to be found in el-Obeid, because his profit will come fr-om the taxes that are not paid, or are underpaid. In this way the agent/assembler is able to exclude small merchants from competing in the
auction.
Farmer Urban Direct Sale Direct sale of crops by producers to a
Merchant/ merchant/agency in el-Obeid is illegal
Agency since the crops do not pass through a
government administered market and are not taxed. Nevertheless, big farmers who own or have easy access to a truck may do this. Small farmers usually cannot. Even if a small farmer arranges to send his crops directly to an agency,
the truck driver may find that the line of truckers waiting to do business at the agency is too long. He doesn't want his truck to be tied up all day at the agency so he takes the load of crops to el-Obeid Crop Market where a commissioned agent will look after it. The truck driver is then free to haul another load.
Urban Market Occasionally, farmers sell to urban
Sale merchants through the el-Obeid Crop
Market. This marketing strategy is practical only for farmers who have access to transportation at a reasonable price. It may also be resorted to when farmers feel that the prices of crops in the villages--at the branch market or at the village shop-are too low. A special case of this occurs when a farmer rejects the




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Table 29. A Qualitative Analysis of Crop Marketing in the El-Obeid Area (Continued)
Seller Buyer Channel Incentives and Constraints
final price offered for his crop at auction in a branch market. The farmer may then pay the 9ushuur tax on his crop and send it to el-Obeid market at his own expense, in hopes of getting a better price. (He may also sell to a crop agency and avoid paying the full amount of taxes.) The opportunity to sell crops at el-Obeid market is perhaps the main factor in keeping the prices at the rural market within close range of urban prices.
Village Agent/ Direct Sale Villages in which there is not a truck
Merchant Assembler that is privately owned usually establish a relationship with ,a truck owner from a neighboring village who is an urban merchant's agent. The truckowner agrees to buy the crops which the village merchants have collected at their shops for a commission plus the current local price of the crop. The village merchant takes his profit from storing the crop in his shop or storehouse for several months before selling. The truck owner takes his profit from the disparity of what he pays the village merchant and what he receives at el-Obeid Crop Market or at an agency. Tax evasion also occurs.
Branch Market Alternative to the direct sale above, Sale the village merchant may sell his crops
(both his own and those he has collected from farmers) at a branch crop market. As noted previously, when selling crops in a branch market at which an outside agent is bidding the prices tend to be good, particularly if smuggling is contemplated. Smuggling in this case means that the full amount of taxes is not assessed on the agent's purchases. This can be achieved by mixing in direct sales, which are untaxed, with market sales, which have been taxed. If the market sale occurs under the shiishna system then an additional benefit is realized because the value of the crop for tax purposes is underestimated.




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Table 29. A Qualitative Analysis of Crop Marketing in the El-Obeid Area (Continued)
Seller Buyer Channel Incentives and Constraints
Village Urban Direct Sale Direct sales of crops by village merchant
Merchant Merchant! to a merchant/agency in el-Obeid escapes
Agency taxation. This marketing strategy is
generally available only to the relatively prosperous merchants who have vehicles available.
Urban Market An alternative to the direct sale to an
Sale urban merchant is to sell the crop at
the official crop market. All taxes will be duly assessed. This strategy is rarely attractive unless the price at the urban market is very good.
Agent! Urban Direct Sale Agents and assemblers almost invariably
Assembler Merchant! sell at crop agencies rather than at the
Agency urban crop market. Partly this is due
to smuggling, an activity that agents and assemblers routinely undertake. But mention also needs to be made of the strong relationship that tends to develop between the urban crop merchant and the agent. Sometimes, this relationship is given extra moral weight by a kinship bond, but this is not essential. The relationship is actually a mutual benefit pact. The merchant prefers to assemble crops through his agents who buy in the villages where the prices are lowest. The agent/assembler prefers to sell directly to the merchant rather than through the urban crop market because (a) he will be paid in the same day (immediately by check if there is a reason to be in a hurry), (b) the agency provides the agent/assembler with sacks, (c the agent may on occasion receive loans or cash advances to buy crops, and
(d) when selling to the agency there are
no commissioned agents to be paid and no taxes.
Urban Market Rarely does an agent/assembler sell at the
Sale urban crop market. There would have to
be something to off-set the commissioned agent's fee and the high 9ushuur tax at the urban market. Possibly the prospect of a long delay at the crop agency might
under certain circumstances off-set these costs.




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Livestock Marketing
Livestock are bought and sold in the study area in three contexts:
(a) registered government markets, (b) unregistered markets and (c) direct sales between buyers and sellers. All livestock sales are supposed to be taxed,89 which is the basis for distinguishing between the three marketing contexts above. At the registered government market, taxes are assessed and collected by the market clerk. At the unregistered market this role is performed by a villager who has successfully bid for the privilege of serving as a taxing agent. The purpose of the unregistered market is to gather in as many livestock sales as possible which occur outside the registered market. Inevitably, however, many more sales occur directly between buyer and seller and no taxes are assessed.
When transactions occur in a government market or an unregistered market the buyer receives a certificate called a jamaan guaranteeing' him to be the rightful owner. Without this certificate it is possible for someone to bring charges that the livestock are stolen. This guarantee is not so important if the transaction occurs between residents of the same village, but its importance grows when livestock are bought and sold between nomads and farmers, between members of different tribes, or between the residents of distant villages.
The sale of livestock bears a close connection with the change of the seasons, the availability of pasture and water, and the requirements of the farming system. The arrival of nomadic pastoralists with large herds of animals during the rainy season has a profound effect. The relations between nomad and farmer, which often conflict over access to forage and water, are quite complimentary in livestock marketing. In the pages which follow data from a 20% sample of livestock sales at Abu Haraz market are analyzed to illustrate this point.90
Figure 2, which shows the monthly total number of transactions of all
livestock sales at Abu Haraz, presents a very clear picture of the influence of the rainy season migration of nomads into the area. August and September are the most active months for sales with more than six hundred transactions recorded during September for each year. This amounts to a nearly four-fold increase in volume when compared with the sales in July, the onset of the rainy season.
Nomads arrive in the Abu Haraz area during August and September having migrated from the wetter lands to the south. The reasons for thi 's migration are complex. In part, the nomads are following a strategy of abandoning their winter pastures to avoid overgrazing this resource. Another reason which is given is that the nomads want to escape the flies and mosquitoes
89 At Abu Haraz, the total amount of taxes assessed per head on each kind of
livestock is as follows: cattle 0.910; sheep 0.370; goat 0.270;
donkey 0.560; camel 1.200; and horse 0.850.
90 The time horizon represented in these data is March 1980 to January 1982.
Data for October 1981 are missing in Figures 3 through 5.




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which breed abundantly during the rainy season in the higher rainfall belt
to the south. A third reason is that the villages in the el-Obeid area
have better stocked markets where nomads can purchase needed -supplies.
Also, a number of cheese factories are located in the area so that nomads may sell their animal's milk.91 Finally, August and September are a time when nomads may buy livestock from settled farmers who are in need of cash
to pay for hired labor. After September livestock sales fall off precipitously when nomads begin a return migration towards their winter pastures
in the south. Then from November until May, sales are at their lowest.
Figure 3 presents the number of livestock of each kind sold at Abu Haraz market. The same general trend that was evident from the previous graph is noted here. The largest number of all kinds of livestock are sold during August and September. Sheep are sold in the greatest numbers, followed by cattle and then by goats.
Up to six tim s as many sheep are sold as either cattle or goats during these monthsT9 Cattle sales are only slightly more numerous than goat sales. Both sheep and cattle sales show a strong relation to the presence of nomads. That is, the sales of these animals increase abruptly in August and decline equally abruptly after September.
The sale of goats, on the other hand, takes place over a longer period,
May to October. Cultivators generally sell goats during this period to pay for farming expenses and consumption goods. The goats are bought by wealthy farmers, butchers, and nomads. Goats are often sold during the hot, dry season because their owners cannot afford to water them.
Donkeys and camels show a sharp seasonality of sales similar to that
of sheep and cattle. Horse sales appear in November and December when these animals are in demand for pulling carts to transport crops or to haul water.
Figure 4 indicates the average monthly prices of cattle, sheep and goats at Abu Haraz market. These data must be viewed with caution. The market records do not usually specify the age of the animal and the sex may also be unspecified particularly when a number of animals are sold in a single transaction. Keeping these limitations in mind, the graph indicates considerable uniformity in goat prices when compared with cattle for example. Possibly this is owing to the fact that the prices of goats are not as sensitive to nomad involvement in the market as is the case with cattle. -The rainy season surge in the supply of cattle shows on this graph as a tendency for prices to be low in August and September. Then, beginning in October, the price of cattle rises as the nomads depart from the market with their animals. Prices remain generally high93 until the onset of the khariif when the nomads and their herds return.
The pattern of prices for sheep in Abu Haraz market is much less pronounced than for cattle. The most remarkable feature is that sheep prices
91 Abu Haraz has two cheese factories.
92 Many of the transactions involving sheep at this time are multiple sales
of two to ten animals.
93 We are unable to explain the dip in cattle prices which occurred in March 1981.




-85
Figure 2 MONTHLY TRANSACTIONS FOR LIVESTOCK SALES AT
ABU HARAZ MARKET, MAR 1980-JAN 1982
640 600 560
520 480
z 440 S400
I-
~400
z 360
320
U
0
S280
z
240
0
200 160
120 80
40
0
M AM J JA SON D JF M AMJ J ASO0ND J
1980 1981 1982
MONTH/YEAR




-86
FIGURE 3 LIVESTOCK SOLD AT ABU HARAZ MARKET, MAR 1980JAN 1982
0
510
480 sheep
goats 450 -.. donkies
-cattle 420 camels
390 ............ horses
390
360
330
300
0
I
W 270
>
240
LL
0
it 210
w
m
S180
120
z I 5 I"\
60 \ 0
909
60 ,I
30-
O.., s .-.....- s r
0
MAM J J ASO NDJ F MAMJ J AS 0 N DJ 1980 1901 1982
MONTH/YEAR




Full Text

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Local Names English Translation Distinguishing Features Significance 7. Himil pregnant Heads still in leaves 1. low drought tolerance. Can only go without water for 15-20 days. 8. sall al-Harba thrust of the spear It is at this stage when 1. low drought tolerance. Must have all the heads appear. The rain within 20 days or crop will also called: plant will reach the normal fail. height for millet during 2. few heads means bad seed producfasakh thrusting out of the this stage. tion but good building material. sall al-ganduul head Many heads means good seed production but bad building materials. 9. shari abyad white flower First stage of flowering 1. most critical stage for pest attack. Flower will be white in 2. Santa Cyrtocamenta spp. attacks. also called: color. 3. abu ad-dagiig (butterflies), neopyrameis cardui attacks. sheeba gray hair 4. juraan or dunkus attacks. 5. once it reaches this stage, will produce some seeds in most cases. 10. dahar bagara or. cow's back (cows Late flowering stage 1. low drought tolerance shari aHmar are normally red Red in color in this area) 11. fataat popping out Seed formation 1. birds attack at this stage. 12. labani milky Milky stage 1. birds attack at this stage. 2. Nafasha-Eublemma brachygoniaattacks and eats its way starting from the lower part of the candle going upwards. 13. fariik threshing by rubbing Early dough stage 1. first stage when millet is consumed the seeds between 2. birds still attack. the hands 3. Nafasha still attacks. 14. daras ready to be threshed Last stage 1. birds can still attack. The crop is completely 2. termites will attack when it is cut mature. and put in the tagaah, 3. ants attack in the tagaah.



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intsormil Project Title: Sociocultural Constraints in the Production and Consumption of Grain Sorghum and Pearl Millet in Less Developed Countries Leader: C. Milton Coughenour Institution: University of Kentucky Collaborative Research Support Program (CRSP) A Research Development Program of the Agency for international Development, Participating Land-Grant Universities, Host County Research Agencies and *Private Donors. ~' Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources University of Nebraska-Lincoln



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-7 Consumption in the farming system involves both food intake by the household as well as material goods consumption. Given available resources, consumption patterns result from the strategies farmers follow with regards to types of foods consumed, seasonal variations in the types of foods eaten, social practices as to which members eat together and preferences for various material goods. Consumption strategies also involve the procurement of food and other commodities which has a direct bearing on the types of crops grown, the rearing of livestock and the need for pursuing off-farm economic activities. Consumption is also closely integrated with marketing. For instance, seasonal preferences in millet and sorghum consumption correspcind to seasonal variations in purchasing patterns of these commodities. The interrelationships between all five of these components must be stressed. Each has an influential and somewhat limiting effect on the others. For this reason, to fully understand farming in this area, all or most of these components must be considered. Thus, a survey instrument which intends to collect comprehensive information on farming should address all of these components. It has been our intention to design this type of instrument for our survey. Well grounded in ethnographic data, this instrument contains questions dealing with the intracacies of farming in this area (a copy of this interview schedule is found in Appendix J). The information collected from 40 farmers in three villages is summarized below. Results of the Preliminary Farming System Survey The Sample The 40 farmers surveyed were selected from the three intensively 4 studied villages in our study area. Using the nearly 100 percent samples of cultivated landholdings in the three villages as the sampling frame, a stratified random sample was drawn. Farmers were stratified according to property and size of household. After selection, these farmers were carefully scrutinized with regard to crop mix to insure that variable cropping patterns could be investigated. Fifteen farmers were selected from El Kharta, 15 from Umm Ramad and 10 from El Geifil. A smaller number were selected from El Geifil because it is a much smaller village than the other two. Unless noted -otherwise the data refer to the 1981-82 agricultural year. Demographic Data -Household Composition All 40 farmers surveyed were the heads of households; 34 of which were male and 6 were female.5 The average household size was 7.7 members and 1The types of data collected on each farmer included: 1) total size of household; 2) total size of landholding and 3) area cultivated in millet, sorghum, sesame and groundnuts. Report No. 1 presents the analysis of this data for El Kharta. 5More females were not included in this sample because of the difficulty we had as male researchers in interviewing females in these villages and because of the low frequency of occurance of female household heads. Fortunately, much data~ were collected on married female farmers and their farming practices through interviews with married male household heads, because these females usually operated their own separate small farms.



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-135 Appendix H. Financing Small Traditional Farmers in North Kordofan An Experimental Program of the Sudan Agricultural Bank Recently, the Sudan Agricultural Bank has been trying to create new approaches for benefitting the small farmers who make up the large majority of agriculturalists in North Kordofan. A program has been established to provide farmers with credit and marketing services that do not involve traditional money lendors and crop buyers. The experiment started in the 1980-81 season with the establishment of three cooperative societies in el-Obeid District. According to the annual report of the el-Obeid Office of the Agricultural Bank, the three societies were selected with the following criteria in mind: (a) rainfall adequate for good production, (b) easy transportation to the villages, especially during the rainy season, and (c) two of the villages already had experience with an agricultural cooperative society (but these were dissolved before the credit and marketing societies were set up). The general specifications of the program were as follows: Membership was restricted to those for whom agriculture is the main occupation. Loans were distributed by committees composed of the el-Obeid Bank Officer, officials from the Cooperative Department, and members from the local board of directors of each society. The loans were made in three installments: First installment -earmarked for clearing land before sowing, cost of seeds, and cost of hiring labor to plant. Second installment -weeding, primarily labor costs. Third installment -for harvest expenses including the provision of sacks and transportation from the fields to a storehouse. The amount of loans a member of the society receives is based on a contract drawn up between each member and the society's agricultural committee. Loans are indicated for producing sesame and groundnuts only. The amount loaned is based on the number of mukhammas the farmer cultivates of each crop, and is calculated to be 70/ of the expenses required. The member meets with the agricultural committee to decide how many mukhammas of each crop he will grow, and afterwards the member is eligible for loans according to the schedule in Table I. Before he can receive each installment, however, his fields are inspected to ascertain that he is abiding by his contract and taking proper care of his crops. The review process makes allowances for farmers whose production is low owing to a lack of rains. Participation in the loan program obligates the farmer to participate in the storage and marketing side of the program. After harvest it is expected that the members will turn over a sizeable portion of their yield to the cooperative.' These crops are held in storage either in the village 'Officially speaking all crops for which the farmer has received loans should be surrendered to the cooperative. This rule is not strictly followed, however, in recognition that the farmer must barter some of his crops at the village shop.



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-55 Research Methods and Data Collection The sources of the data for the marketing side of the study are two: documentary evidence contained in government tax receipts for crop and livestock sales and ethnographic material obtained through observations and interviews. We have collected information about crop sales using government tax receipts for Abu Haraz market and Umm Ramad market. We also have collected from tax receipts information about livestock sales at Abu Haraz market. Before the project ends we will attempt to collect the same data for the crop and livestock markets at Kazgeil. Bi-weekly sales data have been gathered from the government crop market at el-Obeid, and we are keeping a bi-weekly record of grain prices at the urban grain market, which is in the hands of private merchants. Finally, we have collected prices of a market basket of goods sold at village shops and have comparable prices of the same goods at Abu Jahal Market in el-Obeid.53 We have also mapped the distribution and characteristics of shopkeepers and periodic vendors at three villages -Abu Haraz, Umm Ramad and el-Geifil. It proved impractical to devote equal time to collecting data about marketing in each village in the sample of fifteen villages. One reason for this is that the marketing system was found to be far more complex than we initially supposed. To deal with this we were obliged to concentrate attention on four marketing centers chosen for their heterogeneity. Seven of the fifteen villages in our sample have a designated area where a periodic market takes place (Table 19). Of these seven, six villages have a registered government crop market. The seventh village has a market square surrounded by shops but lacks a crop market. Two of the villages with crop markets also have registered government livestock markets. Table 19. Market Villages in the Study Sample Name of Village Periodic Market Crop Market Livestock Market Abu Haraz yes yes yes Kazgeil yes yes yes Ayara yes yes no Umm Ramad yes yes no el-Geifil yes yes no Umm Kuka yes yes no Bengedid yes no no 53Villagers prefer to buy in Abu Jahal when they are visting el-Obeid. Prices are lower than at el-Obeid main market.



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-8 the range was 1-20. This average household size corresponds nicely with the average estimated for the North Kordofan region, which was 7.7 members also. To understand labor utilization in these households, the ratio of the productive members in the household to the total was calculated. By productive, we mean that the person was involved in farming activities or helped to generate income through other means for himself or the household. The average proportion of productive members was .64, and the range was .1 to 1.0. In other words, 64% of the members residing in these households were to some extent productive. This high proportion indicates how important family labor is to the household economy of this region. Another important factor regarding household production is the number of household members who own or operate their own farms. These farm operators are referred to as Farm Management Units (FMU). In the first report, a FMU was defined as consisting of a farmer who makes cropping decisions for a parcel of land and his or her dependents. In many cases, the FMU and household are the same; however, FMU takes into account farmers who do not represent a separate household (unmarried men and married women), yet still manage a piece of cultivated land. The average number of FMUs per household in our sample was 2.1, and the range was 1 to 4. This indicates that at least two FMUs are in the average household. In most cases, these are the male head of the household and his wife. The wife is usually given a small piece of land to farm by her husband, and the income generated is used according to the wife's discretion. This income is often used by the wife to purchase cloth and other household necessities. Land Tenure and Land Use The total land area available to farmers in our sample was 1,967.5 mukhammas.6 Of this, 722 mukhammas were cultivated (37%). The average size of cultivation was 18.05 mukhammas, and the range was 2 to 77 mukhammas. The following frequency distributFon illustrates the number and percentage of farmers operating various sizes of parcels of land. Table 1. Distribution of Farmers by Size of Cultivated Unit Size in mukhammas Frequency Percentage 1-10 14 35 11-20 17 42.5 21 and above 9 22.5 Total 40 100.0 6A mukhammas = 1.73 feddans or 1.80 acres.



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-51 begin clearing fields and to start planting when the rains come. Many of these migrants get jobs as construction workers in the cities like El Obeid or Khartoum, or they work as farm laborers on the mechanized agricultural schemes picking cotton or cutting sorghum. Although a few migrants are employed in skilled professions like tailoring or shoe manufacture and repair, most work as unskilled laborers. In addition to gaining income, many farmers migrate because of severe water shortages in their villages. This is one of the key factors in farmers' decisions to migrate. Unable to afford the high costs of water during the dry season ,51 farmers may take their entire family with them or go by themselves and make arrangements to supply water to those members who stay behind. This may involve sending money home periodically or leaving enough revenue behind to meet these expenses. Thus, water availability has a strong influence on migration patterns. The income derived from migration is a valuable input into the household economy of many poor farmers. It helps supplement farm revenues, especially during years of poor crop production. Therefore, seasonal migration for employment plays an important role in the farming system of this region. Monetary Gifts from Relatives Living Elsewhere Another source of funds to supplement farm incomes is money sent home from relatives living in other places. About one-fourth of the farmers (9 of 40) in our sample received money in this fashion. The amount of money received varied from 30 L.S. to 450 L.S. a year. In about half the cases, sons sent money home to fathers, while the rest involved brothers sending money to brothers. Often the largest sum was sent during the rainy season to help pay for labor expenditures. Umm Ramad had the largest number of farmers receiving money from relatives (6 of 15 or 40%), followed by El Geifil (2 of 10 or 20%) and El Kharta (1 of 15 or 7%). To implement this strategy, many farmers realize that well-paid relatives living elsewhere and education are closely linked. Many government jobs or other relatively high paying professions require some education; at least primary school. Therefore, if families wish to have one of their members in such a position they have to allow them to receive the necessary training. Once this member receives the appropriate training and secures a good job, he can start supplementing the family income through periodic monetary gifts. It is perhaps with this strategy in mind that many of the farmers in our sample are encouraging some of their children to obtain an education. In most cases, they only send a couple of children to receive such training, while the rest contribute their labor to farm activities., Given their limited resources and dependency on family labor, the inability of poor farmers to educate more than one or two is understandable. But, such a strategy can pay off in the long run if these children can secure positions which enable them to give some financial assistance to the family. 511In El Kharta the price of water sold from private cisterns was 35 plasters a ti'nabout four gallons). This price was starting to force many farmers to migrate to El Obeid because they couldn't afford it.



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-119 6. mudraa The seeds will then be winnowed by the women using (abags or reekas. 7. ghurbaal A screen sifter called a ghurbaal is used to separate the seed from the sand an[-dirt. 8. keel Women will put the sorghum seed in sacks and men will then tie these up. 9. nagil This is the term used to refer to the transporting of the sorghum seed from the field to the village. Millet (dukkun) 1. gati9 First, the millet heads are cut using a tagda or a Hashaasha. Both men and women will participate in this activity. 2. soot Once cut, the millet heads will be piled into small piles called soot. These piles are usually in the same rows of the millet field that the person is cutting in. 3. koom Sometimes soot piles will be piled into larger piles called koom. 4. jurun After the whole field has been cut, they will prepare a large clean surface in the middle of the field called a tagaah. All the loose dirt and debris is swept away before they pile the millet into one large pile called a jurun. Sometimes people will put salt down on the tagaah to protect the jurun from termites. (This is practiced in Umm Ramad.) The millet will be left in a jurun for one to two months until the farmer is ready to thresh it. 5. dagg Threshing of the millet begins with men spreading out the heads on the tagaah with shi9ba and baraaza. Several men will then smash the millet heads with a mudgaaga. Men with the shi9ba and baraaza will then separate out stems (kararu) from the seeds and chaff. Women will collect the remaining seeds and chaff and pour them on the ground in another part of the tagaah. Using a broom called a mugshaasha, they sweep the chaff away from the seeds to one side. The seeds are then collected into reekas and tabags and winnowed to remove excess dirt and other debris. The seed is then placed in a ghurbaal to clean the seed from sand. During thi process, much of the millet seed which did not separate from the chaff is placed in another pile. This is called badbadi. This badbadi is taken back to the other part of the tagaah to be smashed again. The whole process is then repeated. After all of this, there will be some millet seed which still hasn't separated from the chaff. This millet seed/chaff is called ruus.



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-5 Part I. AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTION AND THE HOUSEHOLD ECONOMY Introduction This section of the report presents a review of the data collected thus far in the ethnographic study of agricultural production and the household economy of the El Obeid region of North Kordofan. In Report No. 1, the primary focus of this study has been on three villages in our village sample. These villages are El Kharta (north of El Obeid), El Geifil (east of El Obeid) and Umm Ramad (southwest of El Obeid). These three village-s were selected for intensive study of the farming system in this area of North Kordofan in order to design a survey instrument of farming operations. This survey instrument was used with a sample of farmers in 15 villages in the El Obeid area beginning in late May, 1982. Between July 1981 and January 1982, an extensive amount of data was collected from the three villages in our study area. First, we attempted to collect data on all aspects of the farming system found in this Sahelian environment. Such data include farmers' access to land, labor, and capital, how they manage these resources, as well as how these resources are channeled into cropping patterns, animal husbandry and off-farm economic activities. Second, detailed descriptions of farming practices have been obtained as well as the local names of the operations and tools involved. Some of this information is presented in Appendix D of this report. Third, information regarding the growth cycles of crops and the various stages of growth which farmers recognize as being important is being collected. The stages of millet growth as identified by farmers in this area and their distinguishing attributes are presented in Appendix C. General Overview of the Farming System Found in the El Obeid Region of North Kordofan To fully understand farming in this area of the Sudan, one has to take into account the constraints imposed by the environment. First, this area averages 347 mm of rainfall annually, most within the period between July and October. This rainfall is highly variable from one year to the next, making consistantly successful farming almost impossible to achieve. Second, the agricultural area surrounding El Obeid is a transitional zone as far as soils are concerned, with clayey sandy soils lying to the south and qoz soils (stabilized sand dunes) lying to the north. These soils in conjunction with the limited rainfall limits the types of crops that can be grown. The character of agriculture also is heavily influenced by the'socio-economic environment which is characterized by extreme poverty, a high inflation rate, unstable government policies, the lack of infrastructure, labor intensive agriculture, a low level of education, and the survival of many traditional beliefs and val ues. A detailed description of the farming system characterizing the El Obeid region was presented in our first field report, so no attempt will be made here to deal with it in depth. The five major components of this system are the cropping patterns, animal husbandry, off-farm economic activities, marketing and consumption. Cropping patterns in this system consist of a mixture



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-10 10 sacks of millet on the rented piece of land, 1 sack will be given to the landowner. Eleven of the 15 farmers had futra agreements. The ijar/dugundi7 rental arrangement is a yearly rent paid to the land owner in the form of a specified amount of cash. This amount varies from 2 to 5 L. S. a mukhammas. Only 3 of the 15 farmers who rent-in land did so by dugundi. The muktuu9iya8 rental arrangement is a lump-sum paid to the landowner giving the renter access to the land till the fertility of the soil is exhausted. For instance, the renter will pay 40 L.S. to fa m a single piece of land for 7 to 10 years. This is the least common rental arrangement. Only one farmer in our sample rented-in land in this manner. In all cases, thus far investigated, all land which was rented was fallow land. Previously cultivated land was rarely rented on a first time basis. One benefit that landowners gain in renting land is that the renter will bear the costs in clearing the land. For those rental arrangements which are on a yearly basis (futra and ij ar/dugundi), landowners can reclaim the land after the third year of cultivation, so that in effect the renter is providing a cheap means for landowners to clear their land. The only rental arrangement which does not favor the landowner is the muktuu9iya arrangement. Since a renter can continue to utilize the rented land till the soil is exhausted, he is compensated for his initial clearing costs. For this reason, this arrangement is not preferred by landowners, which might explain its rare occurence.9 The muktuu9iya arrangement can also have adverse environmental consequences because renters may not adhere to proper land-use management practices since it is not their land. This arrangement promotes the over-utilization of cultivated land because renters will try to get the most for their initial investment. Our findings indicate that differences did exist between the 3 villages regarding renting-in land. Umm Ramad had the greatest number of renters (8 of 15 or 53%) followed by El Geifil (3 of 10 or 30%) and El Kharta (4 of 15 or 27%). Umm Ramad may have had a higher proportion of renters because several farmers had migrated into the village from outside for the facilities and services it offers. Umm Ramad has a primary school, a permanent water source, and a relatively large market. Considering the other side of rental arrangements, we also made inquiries as to how many farmers were renting their land out. Twenty-eight percent (11) of the farmers surveyed had rented 182.5 mukhammas to other 7During the colonial period, the term dugundi was used to refer to the tax collected by the Shaikh of each village based on his estimation of crop output of each farmer's field. East and North of El Obeid the term dugundi is used to refer to annual rent paid in cash. 8The term mukluu9iya means a piece of something. The term is sometimes used by farmers when they rent one tract of land by an annual agreed upon price. In El Kharta the term is used to describe a lump sum rental arrangement as described above. 9The farmers in need of a sizable amount of money for an emergency may rent by the muktuu9iya arrangement.



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0 -39merchants (12 of 25). Only one farmer obtained DDT from the government. No real difference existed between the three villages regarding DDT use. Although effective in pest control and relatively inexpensive, DDT is a highly poisonous substance. Unfortunately, the techniques employed by farmers in using DDT expose the sesame seeds directly to this toxic material. The mixing of DDT with sesame during threshing is unavoidable. As a result, the sesame that is sold to oil mills and urban populations contains high levels of DDT. It is very difficult to discourage the use of DDT because of *its low cost. 'If it should be discouraged, substitutes have to be provided which are also inexpensive and effective in ant and termite control. Convincing farmers that they should not use this substance would be facilitated by offering a viable alternative. 40 As for dressing, only 23 percent of the farmers interviewed were doing this. Aldrex-T (or Dawa Suweit) was used most frequently on groundnuts (7 of 9). Only four farmers surveyed used it on all their crop seeds. Not surprisingly, these were more affluent farmers. There was a tendency for less well-off farmers to use seed dressing on only one crop (usually groundnuts) because of its expense. Eighty-nine percent (8 of 9) of the farmers who used a seed dressing purchased the chemical from the El Obeid market. Only one farmer obtained this substance from a local merchant. No farmers interviewed acquired it from a government agency. Comparing the three villages regarding the use of this material, Umm Ramad had the greatest number of users (6) followed by El Kharta (3). No farmers in El Geifil used seed dressing. A seed dressing helps protect seeds from ants, termites and millipedes (surfa) when they are first planted. Unfortunately, it is a relatively expensive input for poor farmers in this area. Another factor contributing to its infrequent use is the lack of adequate information. Our experience has been that most farmers know about it, but they often are not aware that it can be used on other seeds besides groundnuts. We believe that farmers in this area should be encouraged to use seed dressing and that information regarding its proper use should be disseminated through any means possible. Ways should be considered on how to provide it to farmers at a lower cost than they are presently paying. Lowering the cost would definitely encourage greater use. Another input used by some farmers in this area is salt. Fifteen percent of the farmers surveyed use salt to protect their millet and/or sorghum drying piles from termites (6 of 40). All six of these farmers are from Umm Ramad. These farmers indicated that they have been using salt for years, and that its use is a well established farm technique in the area. Although it may be effective against termites, salt adversely affects soil fertility.. Continuous use of salt on the same field will significantly lower production. In fact, farmers themselves have acknowledged that their crops do poorly in 'areas of the field where salt was previously applied. Unfortunately, the application of salt is a strategy with short-term benefits but long-term detrimental consequences for the environment. Therefore, the use of salt by farmers should be discouraged. However, once again this



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-134 Child Birth and Naming On the first day of the birth, the family will slaughter a sheep. This is called Hurraara. An additional sheep is slaughtered on the seventh day when the baby is named. Nafiir (communal labor party) The family having the communal labor force work on their field will often slaughter a goat to feed the participants. Fried meat as well as uncooked and cooked tripe are served. Sometimes mulaaH sharmuut or tagaliya is provided with 9asiida. Tea and coffee are served as well. Death Usually no special food is provided during a funeral. 9asiida or kisra is served with a mulaaH, and tea and coffee are provided.



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x LIST OF TABLES (Continued) 23. Periodic Vendors and Their Products in the Abu-Haraz and el-Obeid and el-Geifil Markets ... ................65 24. Auction Prices of Crops at the Abu-Haraz Market .... ....... 68 25. Crop Auction Prices at Abu-Haraz, Transport Costs to el-Obeid and Median Price at el-Obeid Crop Market ............... .69 26. High and Low Prices of Sorghum, Millet and Wheat at el-Obeid Grain Market ............................73 27. Distribution of Feterita Purchased by Household ..........75 28. Distribution of Feterita Purchased by Source ............76 29. A Qualitative Analysis of Crop Marketing in the el-Obeid Area. ...79



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vi C. Chemical inputs 1. At present, herbicides and fertilizers do not appear to be economic for small farmers in el-Obeid area. 2. Continue and expand the program of distributing seed dressing, perhaps using local merchants. 3. Look for a substitute for DDT which is used excessively to .prevent insect attack on food crops. 4. Discourage the practice of using salt on millet and sorghum threshing floors. An alternative should be introduced to protect these grains from termites.. D. Availability of drinking water 1. The scarcity of drinking water is an important constraint on crop production since farmers are reluctant to cultivate in areas where there is not a reliable water supply. Care must be taken, however, to insure that increased access to water through the excavation of reservoirs or the sinking of wells may have dire consequences if it leads to growth of herd populations in excess of available pasture. Careful regional planning is required to ensure the optimal distribution of watering points. III. Other constraints A. Credit 1. The Sudan Agricultural Bank i'n its program to make cropping input loans to small, traditional farmers should consider raising the interest rate upward from the present 14% to a level in excess of the annual rate of inflation plus the amount needed to reimburse the cost of administering the program. An alternative to this program might be to make loans to farmers on the basis of valuables left as collateral. B. Procedures for auctioning crops 1. Randomize the assignment of farmer's crops to lots. 2. Randomize the order in which crop buyers may bid at the auction. C. Pricing policy with respect to gum arabic 1. The difference between the farm gate price for gum arabic and the international price is greater than 100%. The Government of Sudan must find the means to increase the farmers' share of the income from gum marketing. Otherwise, the area under Acacia senegal will continue to decrease. 2. A program is needed to teach farmers to better propagate and care for the trees. D. Limited knowledge of farmers 1. A low-cost method for disseminating farming and marketing information to illiterate farmers. Radio programming would seem to be an optimum means of accomplishing this since radios are common in the villages. E. Transport and storage 1. In the el-Obeid area these operations do not seem to pose major constraints for village farmers.



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-114 Appendix D. Farm Implements and Harvesting Procedures Tools Used in Farming in the El-Obeid Region of North Kordofan Name of Tool Description Farm Operation(s) Crop(s) Non-Farm Uses juriya A metal hoe with a 1.Digging holes for All crops 1.Digging post wood handle approxiplanting holes for mately4-5 feet long 2.Digging up millet houses and sorghum stalks 2.Digging 3.Cutting up small magmura trees Hashaasha A crescent-shaped 1.Weeding All crops None metal blade hafted 2.Cutting millet on a wood handle and sorghum heads about 6 feet long 3.Maseega-weeding in the dry season to prepare the land for the coming season munjal Harvesting sickle1.Cutting Sesame Cutting wild curved knife with grass for land serrated edge and clearing or wooden handle fodder tagda A cutting blade 1.Cutting during Sorghum None with a wood hanharvest operations Millet dle about 4-5 Sesame inches long mudgaaga A wood board flat 1.Threshing -to Millet None on one side about smash the millet Sorghum 1 ft.by 6 inches or sorghum heads attached to a wood releasing the handle 5-6 ft.long. seeds The handle is fixed to the board at a 450 angle shi9ba A Y-shaped tool 1.Threshing -used like Sesame Used as house about 5-6 feet apitchfork to shake (separates support beam long (eye-high) and toss sesame stems and plants after they pods from have been put into seeds) piles for drying baraaza A wooden rake 1.Used to separate Millet To clean debris made from a Y millet and sorghum Sorghum away from a shaped wood seeds from stems Sesame house piece and small and chaff sticks and 2.Separate sesame leather. It is seeds from stems 5-6 ft. long and pods (kashkash) (eye high) 3.As a rake foFrlaned clearing (bareez)



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-138 Appendix I. A Grass-Roots Credit and Self-Help Program The following is a description of a self-help credit program that was initiated this year by several families in El Kharta. This program was started without any help from the Government or outside organizations. It provides an example of the ingenuity and resourcefulness of farmers in this area to create a workable credit program without outside intervention. An extended family in El Kharta started a cooperative farm in 1981 on a ten mukhammas piece of rented land. Twenty-five men participated in this venture. The owner of the farmland was also one of the men participating. The rented land was fallow land, so all twenty-five men got together and cleared the land collectively. After clearing, each man contributed one mid of sesame seed for planting. In addition, some of these participants contributed watermelon seeds and sorghum seeds for intercropping with the sesame. Sometime before the rains during the first of June, they all got together and planted ten mukhammas in one day. Several weeks later, they started the first weeding. Every Friday for three weeks in a row they got together and weeded this field. The following Friday, they collectively replanted the field in areas where the sesame didn't germinate. A few weeks after this, they started the second weeding and continued this for three more weeks. When it came time for cutting the sesame, all twenty-five participants worked in the field every fourth day. It took one month to cut the field. No DDT was used around the sesame drying piles. After allowing the sesame to dry for an adequate amount of time, the twenty-five men got together to thresh the field. Each man contributed fifty piasters to help pay for the food, coffee and tea to be consumed during the threshing period. They threshed the field in one day with eight women doing the winnowing. Each woman was paid two mids of sesame. The sorghum in the field was also threshed the same day. As for the watermelons, the participants ate these while they worked in the field and several of them took some home. The smaller watermelons that couldn't be eaten were left in the field for animal fodder. As for output gained from this field, the group obtained fifteen sacks of sesame and one sack of sorghum for their efforts. This output was not sold until the price of sesame was at its highest;' The money obtained from these sales is being kept by an elected treasurer. The money is to be used as a source of credit for the poor farmers in the group. No interest is being charged and the loans will not have to be paid back until next year after the crops have been sold. A committee of five persons will make the deicisions as to who gets a loan and how much. This money is also to be used as a disaster aid fund for those suffering from fire loss or the death of a household member. The individuals we talked to who participated in this project were very enthusiastic about its success.



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-4 a -pronounced like "e" in "met" except after "r" and the velarized consonants (q, s, t, ) when it sounds like "a" in father. aa -pronounced like "a" in "mat" except after "r" and the velarized consonants when it sounds like "ah". i -pronounced like "i" in "sit". ii -pronounced like "ee" in "feet". u -pronounced like "u" in "but". uu -pronounced like "oo" in "boot". ee -pronounced like "a" in "fate" oo -pronounced like "o" in "ode" A glossary of Arabic terms that appear in the main body of this report is found in the final appendix. In addition, further terminology is explained in several of the other appendices. Proper names of villages and towns and of persons are spelled using a more traditional transliteration in conformity with the spellings used in Sudan Surveys maps and in Sudanow, the Englishlanguage news magazine.



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-19 In Umm Ramad, only 29 percent of the land cultivated was in sesame,20 however 87 percent of the farmers planted some in their fields (13 of 15). As in El Kharta, baladi/danameet was the dominant type grown, followed by jabarook and HireeHri. Only two farmers grew more than one type, and no farmers mixed seeds of different types before planting. The extensive cultivation of sesame among farmers in this region has an important bearing on the farming system of this area. Sesame has significantly displaced subsistence crops such as millet and sorghum to the point that farmers are depending on the revenue gained from sesame to purchase food supplies which supplement the grain supplies grown on their own fields. For this reason, the extent of sesame cultivation is a good measure of the integration of these farm communities into the cash economy. Aside from foodstuffs, cash generated from sesame sales is also used to purchase other commodities offered by urban markets which cannot be locally purchased. This shift away from locally produced goods to market purchased goods represents a shift in taste and values, to the point that farmers are relying heavily on sesame to satisfy their material wants. Therefore, a cash crop like sesame does, and will continue to play a critical role in the farm household economy. Aside from being a source of cash sesame is also used as a source of food. Farmers consume sesame raw, mix it with other vegatables and consume it as a main dish, or grind it up to make an oil used in food preparation. In addition, sesame is used as a source of fodder. The pods are saved during threshing and fed to camels, and the leafy stems remaining in the fields after cutting are consumed as fodder by livestock. Thus, as with the other crops farmers grow, sesame serves a number of functions in addition to being a source of cash. Agricultural researchers should be aware of these when they consider ways of improving farm production in this region. Groundnuts Groundnuts are the second most important cash crop grown in the El Obeid area. This crop is more extensively cultivated to the southwest of El Obeid than to the north and east. Since two of the villages in this initial sample are in the areas where few groundnuts are grown, the crop's importance is perhaps under-represented in the findings below. Forty-eight percent of the farmers interviewed grew groundnuts (19 of 40). The total amount of land cultivated in this crop was 70 mukhammas, which represents 10 percent of the total land cultivated.21 20Umm Ramad farmers grow two main cash crops. Aside from sesame, groundnuts are also extensively cultivated. Most farmers plant some of both. 21The size of the cultivated holdings in groundnuts tend to be smaller than those of other crops because of the high cost of labor inputs required to grow this crop.



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-58 kind of informant. Some of the case studies are presented below in talking about periodic vendors. An Overview of Marketing in the Study Area A quick grasp on rural marketing is gained from a consideration of the village-level media through which market exchanges occur. In the previous research report only two of these--the merchant's shop and the government crop market60--were singled out. Research carried out since the last report was completed leads us to identify a number of important marketing institutions. Village Shop This category includes, besides the ubiquitous grocery store, the flour mill and the bakery. As the previous report indicated, the village shop is responsible for the day to day provisioning of village households. It is the first-line buyer of many of the goods which are produced by the household. It is also a source of credit to the household, particularly late in the farming season before the grain can be harvested--a period when many farming families lack income to purchase their consumption needs. Of considerable importance to crop marketing is shopkeeper's willingness to accept small quantities of sesame, groundnuts, roselle and gum arabic as payment for goods. Sesame and groundnuts are measured by the mid while roselle and gum arabic are weighed in rootls on the merchant's balance. The farmer who sells his crop in this manner receives less than he would at a government crop market but gains from the convenience of selling only enough of his crop to buy current requirements. There is the added convenience of not having to leave his own village when buying supplies. The merchant collects crops piecemeal in this manner, storing them in sacks inside his shop or burying them in a maVmuura until he is ready to sell, usually to an urban merchant's agent or directly to a crop agency at el-Obeid. These crop sales are not under the direct supervision of government tax collectors. This poses a serious problem to the rural councils, which depend on the tax revenues from crop sales. The movement of crops directly from the villages to the oil seed agencies in el-Obeid without payment of taxes is believed to be a widespread practice. A list of commodities that are commonly sold in the village shop was reported in the first research report. Most families purchase foodstuffs from a shop every two or three days, if not every day. The items that are needed for meals every day are tea, coffee beans, sugar, sesame oil, onion and feterita.61 In Table 20 the comparative prices of these commodities at Abu Jahal (el-Obeid), Abu Haraz, and el-Geifil are listed.62 60The earlier report describes Abu Haraz market as typical of government crop markets in the study area. It has since become evident that two major types of government crop markets exist and Abu Haraz market represents only one of these types. See analysis below of the mizaan and shiishna systems. 61If the family has stored millet or sorghum from its own production it may, depending on the season of the year, prefer to eat from its own stock rather than purchase feterita from a shop. 62Data collected between 1/5/82 and 1/8/82 from one shop selected at each location.



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farmers. Of these farmers, the average percentage of their total landholding rented out was 30 percent, and the amount rented averaged 16.59 mukhammas. The most common rental arrangement was futra (7 to 11 or 64%) followed by ijar/dugundi (2 to 11 or 18%) and by mukluu9iya (2 to 11 or 18%). While the richer farmers usually rent-in land, the poorer ones rent it out. Of the 11 farmers who rented land out, 10 were cultivating 15 mukhammas or less. In fact, 5 of these farmers were cultivating 10 mukhammas or less. An explanation for this trend is similar to that given earlier. Poor farmers can't afford to hire the labor necessary to expand cultivation, even on their own land, so that they are renting their land out to gain some bebiefit from this resource. Land sales are very uncommon in this area. We found only 2 cases, where such purchases were made, and both buyers were women. Women may be purchasing land as a way to gain access to land since inheritance practices in this area make it difficult for them to accumulate large land holdings. Overall, the infrequent occurrence of land purchases illustrate the importance of inheritance to farmers in this region. Cropping Patterns The four most important crops in this area of North Kordofan are millet, sorghum, sesame and groundnuts. After a discussion of each crop, the planting and cultivation system is discussed. Millet Millet is the principal subsistence crop grown in this area. Thirtyeight of the 40 farmers cultivated this crop. Thirty-five percent of the cultivated land was in millet (249.5 mukhammas). In addition, for each farmer, the average proportion of his total cultivated land that was planted in millet was .38. Several types of millet are grown in the study area. The local names for these types are dukhun baladi or dimbi, dukhun HireeHri and 9ish barnu. Dukhun baladi or dimbi is a late maturing variety (90-110 days), ciracterized by long slender candles and small seeds. Dukhun HireeHri is an early maturing variety (70-80 days) with candles which 'are shorter and thicker than baladi candles. 9ish barnu is an intermediate maturing variety (8090 days) characterized by-very long candles ranging from greenish yellow to dark brown in color.1 109ish barnu is also referred to as 9ish al-ghariib or maang. llSee Appendix B for a typology of the millets grown in this area.



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-34 presents the mean amount of seed planted per mukhammas for each crop as well as the range. This table also presents seed averages for first planting and multiple plantings for each crop. Table 11. Seeding Rate by Crop Amount Planted: Amount Planted: Amounted Planted: Single Planting Multiple Plantings Overall Average Type of Crop Average Range Average Range Average Range Millet .73 .32-1.0 1.12 .5-2.2 .92 .32-2.2 expressedd (n=17) (n=17) (n=34) in mids) Sesame 1.23 .5-2.2 2.09 .75-6.0 1.54 .5-6.0 (expressed (n=22) (n=12) (n=34) in mids) Groundnuts .78 .13-1.67 1.17 -.80 .13-1.67 (expressed (n=18) (n=1) (n=19) in sacks) Sorghum .99 .5-2.0 1.05 1.01-1.5 1.01 .5-2.0 (separate (n=7) (n=3) (n=10) stand) (expressed in mids) Sorghum .18 .11-.29 .64 .20-2.0 .37 .11-2.0 (intercropped (n=9) (n=6) (n=15) with sesame) (expressed in mids) The average quantity of seed used in planting millet was .92 mids per mukhammas, and the range was .32 to 2.2 mids. The average amount of seed used by farmers who planted their millet only once was .73 mids, and the range was .32 to 1.0 mids. As for farmers who planted their millet more than once, the average amount used was 1.12 mids and the range was .5 to 2.2 mids. Farmers who planted sesame tended to use considerably more seed per mukhammas than they did of millet. This might be explained by the fact that farmers often follow a strategy to compensate for wind erosion by planting large amounts of sesame seeds per hole. The average amount of seed planted in sesame was 1.54 mids per mukhammas, and the range was .5 to 6.0 mids. For those farmers who only plaited their sesame once, the average was 1.23 mids and the range was .5 to 2.2 mids. Some farmers had to replant their sesame, and the average amount of seed they used was 2.09 mids. The range was .75 to 6.0 mids.



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-62 Periodic Vendors Selling goods at periodic markets provides some farm households with a supplementary income.6b Both men and women do this.66 Participation in the market is sporadic for many, however, since vendors may have goods to sell only at certain times or seasons. Thus, this kind of marketing is frequently opportunistic. Other vendors, working an itinerant circuit or having the opportunity to visit wholesalers regularly in el-Obeid, are found in the markets week after week. Something of the diversity of periodic vendors will be made clearer by describing several examples. Abu-Haraz market -twenty year-old woman selling handmade brooms This woman lives with her parents and her husband in a village that is one-half hour away by truck from Abu Haraz. They are farmers. She belongs to the dominant tribe of the area, the Bideiriya. The only commodity that she is selling is straw brooms made from a species of grass that grows plentifully one-half hour from her village. She and her female relatives harvested the grass and tied it into loose bundles. The bundles are held in the hand for sweeping. She brought fifty brooms and is selling 0 em for 0.050 each. She came to Abu Haraz by a truck from her village. The The charge was 0.500 for herself as a rider while her goods were hauled free of charge. This is only the third time she has been to this market in the past year. el-Geifil market -sixty year-old man selling sesame oil This man is a member of the dominant Jawama'a Tribe. He is a prosperous farmer and operates an oil press in el-Geifil. He attends the market every Sunday during the season (Nov.-Apr.) to sell his oil. He buys sesame from farmers at 1.000/mid (Jan., 1982), and each mid produces about one rootl of oil and 5 rootls of umbaaz (sesame cake). The umbaaz is given to the Camel that turns the oil press and any surplus is sold for 0.050/rootl.68 He has brought 46 rootls of sesame oil to the market on this day and he is selling it at 0.650/ro6tl. This is the same price that oil is selling for in el-Obeid. The seller explains that he can demand this high price in el-Geifil market because he has no competition. At el-Karra market--one hour by donkey to the north of el-Geifil--there is more competition and the price is lower (0.600/rootl); however, the volume of sales is much more. This man also sells oil in the el-Karra market. 65The majority of the informants we talked to indicated their earnings at the periodic market would go directly to the family budget. The vendor often uses his or her earnings immediately to buy household needs while still at the market. 66Our impression is that young girls are socialized earlier into this practice than young boys. Often they are seen selling prepared foods that have been made in their homes. Boys take up commercial roles in adolescence as a means of earning spending money and to begin saving for marriage. 67The truck carried crops to be sold at the government market and empty barrels for filling with water. 68The camel eats about ten roo ls of sesame cake per day.



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V Possible Alternatives to Reduce Constraints The research has identified a number of farming system constraints. The following summarizes these and lists some possible strategies to alleviate each type of constraint. I. Natural constraints A. Wind erosion 1. Improve intercropping practices 2. Discourage early land clearing and planting 3. Adopt mulching practices 4. Shelter-belts B. Pests and disease 1. Investigate life-cycle of santa (Crytocamenta spp.) with the aim of eradicating this most important pest of millet. 2. Develop high-yielding, bird resistant varieties of millet. 3. Promote use of seed dressings. C. Loss of soil fertility 1. Investigate optimum rotation and intercropping systems taking farmers' labor and seed constraints into account. 2. Experiment with using Acacia senegal and cowpeas in the rotation system. 3. Encourage continuation of minimal tillage techniques. 4. Explore the advisability of mulching. D. Availability of rainfall 1. Introduce improved, early maturing, draught resistant varieties of present crops. Introduce new draught resistant crops. 2. Investigate optimal planting period for each crop while considbring the constraint of labor bottlenecks. 3. Mulching practices and shelter-belts to conserve soil moisture. 4. Research focused on the benefit of creating water catchments around plants. 11. Input constraints A. Access to labor 1. Introduction of early-maturing varieties of crops would allow poorer farmers to resolve the conflict between the need to work in their own fields during the second weeding period and the need to earn cash by hiring their labor. 2. Credit programs to provide farmers with funds with which they could purchase additional labor. 3. Consider introducing plow cultivation with animal traction. Minimal tillage technologies would be optimal. B. Access to seeds 1. increase availability of seeds of early maturing varieties. 2. Consider use of village merchants as primary distributors of improved seeds.



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-101 other branch of the Ministry of Agriculture could provide farmers with this information. Second, these substances need to be made available to farmers at lower costs if greater utilization is the goal. This might involve government subsidies to reduce the costs.101 To facilitate the distribution of these dressings to farmers, merchants could be used as intermediaries. They already perform this role for the distribution of DDT. 3. If possible, a viable substitute should be introduced to farmers to replace DDT. DDT is a very toxic substance which is detrimental to the health of those who use it and consume it.102 This substitute should also be inexpensive and effective against ants and termites or farmers won't use it. 4. Farmers should be discouraged from using salt on their millet and sorghum threshing floors in the center of their fields. The long-term effects of such practices are detrimental to the soil quality of the area. An alternative should be introduced to protect these grains from termites. Once again, this alternative should be relatively inexpensive so that farmers can easily adopt it. D. Availability of Drinking Water Farmers do not have adequate water supplies in many of these villages throughout the year. Water shortages adversely affect farmers' animal husbandry patterns, and force many farmers to migrate during the dry season. In addition, high water costs during the dry season seriously deplete the earnings farmers gain from crop output. Compensating Strategies 1. If available, farmers rely on nearby Government hafiirs and/or wells to meet their water needs. In some villages, such facilities provide a year-round water source which enables farmers to stay in the village throughout the dry season. Such permanent water sources also encourage the accumulation of livestock. 2. Most farmers make use of natural rain pools and other water courses during the rainy season up to November. 3. Many farmers dig shallow wells (tamads) in dry water courses to obtain water. If other sources of water are available for human consumption, such wells are usually used to water animals. 4. Some farmers finance the digging of deep wells to gain access to water. This pattern is particularly true of big livestock owners. 101 Although we are not in favor of government subsidies, this would be the only way to make these substances accessible to farmers. 12DTis often mixed in with sesame, so that consuming some of the substance is unavoidable.



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-22 The majority of the farmers surveyed planted another crop with sesame, and usually in the same hole (Table 9). Watermelon was the most common crop intercropped with sesame, with 73 percent of the farmers planting it in the same field. Cow peas (luuba) was second, with 57 percent of the farmers growing it. Sorghum was third (46%) followed by karkadee (43%). In addition to identifying the other crops farmers intercropped with sesame, we were interested in determining how many different crops farmers planted in their sesame fields. Table 10. Distribution of Farmers Who Intercropped by Number of Crops with Sesame. (N=37) Number of Crops w/Sesame Frequency Percentagea At least 1 crop 34 92 At least 2 crops 24 65 At least 3 crops 15 41 More than 3 crops 9 24 aSince these categories overlap, the percentages do not add to 100 percent Table 10 shows that over 90 percent of the farmers who grew sesame intercropped it with at least one other crop. As stated earlier, the most common crop was watermelon. Sixty-five percent of the farmers surveyed planted at least 2 other crops with their sesame. The most common combinations were watermelon and cow peas (16 of 37 or 43%) or watermelon and sorghum (15 of 37 or 41%). Forty-one percent intercropped at least 3 crops with sesame. The combination most frequently mentioned was watermelon, sorghum and cow peas (13 of 37 or 35%). In addition, about one-fourth of the farmers in our sample planted at least 4 other crops in their sesame fields. In fact, 5 of these farmers planted sorghum, watermelon, karkadee and cow peas all in the same hole with sesame. Several reasons can be given for farmers' tendency to intercrop other crops with sesame. First, labor is a critical constraint in farm production in this area. Because many farmers cannot afford to expand their cultivation through land clearing, they grow several crops on the same field to take advantage of what limited area they can cultivate.26 This practice also helps cut down on weeding costs since several crops are weeded at once when they are in the same field. Second, many crops are grown in one field to ensure that some output will be retrieved from the piece 261n fact, better-off farmers tend to plant sesame in separate stands.



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-139 Appendix J. Preliminary Farming Systems Survey Form



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vii TABLE OF CONTENTS Introduction. .. .. ........ ........ ........ ...1 Contents of the Report. .. ...... ........ .......2 The Transliteration of Arabic Terms .. .. ...... ........2 Part I. Agricultural Production and the Household Economy .. .. ........ ......... ........5 Introduction .. .. ..... ........ ...........5 General Overview of the Farming System. .. .. .........5 Results of the Preliminary Farming System Survey .. .. .....7 The Sample. .. ...... ........ .........7 Demographic Data. .. ..... ........ .......7 Land Tenure and Land Use .. ... ........ ......8 Cropping Patterns .. .. I..... ........ ......11 Intercropping. .. .. ........ ........ ...21 Thinning .. .. ......... ........ ......24 Timing of Cropping Activities. .. .. ......... ..24 Cultivation-Fallow Rotation. .. .. ........ ....32 Agricultural Inputs .. .. ..... ......... ...33 Seed Requirements .. .. ..... ......... ....33 Seed Acquisition. .. ...... ........ ......35 Chemical Inputs .. .. ...... ........ ......38 Labor Inputs .. ... ........ ......... ..40 Animal Husbandry. .. ...... ........ ......47 Migration .. .. ..... ......... .... ...... Monetary Gifts from Relatives Living Elsewhere .. .. ....1 Selling Charcoal and/or Wood .. .. ......... ...52 Other Types of Income Generating Activities. .. .. ....52 Part II. Some Features of Marketing in el-Obeid Area .. ... ......54 Research Methods and Data Collection .. .. ..... ......55 An Overview of Marketing in the Study Area .. .. .... ....58 Village Shop .. .. ......... ........ ...58 Periodic Vendors. .. ...... ........ ......62 The Mizaan System .. .. ..... ........ ......68 The Shiishna System .. .. ..... ........ ....70 The Va~rk6fing of Sorghum and Millet .. .. ..... ....71 The Marketing of Major Cash Crops .. .. ...... ....77 Livestock Marketing .. .. ..... ......... ...83



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-143 Name: Date: Village: 25. Did you use a seed treatmentdressing (Aldrex-T) on any seeds before planting this year? what crop(s) 26. Did you use DDT around your sesame (tukuls or dirra) drying in the field this year? other crops Where did you buy your DDT? 27. When did you plant and replant your crops this year? When did you harvest? 1st planting 2nd planting cutting/pull threshing millet sorghum sesame groundnuts 28. Did you weed all crops at least twice? If not, specify crop and number of weedings (explain). When did you weed these crops? 29. What stage of growth do you think is the most critical in estimating the success or failure of your millet crop (Name this stage and explain why.). 30. When did you first start consuming your millet (Date)? What stage of growth was it in (fariik or other)? 31. For the following crops, did you hire labor this year for any of the operations listed? (Put D if paid by daHwa, M if paid by makhamas, and G if paid by guwaal. Also specify the wage rate.) planting 1st weeding 2nd weeding cut/pull threshing type price type price type price type price type price millet sorghum sesame groundnuts



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viii Part III. Farming System Constraints and Possible Solutions. .. .....90 Constraints to Crop Production .. .. .... ..........90 Natural Constraints .. .. ........ ........ ..90 Wind Erosion. .. .. ........ ........ ....90 Pests and Diseases. .. ..... .. .. ...... .. .....92 Loss of Soil Fertility .. .. ..... ........ ...93 Availability of Rainfall .. .. ..... ...........95 Input Constraints .. .. ......... ........ ..96 Access to Labor .. .. ........ ........ ...96 Access to Seeds .. .. ........ ......... ..98 Chemical Inputs. .. ..... ......... .......10 Availability of Drinking Water .. .. .... ........101 Other Constraints. .. ..... ......... ......102 Credit Market. .. ..... ........ ........102 Procedure for Marketing Crops. .. ...... .......104 Pricing Policy with Respect to Gum Arabic .. .. ......105 Limited Knowledge. .. ..... ........ .......15 Transport and Storage .. .. ........ ........106 Appendices: A. Seasonal Cycle. .. ..................107 B. Typologies of Sorghum and Millet Grown in the el-Obeid Area .. .. ..... ........ .......108 C. Farmers' Perceptions of Growth Stages in the Millet Plant. .. ...................................... ll D. Farm Implements and Harvesting Procedures. ..... ....114 E. Producers' Boycott at El Karra Crop Market .. .. .....121 F. Some Fodders Used in the el-Obeid Area .. .. .......125 G. Household Food Preparation and Consumption .. .. .....128 H. Financing Small Traditional Farmers in North Kordofan An Experimental Program of the Sudan Agricultural Bank .. .. .... ..................................135 I. A Grass-Roots Credit and Self-Help Program .. .. .....138 J. Preliminary Farming Systems Survey Form. .. .. ......139 K. Glossary of Arabic Terms .. ... ....... ......149



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-23 of land they are cultivating. Should drought conditions or pests adversely affect one of the crops, farmers are helping insure that one of the other crops will produce something. In limited resource farming under fluctuating environmental conditions, this is not a bad strategy. Third, by having one or more crops germinate from the same hole with sesame, the sesame crop is less suseptible to wind erosion. This is one of the main reasons why sorghum is planted with sesame. As stated earlier, the sorghum root structure is fairly firm and the stalk is strong which helps prevent sesame plants growing beside it from blowing away. Fourth, watermelon and sorghum are also consumed by laborers when they are cutting sesame in the fields. In many of these villages, drinking water is in short supply so watermelons provide a water source in the field for these laborers. Sorghum stalks, which have a high water and sugar content,27 also help quench the thirst of these laborers. An additional advantage of intercropping is that it may help maintain soil fertility. This is particularly so with legumes like cow peas. Although some farmers recognize this effect, the other reasons given for intercrooping are viewed as more important. Intercropping Millet As for millet, very few farmers in our sample intercropped it with another crop. Seventy-one percent of the farmers who grew millet grew it in a separate stand (27 of 38). Of the 11 farmers who did intercrop millet with another crop, the most common crop grown was watermelon. Our findings indicate that the usual pattern is to plant other crops with millet only in the spaces of the millet field where it did not germinate. Seven of the 11 farmers intercropping millet followed this pattern. However, 4 farmers did plant watermelon with millet in the same hole, and 1 farmer planted watermelon between the rows. The main reason given by farmers for not planting other crops with millet is that millet is too "hot", and tends to compete vigorously against other crops. This advantage is due to millet's extensive root system and tendency to tiller. When farmers do plant other crops in the open patches of their millet field, they do so for the same reasons they plant crops in their sesame fields. They are making use of what limited cultivated area they have access to given the high cost of land clearing and labor. These other crops planted in the spaces tend to be unaffected by the "hot" qualities of millet due to the low density of the millet. Intercropping Groundnuts Of the 19 farmers in our sample who planted groundnuts, only 4 intercropped them with another crop. Sorghum was grown with groundnuts by two farmers, planting a row of sorghum between every 3-6 rows of groundnuts. Other crops like watermelon, cowpeas, and sesame were sometimes planted in the spaces where the groundnuts didn't germinate. 27Sorghum stalks taste like sugarcane.



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-54 Part II. SOME FEATURES OF MARKETING IN EL-OBEID AREA An assumption of this study is that marketing poses both incentives and constraints for farmers. Consequently, a farming system analysis cannot neglect the influence of market phenomena. The first research report characterized the relationship between marketing and the farming system in the following terms: (1) The marketing system provisions the farm household with most of its consumption requirements as well as with farm inputs like seeds, seed dressing, insecticides and agricultural tools. The village shop is the source of most consumption goods that are purchased by farming families and is also an important source--but not the only one--for obtaining technical farm inputs. (2) The prices, or anticipated prices, of agricultural products have far-reaching effects on the selection of crops which farmers plant. One evidence of this in recent years is the shift back to producing more millet for subsistence and relatively less cash crops. This change has come about owing to the steady increase in the price of sorghum that is being shipped to the el-Obeid area from the mechanized farming schemes. Another example is the fluctuation in the amount of land planted in groundnuts in relation to the price that this crop will bring in international markets. In addition, (3) it is appropriate to look at credit as a market phenomenon. Village merchants are accustomed to making loans in cash and in kind. Market forces determine the terms of repayment and the rate of interest. The characteristically high interest rates that rural creditors charge are due to several factors. At the season when the demand for credit is highest (about one month before harvest), the supply of credit is low because the merchant's funds are tied up in hiring agricultural labor. Another factor contributing to high interest rates on loans is that the merchant is a local monopolist. He faces very limited competition from other merchants in the same village. On the contrary, the usual practice is for merchants to divide the village into clienteles, each family doing business with a particular merchant and taking loans from him as well. Finally, since defaults do occur, the high interest rate protects the lender' s investment. (4) Non-farm market related roles (e.g., shopkeeping, oil milling, charcoal making and selling, beer making, truck driving, camel transport) provide a second source of income to many farming families. Such occupations confer a strong advantage to these families in meeting seasonal cash flow requirements. A shop is ideal because it brings an income throughout the year. Moreover, the shopkeeper may feed his family directly from his provisions. Other occupations are performed on a seasonal basis. Many of these take place in the hot, dry season and have a definite significance for farming. The dry-season occupation provides income for the farm family to purchase food and water daily while reserving their cash crop (usually sesame) as a savings. The sesame is sold late in the market season (March-June) and the profit is used to buy animals and feterita and to finance planting and weeding operations for the coming cropping season. When Report No. 1 was written the study of marketing had only just begun. No attempt was made at that time to sketch the marketing system. Instead, we described the role of the village shopkeeper and the operation of the government crop market at Abu Haraz. In the present report, the aim is to present an overview of rural marketing.



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-137 Table I Agricultural Bank Farm Production Loans 1981-82 Crop Farming Operations Total Loan L.S. Sesame a. Cultivation Clearing fields 1.000 Seeds 2.000 Planting 2.000 1st weeding 6.000 2nd weeding 4.000 Total 15.000 b. Harvesting Cutting 3.000 Collection 3.000 Threshing, sieving, sacking 1.000 Transportation from field to village 0.500 Sacks -given in kind 1.280 Transportation to market 2.100 Total 10.880 Groundnuts a. Cultivation Clearing fields 1.000 Seeds 15.000 Planting 6.000 1st weeding 8.000 2nd weeding 5.000 35. 000 b. Harvesting Pulling 3.000 Collecting and threshing 3.000 Winnowing and sacking 2.000 Transportation from field to village 1.500 Transport to market 4.000 Sacks -given in kind 6.400 Total 19.900



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-31 Groundnut Cropping Activities (1981-1982) 1. Planting -The first planting of groundnuts by farmers in our sample occurred between the end of May and the first of August. The most common planting periods were the first of June and the first of July. Sixty-three percent of the farmers planted after rains (nadaaya) while 37 percent planted before rains (rameel). Farmers often planted their groundnuts after the first weeding. This practice can be explained by the fact that because groundnuts are so closely planted together, it is difficult to weed them in the early growth stages without damaging some of the plants. So farmers often opt to have the whole field weeded prior to planting. The weeding costs are less by doing it this way as well. 2. Replanting -Replanting does not usually occur in groundnuts production. Only one farmer did so in our sample. He replanted during the first of July. 3. 1st Weeding -As stated earlier, farmers often weed before they plant their groundnuts. So the first weeding occurred between the first of June and the first of August. The most common first weeding period was the first of July. 4. 2nd Weeding -The second weeding of groundnuts occurred between the end of June and the first of September. No common second weeding period was detectable from our sample. 5. Pulling -The pulling of groundnuts occurred between the middle of September and the end of November. The most common pulling period was the middle of October to the end of October. Sorghum Cropping Activities31 (1981-1982 Season) 1. Planting -The first planting of sorghum occurred between the middle of May and the end of July. The most common planting period was from the first of June to the first of July. Seventy percent of the farmers planted their sorghum after rains (nadaaya), while 30 percent planted it before rains (rameel). The majority of the farmers who planted sorghum in our sample intercropped it with sesame, so considerable overlap should exist between these two crops regarding the timing of planting, replanting and first and second weeding. 2. Replanting -Replanting of sorghum occurred between the end of June and the first of August. The most common replanting period was the first of July. Thirty-three percent of the farmers surveyed replanted sorghum, most of these after rains (901). 3. 1st Weeding -The first weeding of sorghum occurred between the middle of June and the middle of August. The most common first weeding period was from the middle of July to the first of August. 31Sorghum was planted both in a separate stand as well as intercropped, usually with sesame. These were lumped together in this chart.



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_90 PART III. FARMING SYSTEM CONSTRAINTS AND POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS The following discussion focuses on the major constraints to the farming system in this region of North Kordofan. The constraints can be roughly divided for convenience of analysis into crop production constraints and other constraints. Crop production constraints are further broken down into natural constraints (wind, erosion, pests and diseases, soil fertility and rainfall) and input constraints (labor and credit, access to seeds, chemical inputs and drinking water). The other constraints include the credit market, procedures for auctioning crops, government price policy, the limited knowledge of farmers, storage and transportation. Each constraint will be addressed separately in the discussion that follows and solutions will be proposed. Whenever appropriate something will also be said about the way farmers have already developed compensating strategies to deal with these constraints. Constraints to Crop Production Natural Constraints Natural constraints to crop production include those environmental conditions which adversely effect crop output. A. Wind Erosion High winds in this area often blow away freshly planted seeds or newly germinated crop seedlings in farmers' fields. Millet and sesame are particularly susceptible to such wind erosion. This often forces farmers to bear the time and labor cost of replanting. In addition, such wind erosion removes top soil from farmers' fields which adversely effects crop output. Compensating Strategies 1. Farmers plant sorghum in the same hole with sesame. The firm root structure and sturdy stalks of sorghum make the sesame plant less susceptible to wind erosion. 2. In addition'to sorghum, farmers plant a number of other crops with sesame in the same hole. The other crops prevent winds from uprooting the sesame. 3. Farmers often leave trees and bushes in their fields until after the first weeding to protect the soil and newly planted seeds from wind erosion. 4. Farmers plant excessively large amounts of seeds per hole so that the crop germinates as a bush. By increasing the density of plants per hole wind is less likely to blow them away. 5. When farmers clear their fields prior to planting, they sometimes leave cut-up bushes, grasses and crop residue lying on the field to protect the soil from wind erosion. When planting begins, some farmers remove this debris while others plant around it.



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-65 Table 23 demonstrates that the most frequent commodities sold by periodic vendors in either Abu Haraz or el-Geifil markets are vegetables and prepared foods. Fresh fruits are also important commodities in both markets. Cereal grains, wild plant foods, and natural craft products, which were offered for sale at Abu Haraz, did not appear at el-Geifil market on the day the survey was made. To some extent this is sampling error but it may also indicate differential access to wild plant foods and natural products in the two locations, as well as differences in marketing patterns. A plausible hypothesis, for instance, is that the market for cereal grains is more active at Abu Haraz than at el-Geifil because the former village is visited throughout the year by nomads seeking to buy grain. Table 23. Results of Surveys of Periodic Vendors in Abu Haraz and El-Geifil Marketsa Abu Haraz el-Geifil No. of Periodic Vendors No. % No. % Male 43 30.9 25 78.1 Female 95 68.3 7 21.9 Husband and Wife 1 0.7 0 0.0 Total 139 32 No. of Vendors Selling Abu Haraz el-Geifil Each Kind of Commodityb No. %C No. %c Vegetables 74 53.2 11 34.4 Prepared Foodsd 42 30.2 8 30.0 Cereal Grains 36 25.9 0 0.0 Fruit 23 16.5 8 30.0 Wild Plant Foods 21 15.1 0 0.0 Natural Craft Products 12 8.6 0 0.0 Spices 11 7.9 6 20.0 Empty Bottles and Cans 6 4.3 0 0.0 Utensils 5 3.6 3 10.0 Toilet Articles 4 2.9 2 6.2 Dried Meat 4 2.9 0 0.0 Live Chickens 3 2.6 0 0.0 Clothing 2 1.4 2 6.2 Jewelry 2 1.4 0 0.0



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-130 is added to boiling water with the dried pieces of small intestines, onions and Na2 Co3 and allowed to cook for half an hour. After this, the okra and spices are added. mulaaH -This mulaaH is made from fresh meat, onions, oil, dried tomatoes dam~a and salt. Preparation procedures: First, they cut up onions into small pieces and place them in oil over the fire. When this mixture begins to turn yellowish in color they add meat, salt and tomatoes and cook it till it is well done. Other Dishes Aside from 9asiida and kisra and the various kinds of mulaaH that are eaten with them, several types of food dishes are consumed in this area. These include guraasa (wheat bread), shagratee (food made from small immature watermelons and sesame), 9atroon madiida (jelly-like millet flour substance) and umm taktulni (a food made from cow peas and sesame). Descriptions of the ingredients and preparation techniques for each of these food dishes are presented below. guraasa This is a bread made out of wheat flour which is unfermented. It is much thicker than kisra. Preparation procedures: This bread is prepared the same way as kisra on a hot flat surface. It is usually covered with clarified butter (samin)' and sugar and is eaten by itself. However, sometimes it is eaten with a mulaaH. shagratee-This food is prepared from small immature watermelons (sabli), sesame, salt and other spices. Preparation procedures: First, they grind sesame mixed with water with a pestle and mortar (murHaaka) until it turns to an oily butter-like substance. Then they peel the rinds off the immature watermelons and boil them with very little water in a container until they get soft. They then mix the soft watermelons with the sesame substance (oily) and add salt and other spices. This mixture is all stirred up and eaten by itself. It is often eaten as a breakfast meal. 9atroon -This food is made from fermented millet flour which is prepared madiida in a jelly-like form. Na2 Co3 (9atruun), milk, samin and sugar are mixed with it.



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-80 Table 29. A Qualitative Analysis of Crop Marketing in the El-Obeid Area (Continued) Seller Buyer Channel Incentives and Constraints Branch Market Prices are usually better from the proSale ducer's viewpoint if outside agents enter the market. Typically, such agents are merchants from the larger villages who have enough capital to buy large amounts of crops and who have access to vehicles for hauling crops. They are attracted to the smaller markets because the prices are somewhat less than at a big rural market. Smuggling is also a factor here. In an auction market, the agent/assembler if he intends to smuggle, may bid for the crops at prices near those to be found in el-Obeid, because his profit will come fr-om the taxes that are not paid, or are underpaid. In this way the agent/assembler is able to exclude small merchants from competing in the auction. Farmer Urban Direct Sale Direct sale of crops by producers to a Merchant/ merchant/agency in el-Obeid is illegal Agency since the crops do not pass through a government administered market and are not taxed. Nevertheless, big farmers who own or have easy access to a truck may do this. Small farmers usually cannot. Even if a small farmer arranges to send his crops directly to an agency, the truck driver may find that the line of truckers waiting to do business at the agency is too long. He doesn't want his truck to be tied up all day at the agency so he takes the load of crops to el-Obeid Crop Market where a commissioned agent will look after it. The truck driver is then free to haul another load. Urban Market Occasionally, farmers sell to urban Sale merchants through the el-Obeid Crop Market. This marketing strategy is practical only for farmers who have access to transportation at a reasonable price. It may also be resorted to when farmers feel that the prices of crops in the villages--at the branch market or at the village shop-are too low. A special case of this occurs when a farmer rejects the



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-97 period because their crops do not germinate. 2. Farmers will sometimes mobilize communal work forces to perform difficult tasks. Although such labor arrangements are on the decline, communal labor is still quite important for threshing millet. The timing of millet threshing is such that it does not compete with other farm tasks demanding labor input, and communal labor is still used to perform this task. 3. To meet their labor requirements, many poor farmers depend on the labor of most of the members of their household. This is because they can't afford to hire outside labor to work on thei r f arms. 4. To payfor the labor costs of the coming cropping season, farmers hold their sesame crop obtained from last year's harvest until April 'or May. The sale of the crop at this time ensures that funds will be available. 5. Because some poor farmers cannot afford the labor inputs necessary to cultivate the land they own, they rent it out by fuutra (10 per cent of the crop output). Renting ensures that they' gain a portion of the production obtained from their land. Other rental arrangements function in the same way. 6. Some farmers are organizing their own self-help credit programs. For instance, a group of farmers in one village rented a tract of land and worked it through communal effort. The output gained from this farm was then sold and the cash used as a credit source for poor farmers in the group who needed cash to pay for labor. But, activities like this are not very common. Recommendati ons 1. In addition to being advantageous to low rainfall condition, the introduction of short-maturing varieties of millet and sorghum would have a positive impact on the labor practices of poor farmers. These varieties would provide an early appearing food source in poor farmers' fields which would relieve them of the necessity to work for other farmers for cash to purchase food. Presently, our findings indicate that most farmers do their second weeding during August, which is about the time poor farmers run out of food. As a consequence, poor farmers' fields may not receive a second weeding. Thus, early maturing varieties may enable such farmers to redirect their labor inputs into their own fields. Currently, these farmers do not have access to these varieties because they are not readily available or they can't afford them. (Ways to increase this access is discussed under Access to Seeds.) 2. Credit programs could be developed and set-up in villages in the area to provide funds to farmers to help pay for labor



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-147 ADDITIONAL QUESTIONS Pieces of Land (Time) Years in Crops Size of Rented/Owned Location Distance Cultivation Grown Cultivation 1. 2. 3. 4. How long do you usually cultivate a piece of land? ____________ How long do you leave a piece of land fallow? ______________ Do you thin your crops? _________When? ___How many stems?___



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-144 Name: Date: Village: 32. Were you hired to work in someone elses field this year? For what crops and what operations? (Put D if paid by daHwa, M if paid by mikhamaqs G if paid by gpwaal. Specify the wage rate.) planting 1st weeding 2nd weeding cut/pull threshing type price type price type price type price type price millet sorghum sesame ______ groundnuts 33. If you own gum trees, when did you first tap them? How many days did it take? How many times will you collect gum? 34. Do you hire labor for gum tapping or harvesting? If so, specify operations and price paid Do you share-crop your gum trees with anyone? If so, specify the size of the gum garden and sharing arrangements 35. Do you hire your labor out to work in someone else's gum garden? If so, specify operations and wages received (Is this a sharecropping arrangement?). 36. So far in this cropping season, how many mids of millet did you sell to a village merchant? How many mids of sesame? Of groundnuts? 37. So far this cropping season, how many sacks or kantars did you sell of each of the following: Quantity Price Date Location of Market sesame groundouts karkadee gum arabic 38. Last year, in which month did you sell most of your sesame? Specify amount and price received Why this month? Explain: 39. Last year, in which month did you sell most of your groundnuts? Specify amount and price received Why this month? (Explain)



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SOCIOECONOMIC CONSTRAINTS TO THE PRODUCTION, DISTRIBUTION AND CONSUMPTION OF SORGHUM, MILLET AND CASH CROPS IN NORTH KORDOFAN, SUDAN A Farming Systems Approach Report No. 2 Aspects of Agricultural Production, the Household Economy, and Marketing Edward B. Reeves Field Director Timothy Frankenberger Research Associate With the Assistance of: Muhammed Majzoub Fideil Sumaya Ahmed Hammid Ibrahim M. K. Zurgan INTSORMIL Contract No. AID/DSAN-G-0149 November 1982



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-81 Table 29. A Qualitative Analysis of Crop Marketing in the El-Obeid Area (Continued) Seller Buyer Channel Incentives and Constraints final price offered for his crop at auction in a branch market. The farmer may then pay the 9ushuur tax on his crop and send it to el-Obeid market at his own expense, in hopes of getting a better price. (He may also sell to a crop agency and avoid paying the full amount of taxes.) The opportunity to sell crops at el-Obeid market is perhaps the main factor in keeping the prices at the rural market within close range of urban prices. Village Agent/ Direct Sale Villages in which there is not a truck Merchant Assembler that is privately owned usually establish a relationship with ,a truck owner from a neighboring village who is an urban merchant's agent. The truckowner agrees to buy the crops which the village merchants have collected at their shops for a commission plus the current local price of the crop. The village merchant takes his profit from storing the crop in his shop or storehouse for several months before selling. The truck owner takes his profit from the disparity of what he pays the village merchant and what he receives at el-Obeid Crop Market or at an agency. Tax evasion also occurs. Branch Market Alternative to the direct sale above, Sale the village merchant may sell his crops (both his own and those he has collected from farmers) at a branch crop market. As noted previously, when selling crops in a branch market at which an outside agent is bidding the prices tend to be good, particularly if smuggling is contemplated. Smuggling in this case means that the full amount of taxes is not assessed on the agent's purchases. This can be achieved by mixing in direct sales, which are untaxed, with market sales, which have been taxed. If the market sale occurs under the shiishna system then an additional benefit is realized because the value of the crop for tax purposes is underestimated.



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-83 Livestock Marketing Livestock are bought and sold in the study area in three contexts: (a) registered government markets, (b) unregistered markets and (c) direct sales between buyers and sellers. All livestock sales are supposed to be taxed,89 which is the basis for distinguishing between the three marketing contexts above. At the registered government market, taxes are assessed and collected by the market clerk. At the unregistered market this role is performed by a villager who has successfully bid for the privilege of serving as a taxing agent. The purpose of the unregistered market is to gather in as many livestock sales as possible which occur outside the registered market. Inevitably, however, many more sales occur directly between buyer and seller and no taxes are assessed. When transactions occur in a government market or an unregistered market the buyer receives a certificate called a jamaan guaranteeing' him to be the rightful owner. Without this certificate it is possible for someone to bring charges that the livestock are stolen. This guarantee is not so important if the transaction occurs between residents of the same village, but its importance grows when livestock are bought and sold between nomads and farmers, between members of different tribes, or between the residents of distant villages. The sale of livestock bears a close connection with the change of the seasons, the availability of pasture and water, and the requirements of the farming system. The arrival of nomadic pastoralists with large herds of animals during the rainy season has a profound effect. The relations between nomad and farmer, which often conflict over access to forage and water, are quite complimentary in livestock marketing. In the pages which follow data from a 20% sample of livestock sales at Abu Haraz market are analyzed to illustrate this point.90 Figure 2, which shows the monthly total number of transactions of all livestock sales at Abu Haraz, presents a very clear picture of the influence of the rainy season migration of nomads into the area. August and September are the most active months for sales with more than six hundred transactions recorded during September for each year. This amounts to a nearly four-fold increase in volume when compared with the sales in July, the onset of the rainy season. Nomads arrive in the Abu Haraz area during August and September having migrated from the wetter lands to the south. The reasons for thi 's migration are complex. In part, the nomads are following a strategy of abandoning their winter pastures to avoid overgrazing this resource. Another reason which is given is that the nomads want to escape the flies and mosquitoes 89 At Abu Haraz, the total amount of taxes assessed per head on each kind of livestock is as follows: cattle -0.910; sheep -0.370; goat -0.270; donkey -0.560; camel -1.200; and horse -0.850. 90 The time horizon represented in these data is March 1980 to January 1982. Data for October 1981 are missing in Figures 3 through 5.



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-133 Summer (seef) follows the winter. This is the hot, dry period lasting from March until June. More sorghum is consumed during this period than millet because the millet tends to sit heavily in peoples' stomachs in the hot weather. Also people are saving their millet to consume it during the rainy season. Even less meat is consumed during the summer than during the winter. The rainy season comes sometime in June and lasts till October. During this season, people start consuming more millet than sorghum if it is available. The reason given for this pattern is that they believe that the millet is more nutritious and gives more strength to work the long days that are necessary during the cropping season. If not enough millet is available to last through the rainy season, they sometimes will mix sorghum with millet and consume it this way. Aside from millet, more milk products are consumed which are obtained from migrating nomads. Near the end of the rainy season, just prior to harvest, many farmers start consuming their millet from their fields before it is fully mature (fariik stage). This millet is eaten up to the time of harvest. Very little meat is consumed during the rainy season because families cannot afford it. Foods Consumed During Special Occasions In addition to the foods eaten on a daily basis, some special types of foods are prepared during religious holidays and other important events. Some of these foods and the events they are associated with are presented below. Ramadan (month of fasting) Aside from eating 9asiida and various kinds of mulaaH during Ramadan, dates, madiida, lemon juice, and tea and coffee are consumed. In addition, two other types of food are prepared. One is called baliil which consists of boiled immature sorghum. The second is a bitter-sweet drink called 9abree. To prepare this drink, they allow sorghum or millet seeds to germinate for a couple of days, and are then cleaned and ground (these seeds are called zurraa9). This is then mixed with sorghum or millet flour, spices and karkadee. They allow this mixture to ferment for one day, then it is placed in a container and cooked for some time. It is usually served cold. karaama (a thanksgiving) They usually slaughter a sheep or a goat for the occasion, and serve the meat after it is fried. In addition, the intestines and entrails of the animal are served in an uncooked dish called maraara or in a cooked dish called kammuuniya. Millet 9asiida and mulaaH roob are commonly eaten during this occasion as well. Id (Islamic feast) On this day, many families in the village prepare millet 9asiida and mulaaH roob and send it to the mosque to feed the poor. The significance of these dishes is that they are white in color which represents purity. In addition to this practice, families will receive guests in their home and serve them sweets, dates and sometimes tea.



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-73 During the past year the highest prices encountered at the grain market occurred in August, 1981; the lowest prices were in February, 1982. Table 26 presents the high and low prices for several kinds of grains.84 Table 26. High and Low Prices of Sorghum, Millet and Wheat at el-Obeid Grain Market (1981-1982) Month Year Quantity Feterita Habbashiya Millet Wheat (High) Aug. 1981 1 mid 1.200 1.250 1.400 1.400 1 sack 36.000 37.500 41.000 41.000 (Low) Feb. 1982 1 mid 0.600 0.850 1.100 1.400 1 sack 18.000 24.000 32.000 39.000 There has been a 50% reduction in the price of feterita,85 a 36% reduction in the price of habbashiya, a 22% reduction in the price of millet, and a 5% reduction in the price of wheat between the middle of the rainy season and the middle of the dry season. The price of feterita, which again is the most frequently consumed variety of commercial grain, rises sharply in July and stays high until November when the local millet harvest reduces the demand for it. Most of the feterita is sold at el-Obeid between December and June. By early July the quantity of feterita in thatmarket has dwindled. Most of the feterita is then in the hands of rural storekeepers and retailers. The price in el-Obeid increases owing to the small supply and rural sellers adjust their prices upwards. Needless to say, rural merchants take advantage of this price increase by stockpiling feterita beforehand. Marketing of Cereal Grains at the Village Level There are essentially two separate marketing systems for cereal grains in the rural areas. The first of these distributes locally-produced sorghum and millet. Although these are primarily subsistence crops, some of the harvest is sold between farmers and by farmers to village merchants. This most often occurs during the early harvest season when the price of millet-owing to the influence of el-Obeid market--exceeds that of all other crops. In this case millet (also local sorghum) is sold in small quantities--a mid or two at a time--to buy goods from the merchant's shop, or to pay off a loan. An example from Umm Ramad will serve to show the advantage which this practice 84Since habbashiya and dabar sorghums are roughly equivalent in price only habbashiya is shown in the table. 85Seventy percent of the feterita crop planted at Habila was harvested this year; the estimate for last year is that the yield was only 50% due to lack of rain and pest attack.



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Appendix C. Farmers' Perceptions of Growth Stages in the Millet Plant. The following chart comprises a list of the successive millet stages farmers recognize as important in the El-Obeid area of North Kordofan. Each stage is identified by the local names used as well as the English translation. The distinguishing features and significance of each of these stages to farmers are based on interviews conducted with approximately forty farmers in three villages in the sample area. From this chart, it is apparent that farmers have a detailed understanding of the growth cycle of their crop as well as the hazards which impinge on each growth stage. This knowledge is a fair indication of how important millet is to the livelihood of these farmers.



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* -33One consequence of this shifting pattern is that farmers need access to other farmland elsewhere. In many cases, farmers own several pieces of land, so shifting is not that much of a problem. However, some farmers don't own enough land elsewhere to shift to, so they either borrow land from a relative or rent in land.33 They farm this borrowed or rented land until shifting back to the fallow land which they own. This is a common pattern in this area. One adverse effect which shifting has on poor farmers is that due to time and money constraints they often cannot afford to clear a piece of land for cultivation comparable to the piece they left fallow. As a result, they may cultivate as much land as they can afford to clear during the first year of shifting, and rely on wage labor earnings to make up the difference. Thus, many poor farmers rely on wage labor activities to a greater degree during the initial phases of shifting than they do at other times. The second and third year after the shift, poor farmers will be less dependent, on wage labor because they will have had sufficient time to finish clearing their land for cultivation. Given their current circumstances, this periodic dependency on wage labor during the shifting cycle appears to be one consequence poor farmers cannot avoid. Agricultural Inputs An important objective in farming systems research is to identify the inputs farmers have access to that impact agricultural production. The following discussion will focus on the major agricultural inputs of seed, chemicals, and labor used by farmers in this region.34 Seed Requirements Before discussing where farmers get their seed, we will examine how much seed farmers use to grow each crop. Farmers were asked how much seed they used in planting sesame, millet, sorghum and groundnuts. To standardize these data, we calculated the average amount of seed planted per mukhammas for each crop. These amounts are expressed in a volumetric measure called locally a mid,35 which is the standard measure used by farmers in this area. Groundnuts, on the other hand, will be expressed in sacks per ujkhammas since this is the common measure farmers use for planting this crop."0 Table 11 33Population pressure in this area is causing a reduction in the size of landholdings owned by farm families. Renting-in land has become a common practice, as a result. Also some farmers opt to rent land near the village rather than farm a piece they own which is hours away. 340ne important input not included in this discussion is farmers access to drinking water. This was extensively addressed in an appendix in the first field report, so it will not be discussed here., 35A mid is the same as a mallowa in Eastern Sudan, which is 4.125 liters. 36A sack of groundnuts refers to a sack of unshelled seeds.



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-12 Table 3. Distribution of Farmers by Type of Millet Produced Type of Millet Frequencya Percentageb baladi/dimbi 25 66 HireeHri 12 32 9ish barnu 3 8 Total 40 From the Table 3 it is apparent that baladi/dimbi is the most common type grown in this area, followed by HireeHri and 9ish barnu. To get a better idea of the importance of each of these millets, we calculated the amount of land planted in each type. Table 4 presents the amount of land and percentage planted to each type of millet. Table 4. Amount of Land and Percentage Planted in Each Type of Millet Type of Millet Area Planted Percentage (mukhammas) baladi/dimbi 122.5 49 HireeHri 108.5 44 9ish barnu 18.5 7 Total 249.5 100 These findings are similar to the ones presented above in that dukhun baladi is the most important in area cultivated. However, dukhun HireeHri was also grown quite extensively. The extensive cultivation of HireeHri is due to the large tracts of this variety grown by the larger farmers in El Kharta. The villages tend to differ in the types of millet grown. In El Kharta, the dominant variety grown was HireeHri. Seventy-six percent of all land cultivated in millet was in HireeHri, and 67 percent of all farmers interviewed grew this crop. El Kharta is north of El Obeid where the rainfall is lower and HireeHri will produce better than the other varieties according to farmers. In contrast, El Geifil grew more baladi than HireeHri. Eighty-six percent of the land cultivated in millet was in baladi, and all farmers interviewed planted some of this type. We do not believe that the increased rainfall is sufficient to account for this difference.12 The dominance of aln this distribution the number of farmers is 38, but 2 of the farmers grew two types of millet which raised the total to 40. bsome farmers grew more than one type of millet, so the percentages add up to more than 100. 12The difference in rainfall that El Geifil and El Kharta recieve is slight.



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-44 Table 15. Yields of Principal Crops Type of Crop Average Yield (sacks) Range (sacks) Millet 1.14 0.00 -3.00 (n=38) Sesame 1.06 0.04 -2.10 (n=37) Sorghum 1.09 0.14 -3.00 (n=11) Groundnuts 6.58 1.67 -15.83 (n=19) The average yield per mukhammas for millet was nearly the same as that for sesame and sorghum (Table-T5). All three crops yielded slightly more than one sack a mukhammas. As for groundnuts, the average yield was 6.58 sacks per mukhamma-s. Despite the seemingly high output for groundnuts, these yields are quite low and reflect the adverse environmental conditions farmers face in this region of North Kordofan. Insufficient rain, poor soil conditions, and numerous pests hurt production. It also is adversely affected by poor seed quality, the lack of pesticides, and insufficient labor. Given the situation these farmers find themselves in, their ability to make a living from farming is amazing. Estimated Net Cash Gained Per Mukldammas for Each Crop To determine what farmers net gain in earnings was after labor expenditures were deducted, we divided the average value of crop produced by the average total labor cost. This ratio indicated the amount of cash gained from crop output for every unit of cash invested in labor.45 Crop output was converted to cash by using an average market price for a sack of the crop and multiplying this by the average yield for that crop. The market prices we used were averages of the 1981-1982 crop prices of the El Obeid Government Crop Market.46 Analysis indicates that for every L.S. a farmer put into labor to grow millet, he received an average of 1.87 L.S. in return at current market prices (Table 16). This was the highest rate of return to labor for any of the crops grown. Farmers were making 18.07 L.S. for every mukhammas of millet they grew after total labor costs were deducted. Although most farmers didn't sell their millet, this is a good indication of the value of this crop to them. The millet would have been even more profitable if farmers could consistently produce two or three sacks per mukhammas. Such yields were not uncommon in this area. In addition, farmers Eo-uld generate more revenue from their 45The calculation of this ratio excludes the costs of other inputs like seed and chemical inputs. Compared to labor costs, these other input costs are minimal. 46These crop prices have been collected two days a week for the past six months.



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0 0 0 FARMERS' PERCEPTIONS OF-GROWTH STAGES IN THE MILLET PLANT Local Names English Translation Distinguishing Features Significance 1. teeraab seeds Seeds planted in the Ants and termites will attack at ground before germination this stage. 2. sinuun ad-daabi snake teeth About one inch high Locust (jaraad) will attack at this stage. 3. sawa siyu little chickens 1-10 inches high 1. low drought tolerance. Needs water within 10-15 days. 2. susceptible to wind damage. 3. If yellow in color -indication of bad production. 4. jidaad -hens About 1-1/2 feet high 1. first weeding done at this stage. faraariij 2. susceptible to wind damage. 3. striga will attack at this stage. 5. ghuur or eagles 2-3 feet high (30-40 1. drought tolerant -can go 40 days sahghaar days old) without water. 2. kasaara or duuda which is the also called: central shoot fly -atherizona indica attacks at this stage and -rukab knees destroys the growing point. It -funduk mortar causes the so-called dead heart. -bizra seed 3. striga attacks at this stage -kash kash the sound of the 4. wind resistant wind moving through 5. dark green-indication of successleaves ful production. yellow-indication of bad production. 6. possibly first weeding time. 6. al-fass segment (on the stem) At this stage the plant 1. high drought tolerance. starts showing growth 2. few pests attack at this stage. also called: joints about 3 feet high. 3. second weeding occurs at this stage. 4. kassaara may continue attacking. -sallab waist high 5. striga may continue attacking. -sadur chest high -lateeb (no English equivalent)



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-123 Ibrahim and another merchant, Isa, have concluded a post-auction agreement that the former will buy all the sesame and karkadee whereas the latter will buy all the gum. These two merchants own a truck in partnership. Isa has decided to give all his customers 18.60/kantar for their gum, so that there will be no hard feelings and farmers will continue to come to el-Karra market to sell their produce. We made a straw poll to ascertain farmers preferences for the shiishna system or the mizaan system. The overwhelming majority were opposed tothe mizaan system and wanted to return to the shiishna method. The views of one farmer summarized the sentiments of most: (1) Using the mid for measuring the volume of the crop is a simple procedure. The farmer observes everything and knows exactly how much the merchant is taking. Not so using the scales. These may not be working properly or they may have been tampered with to make them weigh light. The farmer can't tell if he is being cheated. (2) To perform the auction and weighing in a timely manner requires that a schedule be instituted but this is not convenient for farmers. They usually don't know the precise time of day and they may have to travel a considerable distance to reach the market so that adherence to a schedule is difficult. In the shiishna method of marketing crops, the farmer may sell to the crop buyer afany time during the day. (3) In the mizaan system the farmer is inconvenienced in order to assess taxes. This may be necessary in el-Obeid but it is unnecessary here. The shiishna system, on the other hand, insulates farmers against taxation, which becomes an issue between the merchant and the market clerk only. According to several reports that we received, on the Tuesday following our visit, the shiishna system was reinstated at el-Karra crop market.



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-88 peaked during November in both years. This corresponded with the occurrence of the Islamic sacrificial feast--el-Id el-Adha--during which all who can afford it are enjoined by religious custom to slaughter a male sheep to be shared with the poor. For the entire period covered by these data (i.e., March, 1980 January, 1982), nomads constituted 42% of the sellers and 36% of the buyers. Another 21% of the buyers were butchers. The rest of the buyers and sellers in Abu Haraz market are either farmers or livestock merchants. The market records do not permit distinguishing these last two groups. Of course, some farmers are also livestock merchants. Information gathered from the market clerk indicates that the merchants who regularly buy livestock as a commercial venture in Abu Haraz market are local farmers who are wealthy and therefore have capital to purchase animals in groups. Another way to look at the socioeconomic characteristics of buyer and seller is to consider their tribal affiliation which is recorded on the sales receipt. More than twenty-five tribes buy and sell livestock at Abu Haraz, but the majority of the transactions are made by only four tribes: (1) The Bideiriya is the dominant tribal group in the Abu Haraz area. Its members are all settled cultivators. (2) The Fellata are West Africans that have immigrated to the Sudan. The designation includes settled cultivators as well as fully nomadic groups like the Umm Bororo pastoralists. (3) The Shanabla are predominantly sheep and camel herders. They are the only pastoral group that considers the el-Obeid region to be their home territory. Abu Haraz is one of their main watering spots. (4) The Misseiriya are Baggara, or cattle herders, from South Kordofan. Altogether, these four groups account for 72% of the purchases for the period for which we have collected data. A comparison of the buying and selling activities of the four tribal groups in Abu Haraz livestock market indicates the same rainy season pattern of buying activities that was encountered above (Figure 5). The Shanabla are the most important buyers in Abu Haraz market, followed by the Bideiriya, Misseiriya and Fellata. On the sellers graph, the Bideiriya are seen to be the dominant group. The Bideiriya also show a tendency to sell throughout the year even though the rainy season is the peak period for their sales. Most of the nonrainy season sales were found to consist of goats.94 Goats are an important investment for settled cultivators, and they may be sold when money is needed. Another pattern which became evident from interviewing livestock marketers is that the nomads are selling sick, old and hurt animals and buying healthy ones in return, as well as they are culling male animals from their herds and replacing them with female breeding stock. 94Butchers were found to be major buyers of goats throughout the year.



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-48 Table 18. Distribution of Farmers by Type of Animal Owned None 15 6 -10 More thanlO0 Type of Animal Freg. % Freg. % Freg. % Freg. % Cattle 18 45 13 33 2 5 7 18 Sheep 32 80 2 5 2 5 4 10 Goats 8 20 15 38 10 25 7 18 Don keys 15 38 24 60 1 2 0 0 Camel s 32 80 8 20 0 0 0 0 Horses 37 93 3 7 0 0 0 0 Analysis shows that 55 percent (22 of 40) of the farmers owned cattle (Table 18). Of these thirteen owned five or less cattle while two owned six to ten. Seven farmers in our sample were relatively big cattle owners, owning more than ten each. The largest owner had sixty cattle. Major differences also were found among the three villages. Umm Ramad had the largest percentage of cattle owners (12 of 15 or 80%), followed by El Geifil (5 of 10 or 50%) and El Kharta (5 of 15 or 33%). In addition, most of the big cattle owners were living in Umm Ramad (5 of 7). Two reasons can be given for the high percentage of cattle owners in Umm Ramad. First, this village has a permanent source of water, and cattle can be watered near the village year-round. Second, environmental conditions are such that food and cash crops can be grown which also serve as fodder sources. One such crop is sorghum. The clayey soils around Umm Ramad favor the cultivation of this crop. Nine of twelve cattle owners from this village plant sorghum in separate stands, and are most likely using these fields to graze their animals. These cattle owners are also probably growing groundnuts, which can be used as a source of fodder as well. The leaves and stems are used for this purpose. Given these resources, the prevalence of cattle rearing in Umm Ramad is understandable. The other two villages do not have access to the same favorable conditions, consequently, fewer cattle are maintained. Although slightly more than half of the farmers in our sample owned some cattle, the majority owned very few. This is primarily because cattle are relatively expensive, and few farmers can afford to invest in them. This is especially true of poor farmers. Likewise, the lack of resources such as the availability of water and/or fodder can act as constraints to cattle rearing. Thus, cattle ownership is not a viable option for most farmers in this area. Fortunately, this has beneficial environmental consequences considering the susceptibility of this region to overgrazing and desert encroachment. As for sheep, only eight farmers owned sheep (20%). Two owned one to five sheep while two others owned six to ten. Four farmers owned more than ten sheep. The largest owner had one-hundred twenty sheep.



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-150 hashaab -the Acacia senegal tree. Hashaasha -a long-handled weeding instrument. Hash jinkaab -second weeding. Hash murr -first weeding (literally "bitter weeding"). HireeHri -this term designates an early-maturing variety of crop. kaaro -a horse-drawn cart. kaatib as-suug -market clerk. kantar -a unit of weight equivalent to 45 kgs. or 99 lbs. karkadee -roselle. kayyaal -periodic trader dealing in cereals or sesame; may buy on commission for a crop merchant. khafiif -"light"; designates an early maturing variety of crop. khariif -rainy season. maktuu9iya -"a piece"; rent of a parcel of land for as many years as the soil remains fertile; the amount of the rental payment is negotiated. mareeg -local sorghum (goose-necked); a synonym for zunaari. mariisa -sorghum beer brewed by women at home. mid -a dry measure equivalent to 4.125 liters. makhammas -a unit of land measurement equivalent to 1.78 feddans or 1.80 acres. mizaan -(a) scales; (b) a government administered market in which the weight of the crops is measured directly. nadaaya -a synonym for feeraab, referring to the practice of planting crops after the onset of the rainy season. nafaasha -Eublemna brachygonia; a serious pest of millet. nafiir -communal work party; host provides the participants with a meal. najaaq -a straight-necked feterita-type of sorghum. rameel -planting crops before the start of the rainy season.



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Chart 4 SORGHUM (N=30) Timing of Cropping Activities Apr May June July Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec Jan Feb Mar 1stMid End 1st MidjEnd 1st Mid End 1st Mid End 1st Mid End 1stjMid End 1stjMidjEnd 1st|MidjEnd Ist MidjEnd 1st MidjEnd 1stjMid End 1st Mid End Cropping Key Activities _ _ _ ~Rarely 1. Planting Rarely 2. Replanting Low Frequency High Frequency 3. 1st Weeding 4. 2nd Weeding 5. Cutting/ Pulling 6. Threshing 7. Land Clearing Time of 1st Planting Replanting N % N % Before Rains 9 30% 1 10% After Rains 21 70% 9 90%



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of the only reliable sources of seed is the farmer's own reserves, which accounts for the pattern found in Table 12. Despite the relative scarcity of seed, some farmers were able to purchased sorghum seed. Thirty percent of the farmers interviewed obtained seed through purchases from other farmers as well as local merchants. However, most of these farmers were from Umm Ramad, where sorghum cultivation is quite extensive.3' Greater availTaiity of sorghum seems to allow for more purchases. In El Kharta and El Geifil, sorghum is less available, so farmers rely more on their own reserves rather than purchasing seed. The fact that a considerable number of farmers are purchasing all types of crop seed is worth noting. These seed purchasing patterns provide a means through which short-maturing better adapted seed varieties can be introduced into an area. This is especially true for millet. Development efforts aimed at introducing such new varieties should seriously consider farmers' seed purchases as a viable way to disseminate such crops. (This matter will be addressed later in the recommendation section of this report.) Chemical Inputs Our findings indicate that some chemical inputs are commonly used in farming in this area. These include seed dressings (e.g., Aldrex-T or Dawa Suwait), DDT and salt. Seed dressings help protect seeds from pests during planting. DDT is used to protect post-harvest storage of sesame from ants and termites. It is placed around sesame piles left in the field to dry. Salt is used to protect post-harvest storage of millet and sorghum from termites. It is placed under and around millet and sorghum drying piles (jurun) left in the field. Table 13. Chemical Inputs Used Type of Chemical Input Frequency Percentage D DT 25 63 Seed Treatment Dressings 9 23 Salt 6 15 Total 40 100 The findings indicate that 63 percent of the farmers surveyed used DDT in their sesame fields (Table 13). All used it around their sesame-drying piles to protect them from ants and termites. Four farmers also spread DDT around their sorghum and millet drying piles. Forty-four percent purchased their DDT from El Obeid (11 of 25) while 48 percent purchased it from local 37 Eighty percent of the farmers surveyed from Umm Ramad grew sorghum and 20 percent of the land cultivated was in separate stands of this crop.



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-35 Farmers who grew groundnuts usually only planted their fields once. Only one farmer planted his field twice. This trend might be accounted for by the fact that groundnut planting is very expensive and one planting is all most farmers can afford. In addition, seed for replanting is sometimes difficult to obtain. The overall average amount of seed planted in groundnuts was .80 sacks per mukhammas, and the range was .13 to 1.67 sacks. The reason for this wide variation in reported planting rates is unclear. As for sorghum planted in separate stands, farmers used about the same pr slightly more seed per mukhammas as they did for millet. The average amount of seed planted in sorghum was 1.01 mids per mukhammas, and the range was .5 to 2.0 mids. Farmers who planted their sorghum only once used .99 mids. The range was .5 to 2.0 mids. A few farmers planted their sorghum more than once, and the average amount of seed used was 1.05 mids. The range was 1.01 to 1.15 mids. Farmers who intercropped sorghum with sesame planted less seed per mukhammas than those who planted sorghum in separate stands. The overall average amount of intercropped sorghum seed was .37 mids per mukhammas, and the range was .11 to 2.0 mids. For farmers who planted sorghum with sesame only once, the average amount used was .18, and the range was .11 to .29 mids. Some farmers planted sorghum seed with sesame more than once, and the average amount used was .64 mids. The range was .20 to 2.0 mids. Seed Acquisition Farmers in the study area acquire seed from a number of different sources. Inquiries into this subject area revealed that aside from reserving seed from their own fields, farmers obtained seeds from other farmers, merchants, urban markets and government distribution programs. Fifty-three percent of the farmers interviewed obtained their millet seeds for planting from their own fields (Table 12). Only 5 per cent obtained seed as a gift from relatives. However, it is significant that 45 percent of the farmers purchased millet seed. Most of these seed purchases were made from other farmers (12 of 17 or 71%), but some farmers purchased seed from local merchants as well (5 of 17 or 29%). Farmers told us that they preferred to purchase millet seeds from other farmers rather than merchants because farmers take greater care in keeping millet varieties separated. When a farmer purchases seed from another farmer, he can be sure of what he is buying. Merchants on the other hand tend to mix different varieties of seeds together in the same sack, so the farmer doesn't really know what he is getting. To account for such a large percentage of farmers purchasing millet seed for planting, it is quite probable that most of these farmers consumed all of their millet before the planting season. Farmers often resort to consuming their millet early, especially if they had a low millet yield the previous season due to pests or some other adverse environmental condition. In fact, because farming is so precarious in this fluctuating environment, we believe that millet seed purchases are and will continue to be a common pattern in this area. As for sesame seed, 76 percent of the farmers obtained some or all of their seed for planting from their own reserves. This high percentage might



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-105 are penalized. This problem could easily be remedied by randomizing the order in which the lots are auctioned. Lots could still be filled up one at a time as farmers arrive with their crops. (b) The order in which merchants are allowed to bid is determined haphazardly and may permit merchants to make agreements before the auction starts. A random ordering of merchants before bidding would make collusion more difficult. C. Pricing Policy with Respect to Gum Arabic It is often observed that the fertility of the qoz soils would be improved by a regular rotation between crops and gum tree fallowing. The probability is very great that the single most important constraint that obstructs this proposal is that the farm gate price of gum arabic is kept artificially low in order to give the government a bigger tax bite. In fact, the difference in the price which the Gum Arabic Company pays for gum arabic that is delivered to Port Sudan and the international buying price is greater than 100%. Compensating Strategies 1. Farmers find that it is more profitable to plant cash crops and millet than to tend Acacia senegal trees and collect gum arabic. 2. Oftentimes farmers find the gains from harvesting hashaab wood for construction, fuel and charcoal manufacture are higher than the gains from gum collection. Therefore, gum trees are being felled before they reach the age of peak gum output. Recommendations The Gum Arabic Company and the Sudan Government must find the means to increase the producer's share of the income from gum marketing. At the same time, a program is needed to teach farmers to propagate and care for the trees. D. Limited Knowledge One of the main consequences of the poor state of communications in the region is that farmers are unable to obtain accurate and current knowledge about a host of farming and marketing activities ranging from the use of seed dressings to the current prices at el-Obeid Crop Market. Because of it farmers often appear to behave -irrationally when it would be more correct to say that their behavior shows that they are uninformed or misinformed. Recommendations 1. The Ministry of Agriculture (or the Agricultural Research Corporation) needs to develop a low cost method for disseminating farming and marketing information to a large proportion of the farmers in the Western Sudan. We suggest that they invest in radio broadcasting equipment and an operator's license. Radios are ubiquitous in the rural areas. Nearly everyone has access



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-93 3. Farmers attempt to avoid planting their croos in an area which is surrounded by fallow fields because of the pests inhabiting those fields. Thus, when farmers in an area return their land to fallow, it often forces farmers in adjacent fields to let their land go fallow as well. This explains why some areas around villages are extensively cultivated while other large tracts of land are in fallow. 4. Some farmers are using pesticides to control pests. For instance, most farmers are using DDT around their sesame drying piles to control ants. Likewise, salt is sometimes used on millet and sorghum threshing floors to control termites. In addition, some farmers are using seed treatment dressings like Aldrex-T or Dawa S uwait on their seeds to protect them from ants, termites and other pests. Currently, farmers are primarily using such dressings on groundnuts and sesame, despite the fact that it can be used on other seeds as well. These dressings are also used on millet to attempt to control long smut., Recommendations 1. Entomologists should conduct research on the life cycle of santa (Crytocamenta spp.) in order to find a way of eradicating the pest. Currently, it is the most damaging insect to millet crops in the region. 2. Millet breeders should develop high-yielding bird resistant varieties of millet which could be made available to farmers in this area. Developing such varieties is a more reasonable approach to bird control than eradicating millions of birds. Such work could begin with the bird resistant varieties already present in farmers' field in this area, (i.e., the millets with long bristles on the candles). 3. Farmers should be encouraged.'to continue treating seed. More information should be disseminated to them regarding the proper use on various crops other than sesame and groundnuts. This information could be provided by the Agricultural Extension Office of North Kordofan or some other branch of the Ministry of Agriculture. Ways should be devised to increase the use of such dressings among farmers in the area. (See chemical input constraints for some suggestions). As for DDT and salt, viable substitutes for these toxic and harmful substances should be introduced to control ants and termites. (See chemical input constraints.) C. Loss of Soil Fertility Given the characteristics of the soil of this area (sandy to clayey sand) soil fertility is difficult to maintain. Depletion of soil fertility is quite common due to over-cultivation, and results in a decline in crop output.



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-9 When the proportion of land cultivated by each farmer is calculated, a somewhat different picture of land use appears. The average proportion of land cultivated by the 40 farmers was 53 percent. The difference between the percent of all land under cultivation (37%) and the average percent of farm holdings under cultivation (53%) is due to the presence of a few large holdings which had relatively little cultivation. Table 2 presents a frequency distribution and percentage of the farmers in our sample that were cultivating different proportions of their land. Table 2. Distribution of Farmers by Proportion of Total Land Cultivated Proportion of Land Cultivated Frequency Percentage O-.25 3 8 .26-.50 16 40 .51-.75 13 33 .76-1.00 8 20 Total 40 100 Although there seems to be enough land to continue a fallow rotation system of farming, when the land available to each farmer is considered the majority of the farmers are approaching the limit whereby land is not sufficient to permit this practice to continue. Undoubtedly, increases in population in the area threaten the continuation of this farming practice and the implications for the continued agricultural potential of the area are ominous. FAO has suggested that the ideal fallowing system would be to maintain 4/5 of the arable land in Acacia tree fallow while only 1/5 is cultivated. Therefore, present fallowing practices are grossly inadequate. Another important factor in land-use is land rental, which is quite prevalent. Overall, 234 mukhammas were rented-in, which represents 32 percent of all cultivated land. Of the 40 farmers surveyed, 15 rented-in land (38%). These 15 farmers rented an average of 15.6 mukhammas, or 65 percent of the land they cultivated. It seems that the better-off farmers were doing most of the renting. Of the 15 farmers who were renting-in land, 9 were cultivating more than 15 mukhammas. In fact, 68% of all the rental land (158 of 234 mukhammas) was by6 farmers who were cultivating 21 mukhammas or more. The reason for the concentration of rental land in larger operations is because these farmers can afford to hire the necessary labor to expand their cultivation. The cost of rental arrangements is relatively low and is not the main reason why poor farmers do not rent-in more land. Instead, access to labor is the key constraint to the amount of land which a farmer cultivates. Because poor farmers can't afford to hire additional labor, they don't expand their cultivation through renting. So far, we have identified three types of rental arrangements. These are futra, ijar/dugundi and muktuu9iya. Futra, which is the most common arrangement, is a yearly rent paid to the landowner in the form of 10 percent of the total crop produced. For instance, if the renter produces



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-16 fact, many farmers in villages to the north of El Obeid said that this is one of the main reasons why they plant sorghum in their sesame fields. Likewise, animals such as cattle, donkeys, goats and sheep find sorghum stems a palatable fodder, and farmers will often cut and save the stems to feed animals throughout the long dry season. This practice emphasizes the importance of sorghum to animal husbandry in this area. Third, sorghum is used to manufacture a local beer called mariisa. This beer is often used as the main source of food for many farmers for at least one meal during the day, especially during the harvest season. The extent to which mariisa is consumed varies from one village to the next.18 Fourth,sorghum is intercropped with sesame to serve as a wind break for sesame plants. Wind erosion is a serious constraint to sesame production in this area, and farmers have found that planting sorghum in their sesame fields helps guard against wind damage. The sorghums grown in this area are usually firmly rooted and have strong stems which aid in resisting wind erosion. Thus, farmers gain three advantages by planting sorghum in their sesame fields: 1) it serves as a food source for humans; 2) it serves as animal fodder; and 3) it serves as a wind break for sesame plants. Therefore, sorghum production in this farming system is very critical, and it is necessary for agricultural researchers to understand the many functions it serves to fully assess its importance. Sesame Sesame is one of the most important cash crops farmers grow in this region of North Kordofan. Ninety-three percent of the sample farmers (37 of 40) grew some sesame in their fields. Fifty-one percent of all land cultivated was in this cash crop (365.5 mukhammas). In addition, for each farmer, the average proportion of his tota-cultivated land that was planted in sesame was .48. Several locally recognized types of sesame are grown in the El Obeid region. The local names for these are simsim baladi/danameet, simsim jabarook, and simsim HireeHri. Simsim baladi/danameet is a long maturing variety (100-120 days) with multiple branches and the highest pod production of the sesames grown. Simsim jararook is an intermediate maturing variety (80-100 days) with fewer branches and lower pod production than baladi/danameet. Simsim HireeHri is an early maturing variety (70-80 days) with few branches and the lowest pod production of the three types. Baladi/danameet tends to be dark green in color while jabarook and HireeHri are successively lighter shades of green. Simsim HireeHri is usually planted by close spacing on previously fallow land (buur) in order to realize a higher yield while the other two types are usually planted on previously cultivated land.19 181n two of the villages under study, mariisa is consumed by most of the farmers, while in the other village, very few people drink mariisa. The strictness with which Islamic values are upheld appears to account for this difference between villages. 19 There were exceptions to this pattern. Sometimes farmers plant jabarook or even baladi/danameet on previously fallow land if simsim HireeHri seeds were not available.



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Chart 1 MILLET (N=38) Timing of Cropping Activities Apr May June July Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec Jan Feb Mar 1stjMidjEnd 1st|Mid End 1st|MidjEnd 1stj Mid Endj1st|Midj End 1st Mid End 1stJMid End 1stjMid End 1st Mid End 1st Mid End 1st Mid End 1st Mid End Cropping Key Activities fl Rarely 1. Planting 2. Replanting Low'Frequency S High Frequency 3. 1st feeding 4. 2nd Weeding 5. Cutting/ Pulling 6. Threshing 7. Land *Clearing Time of 1st Planting Replanting N % N % Before Rains 71 3 13% After Rains 11 29% 20 87%



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-67 An observation that needs to be stressed is that most vendors are selling more than one kind of commodity. At Abu Haraz, for example, eighteen (24%) of the vegetable sellers are also dealing in wild plant foods and fifteen (20%) are dealing in cereal grains. Evidently, vendors mix commodities to attract more customers and to reduce their risks. Perishable foods are sold in conjunction with foods that keep well. Goods which sell early, like tomatoes, are paired with goods that will sell later in the day, like shelled groundnuts. The periodic vendor is called farraash in Arabic, a term derived from farash which is the mat or groundcloth on which the vendor displays his goods. Government Administered Crop Market Rural markets have been established by the rural councils to be a chief source of tax revenues. The typical pattern is to find a large rural market in the same village as the council headquarters while a number of satellite markets occupy secondary villages. The satellite markets are often set up near the boundaries of administrative districts reflecting the competition between neighboring rural councils to capture a larger tax base. El-Geifil market is an example of this phenomenon. It is in competition with two neighboring markets--Umm Hemeira and el-Karra--which are in different administrative districts. Sesame, groundnuts, gum arabic and karkadee (roselle) are the major cash crops that are sold in government markets in our study area.70 At a minimum, the rural market is staffed with: (1) a clerk (kaatib as-suug) whose responsibility is to keep records of all sales, assess taxes, and hold the tax revenues in a strong box until the market supervisor (mulaaHiz) collects it (once a week or less frequently); (2) a guard (ghafiir) to maintain law and order. In the larger markets the clerk is helped by a deputy. Alternatively, small markets which are in the same general locale and which take place on different days of the week often share the same clerk, who travels back and forth to meet the marketing schedule. Government administered crop markets were found to have two fundamental institutional forms. On the one hand, there are crop markets at which the weight of each crop is measured on a scales (mizaan) and its price is determined by buyers' bidding at auction (dalaala). By this procedure--which we may designate the mizaan system--the taxation on crops sold may be determined with considerable precision. The most important taxes assessed in our area are gibaana (a market use fee which is O.150/kantar) and 9ushuur (an ad valorem tax of 15% of the total price). On the other hand, at small, remote crop markets a procedure exists for selling crops that is little more than a formalization of the buying-by-the-mid procedure which village merchants use at their shops. In this case, the crop is measured volumetrically rather than by weight and a standard formula for converting from volume 70Watermelon seeds are an important produce in el-Obeid Crop Market but sales of this commodity do not occur to a significant degree in any of the rural markets we are studying.



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-25 mind, we asked farmers when they started planting, replanting, first weeding, second weeding, cutting or pulling and threshing. This information was collected on each of the main crops they grew. In addition, we asked farmers when they started clearing their fields for next year's cropping season. One problem we encountered in these inquiries was that farmers were not always conscious of the exact dates they began these activities. Several cues were used to jog farmers' memories such as having them relate the timing of the activity to important religious events like Ramadan, or having them indicate what month in the traditional.Islamic calendar the activity took place. Usually farmers were able to specify what part of the month the activity began such as the first, the middle or the end, but it was not possible for them to be any more accurate than this. For this reason, the following charts which specify the timing of cropping activities for each crop are quite general as far as dates are concerned. However, they do reflect general patterns in the timing of such activities. The following discussion briefly summarizes the data on these charts taking each crop separately. Millet Cropping Activities (1981-1982 Season) 1. Planting -The first planting of millet by sample farmers occurred between the first of April and the first of July. The most common planting period was from the first of May to the first of dune. Seventy-one percent of the farmers planted their millet before rains (rameel) and 29 percent planted after rains (nadaaya). Farmers planted their millet early for several reasons: 1) to avoid the peak seasons of pests such as santa (Cyrtocamenta spo.) and birds; 2) to take advantage of all possible rainfall in a cropping season; 3) to hire labor for planting which is relatively inexpensive and available; and 4) to obtain a food crop from their field as soon as possible. Unfortunately, the timing of the first millet planting is not always appropriate and replanting is a common practice. 2. Re lanting -Replanting of millet occurred between the end of May and temddle of duly. The most common replanting period was from the end of dune to the middle of duly. Sixty-five percent of the farmers surveyed replanted, and most of these after rains (87%). 3. 1st Weeding -The first weeding of millet occurred between the end of dune and the first of August. The most common first weeding period was from the first of duly to the first of August. 4. 2nd Weeding -The second weeding of millet occurred between the iddle ofJuly and the end of September. The most common second weeding period was from the first of August to the first of September. 5. Cutting -The cutting of millet occurred between the end of August and the first of january. The most common cutting period occurred from the middle of October to the first of November.



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-6 of subsistence crops (sorghum, millet, watermelon and some cow peas) grown in conjunction with cash crops (sesame, groundnuts, roselle and watermelon). These patterns result from the strategies followed by farmers regarding the types of crops grown, area cultivated in each crop, intercropping practices, thinning practices, timing of cropping activities and rotation of fallow land. Both the environmental constraints and the decisions of farmers in allocating resources for agricultural inputs, such as seeds, chemicals, and labor have a tremendous influence on these cropping patterns as well. These decisions directly effect crop output which influences consumption, marketing and investment. Animal husbandry in this system involves the rearing of livestock such as cattle, sheep, goats, camels, donkeys, horses and poultry. Animals serve several functions including: 1) a source of investment; 2) a food source; and 3) a transportation and labor source. They represent a channel of investment for high crop production as well as a cushion in case of crop failure. Patterns in animal rearing result from the strategies farmers follow regarding investment of their resources in different types and amounts of livestock and the various uses to which they are put. Such strategies have a direct bearing on consumption and marketing as well. Off-farm economic activities consist of all the various income generating activities that farmers pursue to supplement the income generated by their own farms. These include dry season migration for wage labor, wage labor for other farmers, specialized nonfarm occupations (e.g. tailors, bedmakers, carpenters, blacksmiths), government occupations (e.g. guards, clerks, school employees), manufacture and sale of charcoal and building materials, service charges for crop and water hauling, and income generated from capital intensive enterprises (e.g. shops, trucks, cisterns, oil presses, flour mills, bakeries). The activities of farmers are often limited by the resources and opportunities available to them. This often results in a limited number of options being pursued by farmers so recurring patterns of non-farm economic activities often appear. The income generated by these activities can be channeled into agricultural inputs for cropping, animal purchases, or consumption needs. Marketing consists of all sales made by farmers of agricultural products (both crops and animals) and all purchases of consumption goods by farm households (food and material goods). In addition, marketing includes the purchase of livestock for investment purposes. Marketing patterns result from the strategies of farmers regarding the timing of the sales of agricultural products (e.g. cash crops, livestock), the timing of the purchases of consumption goods (e.g. food stuffs like millet and sorghum), and the timing of the purchase of livestock for investment. Marketing is closely related to cropping patterns because farmers are price responsive in selecting the mix of crops they grow. Likewise, market prices heavily influence animal sales and purchases. Marketing strategies can also influence consumption patterns. For instance, farmers' decisions to purchase sorghum at low prices may result in forgoing the consumption of millet during the dry season. 3Marketing will be discussed in greater detail in the following section of this report.



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-61 Table 21. Commercial Structures at Abu Haraz and Umm Ramad Markets Abu Haraz Umm Ramad Use No. % No. % Grocery 16 15.7 13 31.7 Grocery/Cloth 14 13.7 4 9.8 Storage 28 27.5 19 46.3 Coffee Shop 19 18.6 0 0.0 Bakery 6 5.9 1 2.4 Flour Mill 2 2.0 1 2.4 Tailor 3 2.9 0a 0.0 Utensils 2 2.0 0 0.0 Grain Merchant 1 1.0 0 0.0 Butcher's Stand 1 1.0 1 2.4 Radio Repair 1 1.0 0 0.0 Barber 1 1.0 0 0.0 Carpenter 1 1.0 0 0.0 Cloth/Utensils 1 1.0 0 0.0 Crop Merchant's 1 1.0 0 0.0 Offi ce/Storage Cloth 1 1.0 0 0.0 Vacant 4 3.9 2 4.9 102 41 aFour grocery/cloth shops have sewing machines that operate seasonally.



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-59 Table 20. Comparison of Prices of Selected Food Products at Abu Jahal (el-Obeid), Abu Haraz, and el-Geifil Commodities Abu Jahal Abu Haraz el-Geifil teaa 0.150/wagii9 0.120/wagii9 0.125/wagii9 coffee beans 0.190/wagii9 0.180/wagii9 0.180/wagii9 sugar 0.400/nus rootl 0.450/nus rootl 0.350/nus rootl sesame oil 0.650/rootl 0.700/rool 0.700/rootl feterita 0.700/mid 0.900/mid 0.900/mid onion 0.250/rootl 0.200/rootl 0.250/rootl Totals 2.340 2.550 2.505 aThe prices for tea are not fully comparable. The tea sold in the shop at Abu Jahal is Indian; the teas sold in Abu Haraz and el-Geifil are Ugandan. Comparing the totals of the columns of figures which represent the market basket for each location, el-Obeid market prices are predictably lower than those found in either village, but the effective mark-up is not extreme-9% in the case of Abu Haraz and 7% in the case of el-Geifil. An impressionistic inspection of the rest of the market basket data which we have suggests that this pattern of moderate mark-up by village merchants generally holds true. Once on the shelf a commodity may remain several months before it is sold. Village merchants, of course, buy their stock from wholesalers and economize transportation costs by shipping crops to el-Obeid on the same truck that hauls the provisions they buy. In these cases, the earnings from crop sales provide the capital for restocking the shop. This activity of resowing earnings in new investments is called bighlib ("turning the money over"). A merchant depends on maintaining the goodwill of a clientele of regular customers. Subtle forms of competition develop between merchants, but anything so blatant as advertising is absent. For example, we found a merchant in Umm Ramad who had lowered the price of chewing gum and candy in an attempt to lure children away from the other shops. The implications of this ploy become clear when it is realized that children are important buyers of the household's daily needs. Merchants value customers who come from neighboring villages and compete for their business. This pattern stems from the fact that the presence in the village of a flour mill attracts families from neighboring villages to have their grain ground into flour once or twice per week. This provides the opportunity for the visitors to buy at village shops outside their own village. Merchants encourage this practice by showing the visitors their hospitality. It is usual to find a rukuuba (millet stalk shelter) adjacent to the shop where the travelers may rest in the shade. The merchant provides drinking water and perhaps tea or coffee. He may also offer groundnuts, wild fruits, or biscuits to snack on. If it



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-103 meet expenses. Credit lending occurs throughout the year in the form of small commodity loans and during the rainy season in the form of relatively large cash and commodity loans which are used to obtain food and farm inputs. While the commodity loans are available from village merchants, the larger cropping season loans are also taken from other holders of liquid capital, such as big farmers, animal breeders, truck owners, and women who brew mariisa. The high interest rate, that is characteristic of the type of creditlending that is commonly termed sheel,is owing to the nature of the credit market in the rural areas. The demand for credit-particularly during the cropping season which lasts four months--is high because the only other source of income for poorer families is to hire their labor to work in others": fields, which means that they must neglect their own. Seen in this light borrowing is a substitute for hiring out labor. In addition to high demand other reasons for a high interest rate are the general scarcity of disposable cash during the cropping season (the big farmer and merchant must hire labor to work their extensive lands) and the fact that in the rural community the person who has money to lend (siid al-guruush) is relatively scarce. High demand for credit and low supply along with imperfect competition among potential credit-lenders all contribute to high interest rates. Add to this the consideration that loans are fairly frequently defaulted and the reason for the high rate of interest is even more clear. Compensating Strategies 1. Although farmers are concerned about how lenient a creditor will be when a loan is made, they are even more concerned that a reliable source of credit be available if and when they need it. Generally, a farmer cultivates close relationships with one or more wealthy persons in his village whom he can approach in time of need. The shopkeeper is a frequent source of credit because the relationship can be built into the customer's role. When the farmer buys goods on credit from the shop and conscientiously repays the loan, this forms a basis of trust on which the merchant can make the larger cropping season loans. Kinship bonds are frequently involved when farmers appeal for loans. Recommendations Farmers could benefit from a government program that would extend credit at lower rates of interest provided that the program is self-financing. Experience with credit programs in other countries indicates that this type of program should avoid the temptation to sweeten its services with hidden government subsidies. An interest rate that exceeds the rate of inflation and repays the cost of the program's operation would seem to be essential. Even on such modest terms we suggest that it would be possible to provide credit to farmers less expensively than merchants now do. Such a program would encourage rural creditors to lower their rates. Since the exchange relationship between merchant and farmer is multistranded, many farmers would still prefer to borrow from



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-60 is meal time, the visitors may be invited to join the merchant in eating 9asiida and mulaah,63 which has been prepared by the merchant's wife and carried to the shop by his children. Another kind of competition has to do with the merchant's readiness to make loans and his leniency on repayment. Indeed, it is scarcely an exaggeration to say that a merchant who fails to extend credit to his customers is soon bereft of his clientele. Still another form of competition is to offer customers a price for their cash crops which is slightly above the general price prevailing at the other shops in the village. All such strategies will be for naught if the merchant does not secure a dependable relationship with a truck owner to transport goods at a competitive price.64 Even if this requirement is met the merchant may still find that his costs press too hard to offer better prices to farmers for their crops. Precisely at this sticky point crop smuggling becomes attractive to many merchants: farmers receive better prices; merchants receive higher profits; excessive costs are charged to the government's lost revenues. The commercial profiles of the smaller villages look much alike. There is little diversity of function. Most of the shops primarily sell groceries. The storekeeper may operate a sewing machine in the winter season when families have money to spend and sell cloth. In the smaller villages, merchants may use their own shops to store the crops they buy in exchange for consumer goods but it is also common to have a separate storage building, usually a millet stalk shed or hut. Sometimes, several merchants share a storehouse together, or the owner rents space to other merchants. Often, however, money does not change hands in such arrangements. Merchants maintain generally good relations with one another and0 hold to the principle of "scratch my back and I'll scratch yours." The contrast to this which a larger village presents is immediate and striking. Economic diversity increases as the village becomes larger. Table 21 illustrates this in a comparison of commercial structures at Abu Haraz and Umm Ramad markets. As the table shows Abu Haraz is developing an almost urban character with many specialized shops. It is also interesting to note that the biggest merchant in the village has no agricultural holdings. His earnings come entirely from his shop, crop buying, livestock and his trucks. Umm Ramad represents more nearly the norm for a large village market. The economic diversity of commercial structures does not extend to service trades (e.g., radio repair, barber, carpenter) as seen at Abu Haraz. Further evidence of the urban character of Abu Haraz can be gleaned from the fact that 25% of the storage buildings and 277 of the grocery and grocery/cloth shops are not owner-occupied but rented. By contrast in the more rural Umm Ramad, only 16% of the storage buildings and 12% of the grocery and grocery/cloth shops are rented rather than owner-occupied. It should also be noted that absentee landlords of commercial buildings are more prevalent in Abu Haraz than in Umm Ramad. 63 The most common dish of this rural area. 9asiida is a thick porridge made from millet or sorghum. Mulaah is a sauce made from meat, whey or cowpeas. 64Wealthy merchants solve the problem by buying their own truck.



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-120 6. shak Women will take the ruus back to the village and smash this again in a funduk. After this third smashing, the seed usually separates from the chaff. 7. keel Women usually put the millet in sacks and men will transport it back to the village. Some of the millet is left in sacks and put in the house while the rest is usually put into an underground pit called a matmura. These storage pits are usually lined with millet chaff to protect them from moisture.



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-91 Recommendations 1. Intercropping strategies similar to the ones farmers are now practicing should be encouraged. Agricultural scientists should determine and recommend to farmers what combination of crops would be most appropriate. 2. Soil scientists should investigate the effects of early land clearing and early planting in this area. Possibly these strategies may be promoting desertification since they expose bare top soil to wind erosion. If this is the case, farmers should be encouraged to clear their fields later just before planting rather than as early as many now do. However, reluctance to implement such suggestions may be encountered because of the potential labor bottlenecks which could result if all farmers clear their land just prior to planting. Presently some farmers begin clearing their fields in February because labor is cheaper and readily available at this time. Such potential labor bottlenecks must be taken into account in any recommendations made to farmers. 3. Farmers should be encouraged to continue leaving cut bushes, weeds and crop residue lying on their fields prior to planting. This would help cut down on wind erosion, and could serve as a mulch which would help soil moisture. Planting could then be done without removing this mulch.95 This strategy would be appropriate for those farmers who find it necessary to clear their fields early due to labor constraints. 4. Another possible way of controlling wind erosion would be to plant tree shelter-belts around farmers' fields. Previous research has shown that densely planted stands of trees along the borders of fields cut down on wind damage, as well as too rapid evapo-transpiration, and help retain soil moisture. In addition, such shelter-belts could help curtail desert encroachment. One fast growing tree which might be used for this purpose is mesquite (Prosopis spp.). Not only could it help cut down on wind erosion, it could be used for three other functions which gum arabic trees are presently serving: as a source of firewood, a source of building material and a source of fodder. Relieving gum arabic of these three functions would remove some of the pressure on farmers to cut down gum trees early before they reach their productive potential. However, one bad attribute of some mesquite varieties is that they tend to spread quite rapidly. Care must be taken to make sure that the variety introduced for this purpose does not begin displacing Acacia senegal in the area. Such varieties of mesquite do exist and could be used. Two other possible trees which could be used for shelter belts would be Acacia senegal itself, and eucalyptus. Experiments could be conducted where a1 three types of trees are planted in shelter-belts to determine which one would be the most appropriate for the area. 95See footnote below in recommendations about protecting soil fertility.



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-37 be explained by the fact that farmers often retain their sesame crop until April or May before selling it to help pay for farm expenditures in the coming cropping season. Aside from being a form of short-term savings, this strategy enables farmers to keep enough seed in reserve to meet planting requirements. This pattern would account for the findings presented in the Table above. In addition to reserving their own seeds, 35 percent of the farmers were purchasing sesame seeds as well. About an equal number of farmers purchased seed from other farmers as from merchants. An examination of seed purchasers indicates that the majority were poor farmers. A possible reason for why poor people are purchasing sesame seed is that they often have to sell most of their sesame crop early to pay off debts, buy food, water and other household necessities. These early sales make it. difficult to retain adequate seed reserves for the coming cropping season, so these farmers are often forced to use what little money they have to purchase seed. If additional seed purchases are required for replanting these poor farmers are often forced to borrow from another farmer or a merchant at high interest rates. 36a Most farmers in our sample obtained their groundnut seeds for planting from a Government sponsored seed distribution program which was implemented by the Farmers' Union. The Farmers' Union distributed groundnut seed to farmers in several villages in Kordofan. The only stipulation was that farmers had to return to the Farmers' Union an equal amount of seed after harvest. Fifty-eight percent of the farmers surveyed obtained their seed in this manner. Aside from this seed source, 42 percent of the farmers reserved their own groundnut seed for planting. Only three farmers purchased groundnut seed. Two purchased seed from the El Obeid Market while one purchased seed from a local merchant. The relatively small number of farmers who purchased seed may be due to the unavailability of groundnut seed from other farmers or merchants. This also may account for why groundnuts are usually only planted once. As for sorghum, 73 percent of the farmers got their seed for planting from their own reserves. This pattern is understandable if one considers the fact that sorghum seeds are somewhat scarce in many of these villages in this area. Farmers have had some difficulty in obtaining sorghum seed from local merchants as well as from other farmers. For this reason, one 36a The classic sheel (usury) credit system of the Sudan still serves as an important source of seed for many poor farmers. Here sheel is a kind of crop mortqaging. The lender gives the poor farmer an amount of seed on the condition that he is repaid in kind a two-fold, or greater, amount after the harvest. An alternative seed lending arrangement, which is commonplace nowadays, is to peg the values of the seeds loaned out and repaid according to their current market prices. The borrower may repay his loan in seed or in money. In recent years, seed loaned in this manner has generally earned the lender a rate of return between 150% and 200%. Defaults as well as long delays in repayment are problems the lender must anticipate if he makes seed loans.



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Chart 2 SESAME (N=37) Timing of Cropping Activities Apr May June July Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec Jan Feb Mar 1stlMidjEnd 1stjMid End 1st Mid End 1st Mid End 1st MidjEnd 1stjMid End 1st MidjEnd 1st Mid End 1st Mid End 1st MidjEnd 1st Mid End 1st Mid End Cropping Activities Key 1. Planting D Rarely 2. Replanting Low Frequency 2. Replanting 3. ing -High Frequency 3. 1st Weeding 4. 2nd Weeding 5. Cutting/ Pulling 6. Threshing Clearing Time of 1st Planting Reolantinq N %N % Before Rains 10 27 T After Rains 27 73% 9 82%



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-106 to one. The broadcast announcer should be a native of the region and should speak in one of the main local dialects rather than in Modern Standard Arabic. 5. Transport and Storage These operations do not in general appear to be major areas of constraint at the village level. Transportation of crops from the fields to the villages and after that to nearby markets is largely performed by human and animal labor. A farmer who does not own a donkey to carry his crops can borrow one from a neighbor. Nor is there a serious shortage of motor transport in any of the villages we are studying. Villages which have no trucks have forged reliable arrangements with truck-owners from neighboring villages who will haul their crops as often as a truck load can be assembled, which during the height of the market season may be several times per week. During peak marketing periods a village may be visited by several trucks. Crop marketing occurs during the dry season, so the flooding out of roads and tracks is not a problem. Presently, the major constraint to transporting crops to market is the shortage of diesel fuel and its high price. In some cases, truck hauling rates have increased 50-100% since the beginning of the year. Farmers are responding to this by relying more on animal (particularly camel) transport. Storage does not pose a serious problem for farmers or merchants in the villages. The incidence of pest attack is reported to be low. Crops are most securely stored for a period of four to six months by burying them in pits that are lined with millet chaff and covered over with sand. Crops for which there may be a more immediate need are stored in gunny sacks inside a hut or storehouse. In this case there is some danger of loss due to fire or pest attack. To control insects, DDT, which is widely available and cheap, is the chemical protection of choice. Recommendation 1. Transportation and storage do not have to be given a high priority at the village level because the existing technology, is efficient.103 The greatest improvement to transportation is likely to come from the development of a domestic petroleum industry for the Sudan. Bulk storage at depots and urban centers is more likely to benefit from technological improvement than is storage in the villages around el-Obeid. 103 This statement holds for the el-Obeid area but is probably not justified for the wetter lands to the south.



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Local Names of Millets in the El-Obeid Region of Northern Kordofan, Sudan Millet (Dukn) Hereihri Beledi/Dembi Aish Bornu Mani (Short Maturing) (long Maturing) Aish el Ghareib (Grown in hills IMaang to the south (From Bornu Tribe of Abu Haraz) Iin West Africa) -4 Abu Suf Abu Suf (Father of Hair) Sufi SufiSufi Sufi ES Suf (Hairy) Es Suf All Same Abushusha Es Suf Tvnes of E u pes of (The Hair) Lisan et Tai-r Hair Millet Abushusha Lisan et Tair (Birds Tough)



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-18 Although only 4 farmers were doing this, the implications of the practice are worth noting. When farmers plant one type of sesame in their field, the sesame tends to ripen all at once. From the time the sesame ripens, the length of time that farmers have for cutting the sesame before the pods shatter is usually 10 to 15 days. This short cutting period often forces farmers to mobilize laborers (paid or communal) to cut their sesame as rapidly as possible. Serious labor bottle-necks arise because of the high demand, and farmers often have to pay high wages to obtain the necessary labor. This may force the farmers to take out a loan from a merchant to cover the labor expenditure. By mixing seeds of sesame with different maturation lengths, the farmer is assured that the field does not ripen all at once. This spreads the labor requirement, allowing the farmer to harvest his crop over a longer period of time. This longer period also enables the farmer to cut his sesame field by himself and/or with the help of his family rather than paying for a large number of laborers. In addition to mixing seeds, farmers use other strategies to ease the strain on labor for sesame cutting. First, to lengthen the duration of sesame cutting in a field, farmers will plant sections of the field at different times. They may plant one part of the field after one rain, and then wait until the next rain before planting another part. Second, farmers will often plant sesame on soils with different drainage patterns so that the crop doesn't mature all at once. For instance, the sesame planted on well-drained slopes will mature faster than the sesame planted in depressions where water accumulates. Third, farmers will go through their sesame field and cut the bottom stems of the plants first since they tend to ripen first. Then they will go back through the field and cut the top stems. This cutting strategy ensures that the ripest stems are cut first, so that little seed is lost due to pod shattering. All of these strategies have been adopted to help alleviate the labor constraints associated with sesame cultivation. Farmers in the three villages have different sesame cultivation patterns. In El Kharta, 64 percent of the land cultivated was in sesame, and 93 percent of the farmers surveyed grew this crop (14 of 15). Baladi/danameet was the dominant type planted, followed by jabarook and HireeHri. Five farmers grew more than one variety in their fields, and 3 mixed seeds of two different types before planting. In El Geifil, 54 percent of the land cultivated was in sesame, and all farmers interviewed grew some of it in their fields. In contrast to El Kharta, farmers in El Geifil planted more jabarook than the other two types. Thus far, we are unable to account for this trend. In addition, 60 percent of the farmers in this village planted some HireeHri. This percentage is much higher than in the other two villages. Fifty percent of the El Geifil farmers grew more than one type of sesame, and only one farmer mixed seeds before planting. El Geifil's unique cropping patterns bear further investigation.



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iv truck-owners who are prepared to haul the purchase immediately to the urban market. To gain a general overview of marketing in the study area, observations were made in four heterogeneous villages which are marketing centers. Government records for crop auction and livestock sales were copied down for two villages with large market places. Through this study we identified a number of important marketing institutions including the village shop, periodic vendors attending weekly markets, the government administered crop market, and the government administered livestock market. Two kinds of crop marketing systems were found. The most prevalent is the system in which the crop's price is determined in auction, after which the farmer's produce is weighed. The government prefers this procedure because the tax rate is precisely assessed. The other kind of system relies on an estimation of the weight and price of the crop according to a formula set by the district council. This procedure results in a lower tax estimation than the weighing and auction system, but it appears to be well suited to small, isolated markets where the extra incentive of reduced taxes encourages crop buyers to visit the market. Smuggling -that is the illegal conveyance of certain crops, particularly sesame, from the farm gate to crop buying agencies in el-Obeid without the full assessment of taxes -is believed to be a widespread practice. Farmers as well as crop merchants are seen to benefit from it. Millet, the subsistence crop, is supplemented by the importation to the region of sorghum (feterita) grown principally on the mechanized farming schemes at Habila, South Kordofan. Only the wealthier households are able to satisfy the ideal of eating from their own millet stores throughout the year. This is because only they have enough equity to purchase the labor to cultivate a large field of millet. Alternatively, they buy millet from farmers who are in need of cash. Most families buy feterita at least during the dry season in order to save their millet for rainy season consumption. A prevailing belief is that feterita is an undesirable food for the rainy season. During this period of hard physical labor, only millet can provide the required nutriment. Information from the sample of forty households suggests that the typical farm family supports itself on its own millet for only about four months in the year. The rest of the time it buys feterita. A preliminary analysis of crop marketing channels revealed a number of incentives and constraints for the participants. For example, farmers whose production is small or who lack equity are typically unable to hold their crops off the market until the post-harvest rise in prices occurs. They have to begin selling their crops immediately after the harvest to pay their consumption bill. Better-off farmers, on the other hand, may be able to reserve their crops several months in anticipation of a rise in prices. From government records of livestock sales it is possible to guage the dramatic effect which the seasonal presence of nomads is having at a large rural market. A conclusion to be drawn is that the relation between nomad and farmer, who are frequently in conflict over access to forage and water, is complimentary when it comes to livestock marketing.



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-42 groups in recent years as a primary source of labor. Nowadays, communal labor activities most often occur in times of extreme need, such as providing aid to a family following the death or illness of one of its members, or helping a poor farmer harvest a crop which matured too quickly and otherwise would be lost. However, communal work arrangements are still important for poor farmers in millet threshing. These farmers use communal labor for threshing because: 1) the work is too difficult for one farmer to do; 2) they usually can't afford the costs of hiring labor to thresh their crop; and 3) the timing of threshing is such that other farmers are available to help. In fact, to ensure the availability of labor farmers will often wait to thresh their millet until all other competing activities are finished. For this reason, poor farmers who use communal labor in threshing millet will not start until the end of December or even the first of January. Except for millet threshing, however, communal labor is rarely used in farm operations. Some farmers in our sample worked for wages for other farmers; however, this pattern was not as prevalent as hiring-in. Twenty-eight percent of the farmers surveyed had worked for pay. This estimate may be too low because some farmers refused to acknowledge working for others.43 Umm Ramad had the largest percentage of farmers who reported working for pay TYTq followed by El Geifil (30%), and El Kharta (20%). Only two farmers in our sample were hiring-in labor as well as-Whiring their labor out. One detrimental consequence of working off the farm for pay is that the worker's own fields suffer from lack of attention. Several farmers we interviewed who worked for wages on other farmers' fields were not able to do the second weeding of their own crops. This has the effect of lowering their own production. As a result, these farmers are forced to rely on wage labor and loans from merchants year after year because they cannot sustain a livelihood from fields which receive insufficient labor input. This cyclic pattern appears typical of many poor farmers in the area. The only solution to this problem involves breaking this pattern by allowing farmers to allocate their labor to their own fields. One way of doing this is to institute programs which release farmers from the necessity of selling labor to others. Some suggestions for such programs will be discussed later in this report. Labor Costs Labor costs are an important constraint to crop production in this area. To better understand this, we calculated the average total labor cost per mukhammas to grow each of the main crops.44 Bearing in mind the difficulties 43 In several cases, we discovered later that some farmers' responses were inaccurate or incomplete. This reluctance to acknowledge working for other farmers is due to a common belief that such activities reflect a person's poverty. Farmers in this area are very proud people, and want to be viewed as self-reliant rather than dependent on others. Thmis calculation was made by adding up the total costs for planting, replanting, first and second weeding, cutting and threshing and dividing this total by the number of mukharmmas planted in the crop.



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-49 From these findings, it seems that the more successful farmers are investing in sheep since half the owners had more than ten. Sheep are expensive animals when compared to goats and most poor farmers cannot afford them. This explains why few farmers own sheep. Only the wealthier farmers have the resources to rear sheep. Most sheep owners live in Umm Ramad (7 of 8). Only one lives in El Kharta and none live in El Geifil.* As with cattle, sheep are easier to maintain in Umm Ramad because of the permanent water source and the availability of fodder. The lack of these resources make sheep rearing more difficult in the other two villages. In fact, the sheep owner in El Kharta is forced to graze his sheep to the south of El Obeid where fodder and water are more abundant. Although few farmers owned sheep, the majority did own goats. Eighty percent (32 of 40) of the farmers interviewed owned a few goats., Fifteen owned one to five goats, while ten had six to ten. Only seven farmers had more than ten goats. The largest number of goats owned by a single farmer was fifty. The majority of the farmers had less than ten goats. This is because most households only keep a few goats to provide milk for consumption, primarily for their tea. Aside from their milk, goats also serve as one of the main meat sources for the households. For many farmers goats represent a meat reserve to fall back on when cash is in short supply and the household cannot afford to purchase meat. The main reasons for the large percentage of farmers who maintain goats are, first, goats are relatively inexpensive when compared to sheep and cattle, so poorer farmers can afford them. Second, goats are very adaptable animals and can subsist on a wide range of plant resources which other animals cannot. Therefore, fodder is less a constraint for goat rearing than it is for cattle and sheep. Unfortunately, the fact that goats can eat nearly anything has detrimental consequences for the environment. Goats denude the landscape of what little foliage there is, which contributes to wind erosion and desert encroachment. Ironically, their ability to adapt to adverse environmental conditions leads to the worsening of these conditions. Donkeys are another important animal to the farming system of this area. Sixty-three percent of the farmers surveyed had a donkey. Most of these owners did not have more than one although one rich farmer did have six. Farmers' use of donkeys for hauling and transportation make it an important asset. However, not all farmers own a donkey. Many poor farmers cannot afford to buy one although they frequently may borrow a donkey from a relative when one is needed. Also, farmers who own camels have little need for donkeys because camels perform the same functions. As for camels, only eight of the farmers surveyed owned one. Four of these farmers owned one each while the other four owned two each. Four of these owners were from El Kharta, three from Umm Ramad and one was from El Geifil. Very few farmers own a camel because they are an expensive



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-148 51. If you stay in the village during the dry season, do you sell wood or charcoal? If so, where do you get your wood supply? How many sacks of charcoal or stacks of wood can you produce a day? Where do you sell your wood or charcoal? What price do you receive? (by sack or stack) How do you transport it? How often? Month start selling 52. Do you sell millet or sorghum stalks? (Explain) 53. If you do not migrate during the dry season, what activities are you involved in which generate income? 54. When do you clear or prepare your land for planting? Do you ever hire labor out or hire labor for land preparation?



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-66 Table 23 (Continued) aThe survey of periodic traders at Abu Haraz was made on January 18, 1982, about noon, the busiest time of the day. This was a Monday market which is noticeably smaller than a Friday market. We estimate that 30-40% more vendors had attended the market on the previous Friday. The survey at el-Geifil was carried out on January 24, 1982, also at noon. bExamples of commodities in each category: Vegetables -tomatoes, okra, onion, green onion, radish, pumpkin, cowpeas. Prepared Foods -wheat loaves, clarified butter, peanut butter, watermelon seeds, shelled groundnuts, ta9miya, cookies, simsimiya (sesame candy), sugar candy, wadak (animal fat), coffee, tea, fava beans, fried meat. Cereal Grains -zunari (locally produced sorghum), millet. Fruit -lemon, watermelon, bananas. Wild Plant Foods -9aradeeb, tabaldi, nabag, kawal, garad (acacia nilotic pods) Natural Craft Products -gourds, twine, brooms, habbaaba (fire fan), sa9af (weaving material). Spices -red pepper, garlic, ginger, green cumin, black cumin, koomba, shiiH Empty Bottles and Cans -medicine bottles and pint-size paint cans. Utensils -enamel pans, glassware, tea cups, coffee cups, tea sieves, spoons, plastic water pitchers. Toilet Articles -mirrors, combs, brushes, razors and blades, kohl, towels. Dried Meat -sharmuut (wild and domesticated species), mirz (dried stomach). Live Chickens Clothing -shirts, t-shirts, night gowns. Jewelry -necklaces, rings, hair pins. CThe percentages total to more than 100% in each column because vendors commonly sell items from several categories. dAt Abu Haraz, there are nineteen coffee shops operating daily in an area beside the market which serves as a truck stop. Their business is affected by the periodic market but they are not included in the frequency distribution since they are permanent rather than periodic businesses. At el-Geifil, however, there are five coffee shops which operate only on market day. The proprietors are all women. In this case, the five women are counted as periodic vendors of prepared foods.



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of households revealed that nearly two-thirds of the members were productive in some way during a part of the year. The usefulness of children as producers and income-earners is well understood by parents. The average cultivated landholding of a household head is 18 makhammas. Most farmers are cultivating more than one-half of their total land 'holdings, a fact that supports the view that soil fertility in the region is steadily declining due to insufficient fallowing. One-third of all cultivated lands are rented rather than owned by farm managers. Most of the rented land is leased by better-off farmers from farmers who are poorer than average. Because labor is the key constraint on cultivating land and because poorer farmers lack the equity to hire labor, they gain an income from idle land that they own by renting it to others. The four most common crops are millet, sorghum, sesame and groundnuts. The cereals are primarily subsistence crops though surpluses are sold to other farmers and at local markets. Millet is the preferred staple of the rural diet, and the stalks of the millet plant are ubiquitously used as a building material. Thirty-eight per cent of the cultivated lands were found to be cultivated in millet, while 95 percent of the households grew it. Sorghum is not nearly as important a crop although about three-quarters of the farmers do grow some sorghum. Local varieties (milo type, red and white) are frequently seen intercropped (in the same hole) with sesame. White sorghum is preferred for making bread and porridges. Red sorghum is used to make beer. Sorghum is also an important animal fodder and both the seed and the stover are used for this purpose. Forty-eight per cent of the cultivated land is planted in sesame, while 93% of the farmers grew sesame in their fields. Sesame is often intercropped with sorghum, cowpeas, watermelon or karkadee. Some farmers sow varieties of sesame which mature at different rates in order to avoid the labor bottlenecks that can occur during the busy harvest season. Since sesame is threshed by hand, it must have the characteristic of shattering easily. Sesame is the bread-and-butter crop. Most of it is sold at regional markets and is destined for processing into oil which is consumed in the urban centers. Market prices of sesame tend to be stable and predictable. Ten per cent of the cultivated land was planted in groundnuts during the 1980-1981 season. Barbiton variety is grown exclusively and seed quality is said to be very poor. Groundnuts are grown primarily for the export market where wild price fluctuations have occurred in recent years. Price instability makes this a high-risk crop for farmers. Besides these four major crops, a variety of lesser-important crops are grown. Roselle is usually sold for cash or traded in kind. Cowpeas and okra are intended for domestic consumption but may also be sold or traded. Watermelon is grown as a water source and fodder for livestock during the dry season. It is also consumed domestically and sold in local markets. These minor crops are frequently interplanted with sesame and sorghum. The cropping cycle begins in the period of January to April with land clearing. Then, between April and August all four major crops are planted. Millet is planted earliest because the locally preferred variety is long-maturing. If the early plantings succeed in germinating owing to an early arrival of the rains the crop will mature before the season in which insects and birds usually attack the immature candles. If the early plantings of millet do not germinate the farmer may replant after a month. Alternatively he may switch to a shorter



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-129 Preparation procedures: To boiling water, they add the dried meat, oil, small pieces of onion and salt and allow it to cook for about half an hour. They then add the okra and other spices and allow this mixture -to cook for another five minutes. After this, the mulaaH sharmuut is ready to eat with 9asiida or kisra. mulaaH -Essentially the same ingredients that are used in mulaaH sharmuut tagaliya are used in mulaaH tagaliya, with the addition of dried tomatoes and more onions. (Dried tomatoes are obtained from village shops.) However, the preparation procedures are different. Preparation procedures: First they cut up onions into small pieces and fry them in oil until they turn a yellowish color. This substance is mashed up and added to boiling water with dried meat, dried tomatoes and salt and allowed to cook for half an hour. To this mixture okra and spices are added, and allowed to cook for a few more minutes. After this, the mulaaH tagaliya is ready to serve with 9asiida or kisra. mulaaH -The main ingredient in this mulaaH is milk (cow or goat) which has rooF had the fatty parts removed. To do this they put fresh, unboiled milk into a medium size container called a bukha and shake this container for one to two hours until the fatty parts accumulate at the top. This material is removed and is used to make clarified butter (samin). The remaining part of the milk, essentially a skim milk, is called roob. The normal ingredients that go into a mulaaH roob include roob, groundnuts, onions, okra and salt. The milk used to make the roob is usually obtained from the family's own animals, and the groundnuts are either purchased from merchants or grown in their own fields. Preparation procedures: Groundnuts are crushed up and added to the roob with one small piece of onion. This mixture is brought to a boil and allowed to cook for a while. After this, okra and spices are added. This mulaaH is usually served with 9asiida. mulaaH -This mulaaH is made from cow peas (luubiya), dried pieces of small T-ubiya intestines (musraan), okra (weeka), salt and Na2 Co3 (9atruun)l Preparation procedures: First the cow peas are crushed and ground with a pestle and mortar (murHaaka) and then cleaned with water. This substance 1Na2 Co3 or 9atruun is a chalky rock-like substance which is yellow in color and has a bitter taste. It is sold in village shops and is used to help soften cow peas. Millet stems are sometimes used to manufacture this same chemical substance.



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-17 Table 7. Distribution of Farmers by Type of Sesame Produced Type of Sesame Frequencya Percentagea simsim baladi/danameet 23 62 simsim jabarook 18 47 simsim HireeHri 11 29 aThere were 37 farmers growing sesame, but some farmers grew more than one type. The frequency thus is greater than 37 and the percentages add to more than 100. Simsim baladi/danameet was the most common type of sesame grown in this area, followed by simsim jabarook and simsim HireeHri (Table 7). We also calculated the amount of land planted in each type to determine the extent of cultivation of these various kinds of sesame. Table 8. Amount of Land and Percentage Planted in Each Type of Sesame Type of Sesame Area Planted Percentage (mukhammas) simsim baladi/danameet 198.5 54 simsim jabarook 128.0 35 simsim HireeHri 34.0 9 other 5.0 1 365.5 100 The conclusion from Table 8 is the same as from Table 7; simsim baladi/ danameet was the most extensively grown sesame in this area, followed by simsim jabarook and simsim HireeHri. When Tables 7 and 8 are viewed together, it appears that while almost 30% of the farmers were planting HireeHri, the area cultivated in this type was rather small (9%). This indicates that simsim HireeHri was grown in relatively small plots compared to the other two types. Furthermore, of the 12 farmers in our sample who planted more than one type of sesame, 10 of these grew HireeHri in addition to one of the other kinds. This pattern often results when farmers plant HireeHri on small plots of newly cleared fallow land while one or the other varieties are planted on previously cultivated land. Farmers' adherence to this practice could account for the small area cultivated in HireeHri. Another interesting finding was that some farmers were mixing seeds of different types of sesame and planting them together in the same field.



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-69 When the auction was completed an agreement made between the three merchants that bought gum arabic gave all the lots to Muhammad who was prepared to transport the gum to El-Obeid the following morning.74 More examples of bidding results could be given but this one example will serve to illustrate several points. The number of merchants participating in the market is small. Furthermore, they tend to specialize in terms of the crops they are buying. Merchants are constantly comparing market prices of different localities and discussing transport costs so that they share a very clear idea of what the limits of their bidding should be before going to the auction. One notices a pronounced tendency for the first lot bid on each crop to carry a low price. Since farmers' crops are assigned to lots in the order in which they are delivered at the market, farmers arriving early are assigned the first lot and are routinely penalized by lower prices. In Table 25 auction prices are compared with the median price at el-Obeid Crop Market on the following day (January 16, 1982), the earliest these crops could be resold either to a crop agency or at el-Obeid Crop Market. Table 25. Crop Auction Prices at Abu Haraz, Transport Costs to el-Obeid and Median Price at el-Obeid Crop Market Auction Price Transport Costs/ Median Price Crop in Abu Haraz Kantar at el-Obeid Groundnuts 8.350 1.000 8.450 Sesame 17.450 1.000 17.450 Gum 19.450 1.000 20.090 Karkadee 28.050 1.000 28.000 The crop agency uses the median price as a benchmark for determining the price it buys crops from the village merchants and its agents. It also reimburses the merchant for the 9ushuur tax recorded on the tax receipt that was provided by the market clerk. The break-even point for the village merchant is that the auction price that he paid for the crop at Abu Haraz plus transport costs must not exceed the benchmark median price at lO6beid. That the median price is exceeded in every case above requires some explanation.75 First, in mid-January the price of each kind of crop, though 74Gum is marketed quickly because it loses water weight rapidly. 751n this instance, and on other occasions, merchants were usually reluctant to divulge their intentions. The discussion which follows addresses the options available to merchants in this kind of situation.



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-136 or in the warehouse which the Bank rents in el-Obeid. The crops are held as collateral for the loans. They are sold at el-Obeid crop market when prices are favorable. After this the farmer repays the society for his loan. The income that the society collects is supposed to finance another round of loans in the coming season. This past year the loan program was expanded to eleven cooperative societies serving eighteen villages. In all, about seven-hundred and fifty farmers are members. During the two years it has been active the program has met with mixed success. In the first year, 1980-81, the rate of repayment was a low 56.7%. A number of factors were responsible for this including poor rains which reduced yields, mismanagement of several societies, and an increase in sorghum prices by more than 50% which greatly increased the food bill of agriculturalists and lowered their productivity by reducing the amount of cash available for hiring agricultural labor. In other words loan payments were diverted from purchasing labor to paying for food. This year the interest rate on loans has been set at 14%, and the Director of the el-Obeid Bank Office believes that more than 80% of the loans will be repaid. He attributes the improved performance compared to last year to better production and closer supervision of the societies. There has been a problem this season in hiring trucks to haul the crops to el-Obeid. Ten of the eleven societies are based in villages where trucks are -privately owned, but the Bank cannot make the hauling operation economical without providing government subsidized diesel fuel and this is hard to come by. Secondly, the truck owners are not dependable when hired on an occasional basis. The truck often fails to appear at the appointed time. The Director of the el-Obeid Bank Office believes that a possible solution to this problem is for societies to take out medium term loans in order to buy their own trucks. Currently, this would mean that each society would have to pay 10,000 L.S. down while borrowing 20,000 L.S. to be paid off in four years. This type of credit program is available from the Bank, and larger cooperatives (200 or more members) could afford it particularly if wealthy members were allowed to purchase multiple shares. When not being used to haul crops the truck could operate hauling consumer goods, passengers, and water as an extra source of income for the society.



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INTRODUCTI ON This second research report of the University of Kentucky INTSORMIL Project in North Kordofan, Sudan provides information about agricultural production and marketing in the sample villages described in the first report (November,.1981). The basis for the information reported in this report is the farming systems model developed in the first report.. Our research project aims to analyze the farming system found in 15 villages* that are within 50 kilometers of el-Obeid, capital of the Kordofan Region. This is a transitional zone between clayey sand soils that lie to the south of el-Obeid and the qoz soils (stabilized sand dunes) that lie to the north. El-Obeid receives, on the average, 347 mm of rainfall annually, nearly all of it falling between July and October. The amount of rainfall is highly variable from one year to the next, and the pattern within a single season is quite irregular as a result of sporadic cloudbursts. The rainy season is often marked by a drought period that occurs after the first month of rains and lasts up to three weeks. The agriculture of the region combines sorghum and millet production, primarily as subsistence crops, with the production of cash crops, particularly sesame, groundnuts, roselle and watermelon. Farmers endeavor to diversify their production even more by raising livestock (cattle, sheep, goats, camels, donkeys, horses) and poultry (chickens and pidgeons). Acacia senegal, which is a native of the region's sandy soils, produces gum arabic wici~ih~ another important cash crop. Gum tree growth on exhausted land is a recognized means of restoring soil fertility while the land continues to yield an income. In addition, nearly every farming family supplements its income through non-farm enterprises (e.g. charcoal making and selling, hauling water, operating a shop). During the cropping season poorer households sell labor services in order to pay for consumption needs. Dry-season migration to the cities or to the mechanized farming schemes in search of wage labor is a major source of income for some families. Still others rely on gifts of money sent by relatives who work abroad in high-paying jobs. As pointed out in research Report No. 1, the project has two basic objectives: 1. To identify the socioeconomic constraints that impede agricultural production and marketing in the el-Obeid area. In this regard, special attention is given to the relationship between cash crops and millet and sorghum. *The original sample on which a survey of villages was carried out numbered eighteen. The size of the sample has been reduced to 15 villages to economize research costs.



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-85 Figure 2 MONTHLY TRANSACTIONS FOR LIVESTOCK SALES AT ABU HARAZ MARKET, MAR 1980-JAN 1982 640 600 560 520 480 z 440 S400 I~400 z 360 320 U_ 0 S280 z 240 0 200 160 120 80 40 0 M AM J JA SON D JF M AMJ J ASO0ND J 1980 1981 1982 MONTH/YEAR



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-87 Figure 4 AVERAGE MONTHLY PRICES OF CATTLE, SHEEP AND GOATS AT ABU HARAZ MARKET, MAR 1980-JAN 1982 L.S. cattle 200 -sheep 18goats 180 z ~IO D 160 0 a-. w 140 (n w LLI2 Z S120 6n 100\ 20 0 1 V M O / o. 60 V o: 40 w 20 0 Y MAMJJASONDJFMAMJ JASONDJ 1980 1981 1982 MONTH/YEAR



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Appendix A SEASONAL CYCLE Seasonal Variables Mar Apr May June July Aug Sept Oct Jan Feb I. Season $eef Khriif '2hito (hot, dry) Rushaash (early rains) (rain) Darat(harvest) (cool, dry) 2. Temperature Minimum 17.1 20.5 23.2 23.6 22.5 21.6 21.4 21.1 17.0 13.4 18.1 13.3 Co Maximum 39.4 41.3 42.2 40.2 36.8 38.8 36.9 38.6 36.6 35.0 35.2 36.1 3. Rainfall mm. 1.5 1.5 22.4 19.4 100.7 133.9 49.9 16.3 1.5 0 0 0 4. Wind Patterns Northerly Winds High Winds (Habuub) Southerly Monsoon Northerly Winds 5. Access to Water Difficult Expensive Readily Available From Rain Pools Available From Hoflers, Shallow Wells, Govt Iand Private Deep Wells 6 .o o d C o n u m ~ i o nM o r S o g h m E t e n T h a M i l e t L e s M a t M o re M ille t M ilk a = M ilk P r o d u c ts, M riis a (b e e r) a M e a t, F o r iik M ille t a= M o a t 6. Food Consumption More Sorghum Eaten Than Millet, Less Moot Vegetable, From Form a Market (immature millet a sorghum) Mariea(sorghum bor) 7. Gum Production Collecting Gum From Young Tapping Young Trees a Trees, Sometime8 From Old Ones I I I Collecting Gum From Old Trees I le isn Plantin 2nd Plantin Land Clearing 8. Cropping Cycle Millet Land Clearing I l t Weeding 2nd Weeding Threshing Seshm Land Clearing Ist Plantin 2nd Planting I I Cuttin Land Clearing I Lst Weeding 2nd Weeding Threshing Sesae Lnd lea I Ist Plantingl 2 nd Planting ICuttingl LendClaring S e a m L a n C l a r n t W e d in g L2 n d W e d in g T h r s h in .g S Let Planting Pulling Groundnuts Land Clearing l e__ _ _t Weeding 2nd Weeding Threshing Land Clearing 9. Farm Labor Planting I Before Rains (rimeel) After Rains (nadoaya) Land IWeeding ILand Clearing Clearing .l st Weeding 2 nd Weeding'Begins I Cutting and Threshing 10. Crop Marketing Farmers Sell off all Remaining Cash Crops Sale of Early Maturing Continued Selling of Crop at Shops to Buy (a) To Buy Feterita (b) To Buy Animals (c) To Crop Marketing Generally Dormant; Crops to Merchants to Consumption Goods; Increasing Sales of Cash Pay for Land Cleaning, Planting a Weeding Local Sale of Seed for Planting Pay for Commodities Crops in Large Quantities ot Rural Markets at Shops LC01 11. Livestock Marketing Period of the Greatist Number of Sales,for all Livestock, by Farmers H Sale of Weak and Dying and Nomads. Farmers Use Earnings from Sales to Finance Hiring of horse Sales (for hauling water and Animals Particularly Goats Farm Labor and to Pay for Household Expenses, Nomads Sell off crops); Sale of Other Livestock Weak Animals and Buy Better Quality Livestock Generally Dormant 12. Transportation Loose Shifting Sand Makes TravelDifficult Roads Often Impassable Due to Rains Crop Trucks Travel Frequently from Villages to Urban Markets 13. 0ff Farm Income Sources Migration for Wage Labor OffMigration for WageLabor, OffFarm Form Occupation in Village9 I Occupation in the Village 14. House Construction Building and Maintenance of Houses Building and Maintenance of Houses and Compounds and Compounds 15. School a) Primary In Session Vacation In Session Vacation In Session Schedule b)ntermediate In Session Vacation In Session Vacation In Session c) Secondary In Session Vacation In Session Vacation In Session



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-41 Sometimes farmers pay wages for work done within a specified time period. There are several of these types of arrangements, depending on the length of time worked. Morning wage work (7-11 a.m.) is locally referred to as daHwa. Wage work done in the late afternoon (3-6 p.m.) is called sarba. A full days work for wages is called yoomiya. Farmers hire laborers on a time basis when time constraints are critical to the successful completion of tasks. Labor is hired on a daily basis for planting after rains (nadaaya), and cutting sesame. Inside village laborers are usually hired by such arrangements because they are more readily available at times of peak labor demand. Farmers also feel more comfortable hiring laborers from their own villages in this manner because they believe kinsmen are more trustworthy than outsiders. A third type of wage arrangement found in this area involves paying a negotiated lump-sum of money for completing a task. This arrangement is referred to as guwaal. For instance, farmers will sometimes hire labor to cut the millet in a field. A total price for the completed job is agreed upon before the work begins. Another task which is usually paid by a guwaal arrangement is the tapping of gum trees. Farmers often pay an agreed sum of money to tap all the gum arabic trees in their gum gardens. A third task which is done by this arrangement is land clearing. Farmers will negotiate a price for clearing a field of crop residue and the small bushes and trees. Outside labor is commonly hired by guwaal, but occasionally inside village labor is hired on this basis as well. A fourth type of wage arrangement used by these farmers is to pay laborers for the quantity of threshed grain. The standard used for measuring output is a sack (shuwaal or reeka), and a specified rate is paid for each sack produced. For instance, laborers threshing groundnuts will be paid so much for each sack. Millet and sorghum threshing also are paid by the sack (reeka). Inside village labor is often hired by this arrangement, although we have found instances where outside labor was paid in this manner. A fifth type of wage arrangement involves in-kind payment for work performed. Women are often paid in this manner for winnowing sesame, millet and sorghum. These women receive a small portion of the harvested crop for their services. This form of arrangement has a long established tradition in this area, and is practiced by most farmers. Hiring-in labor is a common practice. Seventy-three percent of these farmers hired-in some labor to aid them in their farming operations (29 of 40).42 Comparing hiring practices across the three villages, El Geifil and El Kharta had equally high percentages of farmers hiring-in labor (80%), while Umm Ramad had somewhat less (60%). These findings indicate that wage labor is a critical input in crop production in this region. Wage labor may have displaced communal work 42Farmers had to pay out more than 5 L.S. before they were considered labor employers.



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-108 Appendix B. Typologies of Sorghums and Millets Grown in the El-Obeid Area. The following two charts are typologies of the millets and sorghums grown in the villages surrounding El Obeid. These were constructed from the various names used by farmers in classifying types of millets and types of sorghums. When one compares these two charts, it is apparent that farmers recognize a considerably larger number of sorghum types than they do of millet. This can be explained by the fact that millet varieties have a tendency to crossfertilize with each other, so that distinct types are difficult to maintain. In contrast, sorghum varieties do not cross-fertilize easily, so distinct varieties are more easily recognized. Not every name on this sorghum chart represents a distinct variety, however. Many of these are different names for the same variety. This overlap came about because sorghum names were obtained from several farmers. Despite this shortcoming, the utility of this chart is that it illustrates the large array of names farmers use in referring to their sorghums. As for the millet chart, the names refer to distinct varieties.



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-24 Groundnuts are a labor intensive cash crop usually planted close together in small plots. Since labor cost is high compared to sesame, farmers usually plant groundnuts in small separate stands to obtain the maximum production possible. Intercropping is sometimes viewed as detrimental to the potential output of this cash crop. Intercropping Sorghum Thirteen farmers in our sample grew sorghum in separate stands. Of these, 9 planted some other crop in their sorghum field. All nine of these farmers were from Umm Ramad, and all but one planted watermelon with his or her sorghum. These crops were usually planted in the same hole, which makes a lot of sense because these farmers own livestock, especially cattle, so fodder is an important consideration. Aside from being human food sources, sorghum stalks and watermelons are excellent sources of fodder. Once the sorghum heads have been cut and the large watermelons have been collected, the animals can be allowed to graze the fields. Thus, these intercropped sorghum fields serve the dual purpose of providing both human and animal food. This is an example of efficient use of limited resources. Thinning A considerable number of farmers in our sample indicated that they practiced crop thinning. Seventy-five percent of the 32 farmers interviewed had engaged in this activity.28 In every case, thinning was done during the first weeding. Millet was the most frequently mentioned crop which was thinned (23 of 24, or 96%) followed by sesame (20 of 24, or 83%) and sorghum (12 of 24, or 50%).29 Thinning for these farmers involves removing excess stems germinating from several seeds planted in the same hole. Some farmers could specify the number of stems they normally left after thinning for each crop, while others said they just removed excess stems with no specific number in mind. Some major differences did exist between the three villages regarding thinning practices. In El Kharta, only 46 percent of the farmers interviewed practiced thinning (6 of 13). In contrast, all the farmers surveyed in El Geifil thinned their crops (5 of 5), and 93 percent of the farmers in Umm Ramad had engaged in this practice (13 of 14). Farmers in El Kharta said that they used to thin their crops in the past when their farms were smaller, but do not do so nowadays because the farms are larger and it would take too much time and effort to do it. Increased farm size does not seem to be a constraint for thinning in the other two villages. Timing of Cropping Activities An essential part of our farming systems survey involved eliciting information regarding the timing of cropping activities. With this in 28The total was not 40 because not every farmer interviewed was asked this question. 29Groundnuts are not thinned because usually only 1-2 seeds are planted per hole.



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-2 2. To collaborate with the Western Sudan Agricultural Research Project (sponsored by the Government of Sudan, USAID, and the World Bank). Our goal is to provide WSARP with an extensive baseline study of traditional agriculturalists in the el-Obeid area. WSARP is presently constructing an agricultural research station at el-Obeid which will pursue a research program of integrating crop and livestock production in the region.1 Contents of the Report Tim Frankenberger and Ibrahim Zurgan have completed a preliminary farming system survey of 40 households. Part I of this report is concerned with an initial analysis of these data. Ed Reeves and Muhammad Majzoub are studying the marketing system. Part II reports their findings. In Part III an assessment is made of the major constraints which limit farming in the el-Obeid area. After describing each constraint, we indicate how farmers are currently dealing with the problem. Finally, we make recommendations about possible solutions to these problems. Part IV, the Appendices, presents data on a wide variety of topics which are too limited or narrow in scope to include in the main body of this report. The information on food preparation and consumption, was compiled by Sumaya Ahmed Hamid, a new member on our research team. Sumaya has a degree in home economics from Alexandria University and was released by the Kordofan Regional Ministry of Agriculture to assist us. Her objective is to gather information pertaining to nutrition and the family budget. The Transliteration of Arabic Terms This report, like the previous one, makes frequent reference to Arabic words and phrases. These are the local Sudanese terms which designate activities, socioeconomic roles, technology, botanical species, and so forth. The reason for including so much of this terminology in the report is to provide the non-Arabic speaking researcher with a basic vocabulary that pertains to agricultural production and marketing in this area of the Sudan.2 A difficulty that is always faced in transcribing Arabic words in English letters is that usually either the transliteration is accurate but difficult to learn and cumbersome to use or it is simple and agreeable to use but almost worthless because a system of transliteration rules is not 1Collaborative links have also been established with a number of other development programs and agencies. The earlier research report contains a description of these. We would also like to acknowledge the assistance and advice that we have received from the Department of Geography, Khartoum University, which has a strong tradition of research in Kordofan Region. Our warmest thanks to Dr. Ya'goub Abdallah, Dr. Anna Beshir, Dr. Muhammad el-Samani, and Dr. Siddiq Muhammad Abdallah. 2The terminology may also be of interest to Arabic speakers who do not know the local words for the various agricultural operations.



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-21 fodder for cattle, sheep, goats and donkeys. These various uses of groundnuts add to its importance to farmers in this area. Therefore, to understand the role of groundnuts in this farming system, these must be taken into account. Intercropping Farmers in this region of Kordofan practice intercropping quite extensively. Two types of intercropping techniques are used. First, farmers will plant more than one crop in the same hole. For instance, sesame and sorghum are often planted together in the same hole. This is the most common intercropping technqiue used in this area. Second, farmers will plant a crop between the rows of a different crop previously planted or planted simultaneously. For example, sorghum may be planted every fourth row in a field of groundnuts. A variation of this second intercropping strategy which farmers follow involves planting different crops in the spaces of a field where the crop originally planted did not germinate.25 For instance, farmers may plant sesame in the wind blown spaces of a millet field. Intercropping Sesame Sesame was the most common crop which in this area intercropped with other crops. Table 9. Distribution of Farmers Who Intercropped by Types of Crops with Sesame. Either Intercropping Same Holea Between Rowsa Methodb Type of Crop Freq. Percentage Freq. Percentage Freq. Percentage Watermelon 24 65 7 19 27 73 Luuba (Cowpeas) 17 47 6 16 21 57 Sorghum 17 46 1 3 17 46 Karkadee 11 30 7 19 16 43 a Some farmers intercropped more than one type of crop with sesame, so the percentages will not add up to 100. bEither intercropping method is a category which represents the sum of farmers who intercropped a type of crop with sesame using one or the other method. If a farmer used both methods of intercropping for a given type of crop he/she was only counted once. 251n the analysis that follows, the two variations of the second technique will be lumped together and referred to as between-row intercropping.



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-84 which breed abundantly during the rainy season in the higher rainfall belt to the south. A third reason is that the villages in the el-Obeid area have better stocked markets where nomads can purchase needed -supplies. Also, a number of cheese factories are located in the area so that nomads may sell their animal's milk.91 Finally, August and September are a time when nomads may buy livestock from settled farmers who are in need of cash to pay for hired labor. After September livestock sales fall off precipitously when nomads begin a return migration towards their winter pastures in the south. Then from November until May, sales are at their lowest. Figure 3 presents the number of livestock of each kind sold at Abu Haraz market. The same general trend that was evident from the previous graph is noted here. The largest number of all kinds of livestock are sold during August and September. Sheep are sold in the greatest numbers, followed by cattle and then by goats. Up to six tim s as many sheep are sold as either cattle or goats during these monthsT9 Cattle sales are only slightly more numerous than goat sales. Both sheep and cattle sales show a strong relation to the presence of nomads. That is, the sales of these animals increase abruptly in August and decline equally abruptly after September. The sale of goats, on the other hand, takes place over a longer period, May to October. Cultivators generally sell goats during this period to pay for farming expenses and consumption goods. The goats are bought by wealthy farmers, butchers, and nomads. Goats are often sold during the hot, dry season because their owners cannot afford to water them. Donkeys and camels show a sharp seasonality of sales similar to that of sheep and cattle. Horse sales appear in November and December when these animals are in demand for pulling carts to transport crops or to haul water. Figure 4 indicates the average monthly prices of cattle, sheep and goats at Abu Haraz market. These data must be viewed with caution. The market records do not usually specify the age of the animal and the sex may also be unspecified particularly when a number of animals are sold in a single transaction. Keeping these limitations in mind, the graph indicates considerable uniformity in goat prices when compared with cattle for example. Possibly this is owing to the fact that the prices of goats are not as sensitive to nomad involvement in the market as is the case with cattle. -The rainy season surge in the supply of cattle shows on this graph as a tendency for prices to be low in August and September. Then, beginning in October, the price of cattle rises as the nomads depart from the market with their animals. Prices remain generally high93 until the onset of the khariif when the nomads and their herds return. The pattern of prices for sheep in Abu Haraz market is much less pronounced than for cattle. The most remarkable feature is that sheep prices 91 Abu Haraz has two cheese factories. 92 Many of the transactions involving sheep at this time are multiple sales of two to ten animals. 93We are unable to explain the dip in cattle prices which occurred in March 1981.



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Figure I. THE MARKETING SYSTEM FOR CASH CROPS IN THE EL-OBEID AREA Rural Market Urban Market cer Village Merchant Urban Mercha Agent/Assembler Storage Processina I p



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INTSORMIL Farming Systems Research in North Kordofan, Sudan Report No. 2 Edward B. Reeves Field Director Timothy Frankenberger Research Associate Department of Sociology .Department of Anthropology Agricultural Experiment Station .College of Agriculture University of Kentucky Lexington, Kentucky



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-100 distribution programs. 100 C. Chemical Inputs Although farmers have integrated chemical inputs into their farming practices, they are not using them to the full extent that they could be. This underutilization is due to lack of resources and/or lack of information regarding the inputs proper use. In addition, some farmers are using chemical inputs which are potentially harmful to crop production. Both these tendencies adversely affect yields. Compensating Strategies (Minimal Input Use) 1. Most farmers use DDT around their sesame drying piles to control for ants and termites. DOT is also used occasionally around sorghum and millet threshing piles. Farmers mix DDT with groundnut shells to economize on DOT purchases. 2. A small number of farmers are putting seed dressings on their seeds before planting to protect them from ants, termites and other pests. In most cases, farmers restrict the application of these dressings to sesame and groundnut seeds. Lack of resources and/or lack of information account for farmers' underutilization of these substances. 3. Some farmers are using salt bn their millet and sorghum threshing floors to protect these grains from termites. Although effective against termites, salt build-up in the soil adversely affects crop germination and growth. Continual use of salt in a field is detrimental to crop production. Recommendations 1. We do not recommend that herbicides and fertilizers be introduced into this area as government subsidized farm inputs. We believe that this would be too costly a program for the Government to maintain. 2. More farmers should be encouraged to use seed-treatment dressings on all their seeds prior to planting. Two steps need to be taken to accomplish this task. First, farmers need to be provided more information regarding the proper use of such substances. Possibly the Agricultural'Extension Office or some 100 This recommendation appears well-advised for the el-Obeid area. We are not so keen on the idea of using merchants for distributing farm inputs in areas of the Sudan where historically the merchants have formed a predatory caste, separate from the farmers. This kind of situation has been described for parts of South Kordofan and Blue Nile provinces, for example. In the el-Obeid area, by contrast, village merchants are typically farmers themselves and for the most part they are ethnically indistinguishable from other farmers.



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* -47Taking into consideration the uncertainty of output and cash gained per mukhammas for all crops grown in this area, it is our assessment that farmers ar e living at the margin. For this reason, they find it necessary to pursue other income generating strategies to meet minimal household needs. Animal husbandry, off-farm labor pursuits, and other economic enterprises help supplement these farmers' meager earnings from cropping activities. These other sources of income are the topic of the following discussion. Animal Husbandry Animals play an important part in the farming system of this region. Ninety-three percent (37 of 40) of the farmers in our sample owned animals. The various types commonly owned include cattle, sheep, goats, donkeys, camels, horses and poultry.48 Table 17 presents the average number of these animals owned by farmers and their respective ranges.49 Table 17. Average Number of Animals Owned by Type of Beast (n=40) Type of Animal Average Number Range Cattle 5.8 0-60 Sheep 6.4 0-120 *Goats 6.3 0-50 Donkeys 1.0 0-6 Camels < 1.0 0-2 Horses < 1.0 0-3 Farmers own an average of six cattle, sheep and goats each. As for donkeys, the average was one per farmer. Camel and/or horse ownership was far less common, as indicated by the averages of less than one. But animals are not evenly distributed among farmers. In particular, cattle, sheep and goats are unequally distributed. 48 Although poultry such as chickens and pigeons are commonly owned by most farmers in this area, accurate figures of these are difficult to obtain. For this reason they will be excluded from our analysis. 49Farmers are very reluctant to report the number of animals they have because of their belief in the evil eye. So the figures presented here are approximations which probably underestimate the actual number.



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Chart 3 GROLIUNDNUTS (N=19) Timing of Cropping Activities Apr May June July Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec Jan Feb Mar 1st Mid End 1stjMid End 1stjMidjEnd 1stjMid Endj1stjMid End 1st|MidEnd 1st MidEnd 1stMidjEnd M MidjEnd 1st]Mid End 1stjMidjEnd 1stjMidEnd Cropping Activities ey 1. Planting -Rarely 2. Replanting Low Frequency 3. feeding High Frequency 4. 2nd Weeding 5. Cutting/ Pulling 6. Threshing 7. Land Clearing Time of 1st Planting Replanting N % N Before Rains 7 37% 0 0% After Rains 12 63% 1 100%



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-94 Compensating Strategies 1. Rotation patterns and intercropping strategies followed by farmers help slow down the rate of fertility loss to some extent. This is especially true when nitrogen-fixing crops like cow peas (luuba) are planted in association with other crops. 2. Farmers presently practice a form of minimum tillage agriculture which minimally disturbs the top soil. Such hand-hoe planting techniques are the most appropriate for maintaining soil fertility given the soils these farmers are planting on. 3. Farmers will allow their fields to go fallow when the soils become exhausted. These fields will revert back to the natural vegetation and quite often a stand of Acacia senegal will reestablish itself. These Acacias help exhausted soils recover through their nitrogen fixing properties while at the same time farmers gain revenue from the gum they produce. Some farmers even plant Acacia senegal seeds to help establish a stand. Recommendations 1. Soil scientists should determine and recommend to farmers a proper rotation and intercropping system which will help maintain soil fertility. Along these lines, the optimal length of cultivation and fallow periods should be specified. 2. Experiments should be carried out which measure the effects of intercropping Acacia senegal (hashaab) or other legumes like cow peas (luuba) with other crops-. One possible intercropping strategy to consider would be to plant hashaab trees during the fourth or fifth year that a piece of land-Ts cultivated with sesame and cow peas. (Farmers in a village called Umm Hijliij already use this cropping strategy.) Scientists could determine what the proper spacing pattern should be between trees to allow for intercropping of cash crops like sesame. Such a strategy would allow farmers to gain income from their fields almost continuously with no detrimental consequences. 3. The current minimum tillage techniques farmers employ should be encouraged to continue. Minimal top-soil disturbance helps retain soil fertility longer in this region due to the structure of the soil. 4. As stated earlier, farmers should be encouraged to continue leaving cut bushes, weeds and crop residue lying on their fields prior to planting. In addition to cutting down on wind erosion, such plant debris could serve as a mulch which would



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-46 millet crop by selling the stalks for building materials. Thus, the high cash value of millet, its use as a building material and its desireability as a basic foodstuff explain farmers' interest in growing it. As for sesame, farmers were receiving 1.66 L.S. for every L.S. spent on labor. This is a lower ratio than for millet. According to our figures, only 13.65 L.S. were gained by farmers for every mukhammas in sesame they grew when labor expenditures were subtracted. This cash gain when compared with that of millet does not seem great enough to account for its importance as a crop. However, there are several reasons for farmers' preference for sesame despite its lower cash gain: 1) it is one of the few cash crops that will grow in the area; 2) it has fewer major pests than millet; and 3) sesame is used as a source of savings to help reserve cash for labor expenditures during the cropping season. For these reasons, sesame is well integrated into the cropping patterns of this area and will continue to be grown. Farmers who grew groundnuts received a better return for their labor than they did for sesame. For every L.S. they spent on labor, they received 1.75 L.S. in return. The rate of return for groundnuts was second only to millet. Of greater importance, however, is that for every mukhammas in groundnuts, a farmer received 25.11 L.S. after total labor costs were deducted. This was the highest cash sum gained of any of the crops. Although these figures indicate that groundnuts are worth growing, the initial labor investment is a prohibiting factor. The high labor costs restrict most farmers (except better-off farmers) from growing large plots of groundnuts. This limitation accounts for the small plots of this cash crop commonly found in this area. Of all the crops grown, sorghum had the lowest return to labor. Our findings indicate that farmers only received 1.21 L.S. for every L.S. they invested in labor at current market prices. Farmers only gained 4.40 L.S. over labor costs for every mukhammas of sorghum they grew.47 Clearly the profit ratio does not provide a satisfactory explanation for the extensive cultivation of sorghum in Umm Pamad. What must be taken into consideration is the importance of sorghum in beer manufacture. Much of the sorghum grown in Umm Ramad is used for the production of beer, which greatly increases the value of the crop. Homemade beer from sorghum is sold at considerably higher rate of return than sorghum sold in the market, so farmers increase their cash gains considerably. Sorghum also is an important source of cattle fodder. These factors explain the extensive cultivation of sorghum in villages like Umm Ramad. 47This figure was based on the average current price of one of the more expensive white sorghums (dabar) sold in the El Obeid Crop market. If the average price of feterita were used instead, the calculations for the return to labor would show a net loss of 51 piasters per mukhammas. The locally grown white sorghum (zunaari abyad) is preferred as a human food over feterita. The villagers regard its quality to be comparable to dabar.



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-30-0 6. Threshing -Threshing of millet occurred between the middle of October and the end of January. The most common threshing period was from the middle of December to the first of January. 7. Land Clearing -Farmers in our sample began clearing land for next year's cropping season between the first of January and the first of May. The first of March and the first of April were the most common times when farmers said they begin clearing their fields. (Since land clearing data are the same for all crops, they will not be repeated in the discussions which follow.) Sesame Cropping Activities (1981-1982 Season) 1. Planting -The first planting of sesame occurred between the first of May and the end of July. The most common planting periods were the first of June and the end of June/first of July. Seventy-three percent of the farmers planted their sesame after rains (nadaaya), while 27 percent planted before the rains (rameel). Farmers tend to plant their sesame later than millet because it is more susceptible to wind erosion. This also accounts for planting sesame 0 after rains. They wait to plant their sesame until the-rains are more frequent, which usually occurs in late June. They can afford to wait with sesame because it does not have to contend with seasonal peaks in pest attack to the same extent as millet. 2. Replanting -Replanting of sesame occurred between the first of 0 June and the end of July. The most common replanting period was the first of July. Thirty percent of the farmers surveyed replanted, and most of these after rains (82%). 3. 1st Weeding -The fir .st weeding of sesame occurred between the middle of June and the end of August. The most common first weeding period was from the first of July to the first of August. 4. 2nd Weeding -The second weeding of sesame occurred between the middle of July and the end of September. The most common second weeding period was from the first of August to the first of September. 5. Cutting -The cutting of sesame occurred between the middle of August and the first of January. The most common cutting period was from the middle of October to the first of November. 6. Threshing -Threshing of sesame occurred between the first of September and the first of February. The most common threshing periods were the first of December and the first of January.30 3These two peak threshing periods probably correspond to two different varieties of sesame.



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-70 relatively high for the season is not as high as it will get. The merchant may store his purchases until the day that a favorable median price appears. In this case, the merchants would have waited only two weeks for a favorable price increase for sesame. But this strategy nets a low rate of return (e.g., less than 12% expressed as an annual rate of return). Higher profits are possible only by mixing contraband crops with produce that is purchased in a government market and taxed accordingly. Gum that carries a proper tax certification, for example, is a favored crop for concealing contraband.76 It cannot be stored for a long time because it will lose up to 10% of its weight. Thus, when gum is sent to el-Obeid for sale a number of sacks of contraband sesame can be put on the bottom of the load. The contraband will pass und ected unless an inspection is made of the entire load, sack by sack.11 The Shiishna System Much of what has been said, or implied, about the significance of smuggling in the mizaan marketing system applies equally to the shiishna system.78 Only in shiishna there is a legal procedure for assessing taxes which results in an underestimation of the values of crops. Probably this is well because the shiishna system operates in remote markets which might not attract agents and assemblers to purchase the crops if there was no such built-in incentive. El-Geifil crop market illustrates how the shiishna system works. There are two shopkeepers and two other crop buyers in the village who are the agents of a truck-owner assembler from a neighboring village.79 The merchants at el-Geifil buy crops from the farmers in the weekly market in exchange for consumer goods that the merchants have in stock. This year, the buyers and merchants started out paying 0.800/mid for sesame in October, and the price increased to 1.100/mid in February. The assembler buys the goods from his agents for the prevailing price plus a commission of 0.020/mid for sesame and O.020/rootl for gum and karkadee. (Groundnuts are not an important crop in this market.) Thus, the crop buyers and local merchants can increase their profits by storing the crops for a period of several months. For example, if a merchant paid 0.90/mid in November for sesame and held it until January when the price was 1.00/mid, he would earn 0.120/mid profit.80 When the assembler buys the crops from el-Geifil merchants, the sale is recorded by the market clerk. A standard formula estimates the weight for assessing the gibaana tax: one sack of sesame = 1.80 kantars; one sack of gum = 1.80 kantars; one sack of karkadee = 0.35 kantars. A value estimator is then used for assessing the 9ushuur tax: sesame is valued at 13.000/kantar and karkadee is valued f 25.000/kantar; 9ushuur is not 76Partly this is because no 9ushuur tax is charged in the case of gum. 77This is a hard, time-consuming task. The police almost never require it. 78We don't find this a proper forum for discussing crop smuggling in detail. Our aim is to suggest its importance while safeguarding the confidentiality of our sources of information. 79The agents say that this man is their relative but they are hazy about the exact genealogical relationship. 80This includes the commission, storage costs are nil since the assembler provides the local merchants and buyers with sacks.



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-99 Compensating Strategies 1. Farmers attempt to save their own sorghum seeds from one year to the next so that they always have some for intercropping purposes. They will also save short-maturing varieties of millet and sesame from one year to the next. 2. Farmers purchase seeds from other farmers if they are available. Also, they may trade their seeds for another farmer's seeds if such trades are of mutual benefit. There is a common belief among farmers that other farmers are the best sources of obtaining seeds because they tend not to mix seed varieties. Seeds obtained from other sources are more questionable. 3. Farmers purchase seeds from local merchants. 4. Farmers bring back sorghum seeds from the mechanized agricultural schemes that they migrate to (e.g. Habila). 5. Farmers purchase seeds from the el-6beid market. Recommendations 1. As stated earlier, agricultural scientists should concentrate on the development of short-maturing drought resistant crop varieties and make these available to farmers in the area. 2. Distribution programs should be initiated which enable farmers to gain access to sorghum seeds as well as quick-maturing varieties of millet and sesame. One possible way of doing this would be to use village merchants as intermediaries through which to introduce these seeds. Village merchants already perform this role in many villages in the area. In fact, they are responsible for the introduction of several new varieties of sesame and sorghum through seed sales to farmers. For this reason, they are the logical choice for promoting the distribution of short-maturing varieties of millet, sorghum, and sesame.99 In addition to selling these seeds, merchants could possibly operate a seed exchange program where farmers could exchange long-maturing varieties of seeds for shortmaturing varieties. An incentive might have to be provided to the merchant to gain his participation, such as a small compensation for every sack he exchanges. Possibly a more practical incentive plan might be to have farmers exchange 1.25 mids of long-maturing seed for one mid of a short-maturing variety. Whatever incentive system is used, we are convinced that merchants should be involved with such seed 991n initiating such programs, care must be taken to impress on merchants the importance of not mixing millet varieties. If these seeds are mixed, the program is of little value to the farmer.



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-82 Table 29. A Qualitative Analysis of Crop Marketing in the El-Obeid Area (Continued) Seller Buyer Channel Incentives and Constraints Village Urban Direct Sale Direct sales of crops by village merchant Merchant Merchant! to a merchant/agency in el-Obeid escapes Agency taxation. This marketing strategy is generally available only to the relatively prosperous merchants who have vehicles available. Urban Market An alternative to the direct sale to an Sale urban merchant is to sell the crop at the official crop market. All taxes will be duly assessed. This strategy is rarely attractive unless the price at the urban market is very good. Agent! Urban Direct Sale Agents and assemblers almost invariably Assembler Merchant! sell at crop agencies rather than at the Agency urban crop market. Partly this is due to smuggling, an activity that agents and assemblers routinely undertake. But mention also needs to be made of the strong relationship that tends to develop between the urban crop merchant and the agent. Sometimes, this relationship is given extra moral weight by a kinship bond, but this is not essential. The relationship is actually a mutual benefit pact. The merchant prefers to assemble crops through his agents who buy in the villages where the prices are lowest. The agent/assembler prefers to sell directly to the merchant rather than through the urban crop market because (a) he will be paid in the same day (immediately by check if there is a reason to be in a hurry), (b) the agency provides the agent/assembler with sacks, (c the agent may on occasion receive loans or cash advances to buy crops, and (d) when selling to the agency there are no commissioned agents to be paid and no taxes. Urban Market Rarely does an agent/assembler sell at the Sale urban crop market. There would have to be something to off-set the commissioned agent's fee and the high 9ushuur tax at the urban market. Possibly the prospect of a long delay at the crop agency might under certain circumstances off-set these costs.



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rootl -a unit of weight equivalent to 1/100 of a kantar, 450 grams, or 0.99 lbs. rushaash -early rains. santa -Cyrtocamenta s p p; a serious pest of millet. sarba -afternoon work period, approximately from 3 o'clock until sunset. seef -hot, dry season. shiishna -"estimation"; a government administered market where the weight and price of a crop is estimated for purposes of assessing taxes. shita -cool, dry season. shuwaal -a gunny sack (1 sack holds about 32-33 mids of sesame). simsim -sesame. tagiil -"heavy"; designates a late-maturing variety of crop. peeraab -(a) seed; (b) the operation of planting seeds after the rains have come. turiya -(a) a hoe used in planting; (b) the task of making holes in the soil with this tool for planting. wagii9 -a unit of weight equivalent to 1/12 of a rootl, 37.5 grams or 1.32 ounces. yoomiya -a work arrangement where the laborer is paid a negotiated wage for a full day of work. zunaari -a local variety of sorghum (goose-necked).



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-71 assessed on gum. In this case, the estimation procedure is mandated by the People's District Council at Umm Rawaba and is subject to an annual evaluation. After the assembler has loaded his truck, he takes the sesame and gum to el-Obeid and the karkadee to el-Rahad. He nearly always sells to a crop agency rather than at the Crop Market and receives the same terms as described above (i.e., the median price prevailing at el-Obeid Crop Market). As in the example given for the mizaan system, the assemblers' profit margin would be quite low were it not for the possibility to evade taxation on some of the crops he buys. The Marketing of Sorghum and Millet Sorghum, more than wheat, and millet to a lesser extent than either sorghum or wheat are common commodities in local markets in the el-Obeid area. A brief historical digression will explain this. Historical Background Early in this century the el-Obeid region was settled by subsistence cultivators living in scattered villages. Millet was the principal crop in this semi-arid zone. The other main pursuits of farmers were animal husbandry and gum arabic collection. The region had been depopulated in the previous century by the tribal upheavals that occurred during the Mahdiya (1881-1898). Resettlement came with the reimposition of Anglo-Egyptian Colonial rule, and through the media of administrative and marketing centers, such as el-Obeid, the region was gradually penetrated by the urban money economy that colonial rule fostered. But it was not until the last twenty years that agriculture experienced a strong change of direction. The new emphasis is on cash crops, particularly sesame and groundnuts,81 with the consequence that millet and sorghum have been partially displaced. This change can be related to a host of demographic, economic and cultural factors, but two stand out. The first point is that the population of the region has grown steadily in this century, especially in the towns like el-Obeid. Many of the townspeople are government workers. Of these, a large number have been transferred to the town from Khartoum and the eastern provinces. These immigrants prefer to eat wheat or sorghum to locallygrown millet and they have set the standards for urban consumers' tastes. Thus, the urban market for locally-produced millet is practically nonexistant. Moreover, townspeople have a constant demand for sesame oil--or, less preferably, groundnut oil--which is used for daily cooking. To meet this demand eleven oil processing mills have gone into operation at el-Obeid since 1960. Most of the sesame grown in the area is consumed locally after processing into oil. Groundnuts, by contrast, have become the main export crop in the region. The second point is that the last two decades have seen the development of mechanized farming schemes across the Sudan, along the 600 mm rainfall belt. Sorghum is the principal crop on these schemes. Improvements in transportation have made it possible to distribute the harvest from this grain belt to all parts of the Sudan and even outside the country. It is no longer necessary for a semi-arid region like the one 81To the east of el-Obeid in the vicinity of el-Rahad and Umm Rawaba karkadee has assumed a major importance as a cash crop.



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-76 The data indicate the wide variation among farming families in the amount of feterita purchased in a year's time. But, if we take the hypothetical case of the average family which buys 8.6 sacks of feterita and if we assume a consumption of one mid per day, then the 8.6 sacks provides food for the average family for 258 days (1 sack = 30 mids). A generalization that emerges from this analysis is that a typical farming family supports itself on its own millet for only about four months out of the year and buys feterita the rest of the time. A minority of the farmers, however, do not purchase any feterita. Presumably they are well supplied from their own production or they buy other types of cereal grain. Some families purchase amounts of feterita that exceed their own consumption needs. To feed a donkey requires about 1/2 mid per day, for example. Women who make mariisa (sorghum beer) to gain a supplementary income may buy an additional fifteen mids per month above household consumption needs to be used in brewing. A close relationship has been found between the selling of cash crops in bulk and the purchase of feterita by the sack. The relationship is most evident at el-Geifil where a truck owner hauls feterita to the village and exchanges it for the sesame held in the farmers' storage pits. The farmers are pleased with this arrangement because they trade sesame, which has reached its maximum price, for feterita, which is at a low price. Feterita is purchased from a variety of sources, of which the village merchant's shop and the jobber's truck are two that have already been mentioned (Table 28). Table 28. Distribution of Feterita Purchases by Source Sources of Feterita No. of Purchases Urban Marketsa 20 (52.7%) Village Shop 8 (21.1%) Local Flour Mill 4 (10.5%) Jobber (Truck Owner) 6 (15.8%) 38 aEighteen cases of purchases from el-Obeid, two from el-Rahad. Feterita is most often purchased direct from an urban market, where the price is less than from other sources. An analysis of the interview materials suggests that farmers are likely to adopt one of two fundamental strategies for buying feterita: 1. Feterita is bought by the mid daily or weekly. This strategy is used most often by poor farmers who rely heavily on their own labor as a source of



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-86 FIGURE 3 LIVESTOCK SOLD AT ABU HARAZ MARKET, MAR 1980JAN 1982 0 510 480 sheep goats 450 -.. donkies -cattle 420 .camels 390 -............ horses 390 360 330 300 0 I W 270 > 240 LL 0 it 210 w m S180 120 z I 5 I"\ 60 -, \ 0 909 60 -,I 30O.., s , .-.....-s r 0 MAM J J ASO NDJ F MAMJ J AS 0 N DJ 1980 1901 1982 MONTH/YEAR



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-89 Figure 5 LIVESTOCK MARKETING BY MAJOR TRIBAL GROUP AT ABU HARAZ MARKET, MAR 1980-JAN 1982 160 __ _ 160BUYERS %eiy a, 140 -Bideiriya z ........... Fellata S120 -Shanabla -----Misseiriya 4 100 z 80 0 60 m 40 20 -si ;' MAMJ JASONDJ FMAMJJASONDJ MJ M J O S0N D JFM MJJAS0 D'' 1980 1981 1982 180 160 SELLERS 160 S140 ," -I 120 z < I100 -I )--I u. 80 0I I w 60 -1 CID, 3 40 I I 20 j "" MA M J JASON D J FMAMJ JASONDJ 1980 1981 1982 MONTHS/YEAR



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-64 are two other tomato vendors beside her forcing her prices to be in line with theirs. She can't wait until later in the day to sell because early morning is the preferred time for selling tomatoes which go into the cooking pot to make a stew for lunch. She may fare somewhat better selling turnips. She has bought two large bunches of turnips with greens for 1.000. These two bunches are divided into small bunches of four turnips with greens in each bunch. There should be about twenty-five to thirty of these small bunches, and she is selling them for 0.050 per small bunch. These goods were brought the night before from el-Obeid by a truck from Abu Haraz. She had to pay 2.000 for herself and 0.3000 each for transporting the tomatoes and the turnips. This is her first time to try her hand at marketing. Her father, a vegetable dealer himself, has encouraged her to try selling vegetables in this market. The comparative sizes of the markets in the four villages are reflected in the number of vendors. Abu Haraz is three to five times larger than el-Geifil (Table 22). Table 22. Periodic Markets in the Four Sample Villages Market Day Periodic Vendor Abu Haraz Fri, Mon 100-200 Umm Ramad Sun, Wed 3-6 el-Geifil Sun 20-40 el-Kharta -a aTwo men have an agreement to butcher animals on alternate days. From time to time itinerant traders come to the village. From surveys made in Abu Haraz and el-Geifil markets, it is possible to get an idea of the number of periodic vendors and the relative importance of certain kinds of goods. Table 23 presents these data. At Abu Haraz market, 68% of the periodic vendors were found to be women and girls; 31% were men and boys. In addition, one periodic business consisted of a man and his wife working together. Specialization of goods sold by sex of the vendor is not very pronounced, although the prevailing pattern is for men to specialize in manufactured urban goods such as toilet articles. They also deal in fresh fruit and vegetables in larger quantities than the women. Bread is sold exclusively by men and boys working at the bakeries. Women are specialized in selling foods which they have prepared with their own hands at home. At el-Geifil women make up only 22% of the periodic vendors. The reason for this is not entirely clear, although a cultural factor may be involved. Our impression is that in el-Geifil women are more restricted and have fewer public responsibilities, whereas women are given a relatively free hand at Abu Haraz. It is tempting to suggest that the commercial, urbanizing milieu of Abu Haraz gives women more opportunities for pursuing their own enterprises, especially when the amount of cash outlay is tiny and no fixed capital is called for.



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-142 Name: Date: Village: 13. How much land did they rent-in this year? 1) makh. 2) makh. 3) makh. 4) makh. 5) makh. 6) makh. 7) makh. 14. How much land did they rent-out this year? 1) makh. 2) makh. 3) makh. 4) makh. 5) makh. 6) makh. 7) makh. 15. Do you reserve your own seed from your own stocks or buy from a local merchant, El Obeid merchant, the Government, or another farmer before planting: millet sesame groundnuts sorghum 16. If you planted sesame this year, did you plant: HereeHri jabarook dynamite (baladi) other 17. If you planted millet this year, did you plant: baladi (dembi) HereeHri 9ish bornu other 18. If you planted groundnuts this year, did you plant: barbiton other 19. If you planted sorghum this year, did you plant: zunari (mareeg HereeHri or zunaari baladi) najaad other 20. How do you usually plant sorghum? separate stand intercropped both 21. Did you intercrop sesame with any of the following: same hole between rows sorghum watermelon karkadee luba other 22. Did you intercrop groundnuts with any other crop this year? What crop(s) same hole between rows 23. Other than sesame, what other crops do you intercrop with sorghum? same hole between rows 24. Do you intercrop millet with any other crops? what crops same hole between rows



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-140 PRELIMINARY HOUSEHOLD ECONOMY SURVEY Name: Date: Village: Ethnic Affiliation tribe _________ section _______ 1. Household Composition: Are you the household head? _____ Primary Secondary Relation to HH head Sex Age Education Occupation Occupation (Informant) (Other Member) 2. Dostehueodha0aea eodhueod fs h lie tee



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-56 The remaining eight villages in the sample of fifteen lack a formally instituted market place. Here marketing is parceled among the economic functions of the village shop, the flour mill, and the oil press as well as the roles of assemblers and crop-buying agents living in the village and outside. In choosing a small sample of marketing centers for intensive research it was desirable to represent as much variation as possible; but it was also important, because only one vehicle was available to the project,54 to coordinate the market research with the farming production and household economy study. The latter was being carried out in three villages--el-Kharta, el-Geifil and Umm Ramad--which were selected as representative of different soil types, rainfall patterns, agricultural practices and community services. Fortunately, from the viewpoint of marketing these three villages showed a lot of the diversity we were seeking. Umm Ramad has a rather large market place and its crop market operates on the mizaan (weight) and dalaala (auction) system.5 El-Geifil is a small marketing center struggling against competition from neighboring markets, owing to its location on the boundary of two administrative districts. Unlike Umm Ramad, el-Geifil crop market is not operated on the basis of weighing crops but instead the weight and value of the crop for purposes of assessing taxes is estimated. This system is called shiishna (estimation).56 It does not entail the use of an auction procedure. IT-Kharta differs greatly from both Umm Ramad and el-Geifil. It has eight shops scattered among its households and there is a flour mill and several cisterns where water is stored for sale. Although it lacks an identifiable market place, el-Kharta is an important marketing center for smaller neighboring villages. To understand why this is so, one needs to realize that the headman of the village owns a market lorry and his sons and grandson are merchants and crop buyers. These three villages give a good indication of many of the variables that have to be dealt with in studying rural markets in the el-Obeid region, but still lacking in this sample is a big rural market with both a crop market and a livestock market. The need for a marketing center of this type has been filled by selecting Abu Haraz as the fourth village in the sample. Abu Haraz is one of the largest rural markets in the area. During the rainy season it is visited by great numbers of nomads who migrate north from South Kordofan. Moreover, the Abu Haraz crop market exercises hegemony over crop prices in Umm Ramad. Umm Ramad is within the rural council district of Abu Haraz. Merchants from Abu Haraz make "raids" on Umm Ramad crop market and are able to bid prices which are uneconomic for Umm Ramad's local merchants. Another reason for limiting our study to only four market villages was to develop rapport with our informants, the merchants. As a general rule, 54We later solved this problem to some extent by using market lorries as transportation. 55This system is described below. 56The shiishna system is described below.



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-128 Appendix G. Household Food Preparation and Consumption Cereals The main food dishes consumed by households in this area are made from sorghum and millet. Millet is preferred over sorghum because of its taste and high nutritive value. Both of these grains are ground into flour (usually at the village mill) and allowed to ferment over night before they are prepared into food dishes. Mainly they are consumed in one of two ways: 9asiida -This is a porridge made from fermented millet or sorghum flour. It is prepared by boiling water in a medium container and gradually adding the flour with continuous stirring for a half an hour or more. This porridge is then placed in large bowls and eaten with various types of sauce (mulaaH). kisra -Made from fermented flour (usually sorghum) it resembles a crepe. It is prepared by pouring the batter onto a hot, flat metal surface (saaj). After spreading the batter out very thinly and allowing it to cook for 15 to 30 seconds, the kisra is peeled off the hot surface and ready to be eaten. It is also eaten with various types of sauce (mulaah). The fuel used in preparing these grain dishes is usually dry wood (Hatab) gathered by the women of the household. Occasionally, millet stalks are also used in the preparation of kisra. Sauces As stated earlier, 9asiida and kisra are usually eaten with a sauce called mulaaH. There are several kinds of mulaaH eaten in this area, such as sharmuut (made from dried meat), luubiya (made from cow peas), roob (mad-e from milk), and dam9a (made from fresh meat). Descriptions of the ingredients and preparation techniques for each of these types of mulaaH are presented below. mulaaH -This is dried meat prepared from beef or goat or rarely mutton or sbarmuut camel. This meat is usually obtained from the village butcher who sells it once or twice a week. (kg. costs 130-150 pts.) The meat is usually cut into strips and allowed to dry for several days before it is used. onions (ba~ul) -Onions are purchased from village merchants. One pound (1 rootl) sells for 20 to 30 pts. oil (zeet) -This is usually sesame oil or sometimes groundnut oil which is purchased from village shops for 70-80 pts. a pound (rootl). okra (weeka) -This is usually dried okra powder. Often households grow their own okra. Women are responsible for the cultivation of this crop.



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A P P E N D 1 C E S



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-122 and weighing of crops must adhere to a schedule. Dozens of farmers were assembled. They had brought their produce on donkeys and camels from as far away as the Wad-el-Tair region to the north. All were attracted to el-Karra market by the promise of high prices. Now the farmers stood apprehensively beside their sacks of produce waiting for the auction to start. A crop buyer from el-Geifil had come to the market with his two assistants that day. He said that he would not be able to buy in the mizaan system because in order to participate in the auction the buyer had to obtain written authorization from the People's Council. Also, he did not think that he could afford to pay the higher 9ushuur tax which would result from determining the price in an auction. Moreover, he did not know if the truck-owner who regularly buys from him would find the auction prices acceptable. At 11:00 a.m., Ibrahim,* a big merchant and truck-owner from a neighboring village stood on top of a pile of sacked sesame and addressed the farmers in a loud voice. Today, all prices would be determined by auction and all crops would be weighed. Any farmer who failed to get his crop weighed would not be allowed to sell it and would have to wait until the following week's market. Ibrahim and a fellow merchant, Muhammad, were firmly in charge. They appeared to know exactly what to do while the market clerk and his assistant were hesitant. First, the two merchants set up their own scales alongside the government scales. Then they began circulating among the producers and the piled sacks of produce. The merchants carried a notebook in which they recorded the producer's names and amounts of crops. Each producer was assigned a lot number for each kind of crop that he had brought. The auction started about noon. The market clerk took charge but not without frequent advice from the merchants. Gum was sold first, followed by karkadee and then sesame. This arrangement of putting the sesame last is common because the operation of weighing and transferring sesame to the merchant's sacks is time-consuming so it is postponed until last to avoid stalling the processing of the other crops. Table I summarizes the auction results. The extent of the producers' dissatisfaction with the prices was not revealed until the bidding on sesame started. The merchants were visibly chagrined when one after the other of the producers' representatives for each sesame lot rejected the final bid price. Ibrahim, the big merchant, gave a harsh warning that he and the other merchants would not buy these crops later in the day if the farmers changed their minds and wanted to sell. The bidding on all crops took only one-half hour. There was a lot of angry shouting from the merchants and half-concealed smiles on the producers' faces. When the bidding was finished the long process of weighing each farmer's crop and recording the weight and price began. And after that, the crops were transferred to the merchants' sacks. By 2:30 p.m., the merchants were paying the farmers who agreed to sell. Ibrahim, surrounded by farmers, is sitting under the crop market shelter where there is shade and calculating the payments he makes to each farmer with a pocket calculator. In front of him is a briefcase full of money. 2:45 p.m., the merchants have knuckled under to the producers' boycott of the auction. They are buying sesame by the mid at a price of 1.000 per mid.** *All names are fictitious. **At the previous week's market sesame brought 1.050 per mid.



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-32-0 4. 2nd Weeding -The second weeding of sorghum occurred between the middle of July and the middle of September. The most common second weeding period was from the first of August to the first of September. 5. Cutting -The cutting of sorghum occurred between the first of September and the first of December. The most common cutting period was from the first of November to the end of November. 6. Threshing -Threshing of sorghum occurred between the first of October and the middle of January. The most common threshing period was the middle of December. Cultivation -Fallow Rotation The length of time that a field is cultivated varies from one farmer to the next, but the usual time period is 6 to 10 years. The number of years that a farmer will consecutively plant in the same field is dependent on the fertility of the field and a farmer's access to other crop land. To help offset the degradation of soil fertility which results from the continuous cropping, farmers plant cash crops and subsistence crops in the same field in alternating years (e.g., millet, then sesame or groundnuts, then millet again). The appearance of striga (buuda) is recognized as a sign by most farmers that the field should be allowed to go fallow. Fallow periods last anywhere from 3 to 15 years, again depending on the farmer's access to other farmland. If a farmer does have access to other farmland, he will usually allow gum arabic trees to germinate on his fallow field and begin tapping these after 3 to 4 years. Tapping of gum may continue for as many as 10 to 15 years, but frequently farmers return their fields to cultivation after a shorter time period. What is interesting about this shifting cultivation pattern is that although decisions to shift are often made by individual farmers, the decisions significantly impact other farmers whose fields are adjacent to the shifters. The usual pattern involves a couple of farmers who decide that next year they will allow their fields to go fallow.* The following year other farmers' fields which are adjacent to these fallow fields are invaded by pests and animals which accumulate in the fallow areas. As a result, these farmers opt to shift as well the following year rather than contend with the animals and pests. This process continues until all the farmers cultivating in the area are forced to shift due to pest and animal invasion from fallow areas. The net result is that large tracts of land next to the village will be fallow, while other areas will be extensively cultivated. From first observation this land-use pattern gives the impression that farmers are making collective decisions to shift from one fallow area to another. In fact, what is happening is the result of accumulated individual decisions.32 32 We are indebted to Dr. James Beebe and Abd .el-Moniem el-Obeid of USAID/ Khartoum, who were primarily responsible for bringing this shifting pattern to our attention. They discovered such patterns during their stay in Umm Hijliij, a village to the northwest of El Obeid. One variation in this shifting pattern which they identified was that sometimes some extended family members may make collective decisions to shift. Our findings indicate that such decisions are more commonly made on an individual basis in the villages selected for our study.



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-92 Shelter belts may not be enthusiastically adopted by farmers unless some steps can be taken to relieve farmers' fears that the trees would serve as nesting sites for birds. Birds are a serious pest in this area, especially for millet. One way of dealing with the problem would be to introduce bird resistant varieties of millet and sorghum in conjunction with shelter belts. These varieties have long bristles protruding from the heads. Some of these varieties already can be found in some farmers' fields, however, they are recognized to be lower yielding. If higher yielding varieties of this type could be made available, farmers reluctance to plant trees next to their fields would be lessened. B. Pests and Diseases Crop pests are a significant problem which contribute to the low yields characteristic of farmers' fields in this area. Millet has the greatest number of pests of all the crops grown. Some of the major millet pests as well as those which attack other crops are listed below. Millet -santa (Cyrtocamenta spp.), quelea birds, nafaasha (Eublemna brachvygonia), abu dagiig (a type of moth), jiraad (locus-ts), joraan (a small black beetle), direena,96 buuda (striga), downy mildew and long smut. Sesame -joraan, ra9uuma, (caterpillar), surfa (millipede), jiraad, ants and termites. Sorghum -quelea birds, jiraad, joraan, long smut, and buuda. Groundnuts -surfa, ra9uuma, termites, crows, rats and ground squirrels. Compensating Strategies 1. Farmers plant their millet early (fay or early June) so that it reaches maturity before the peak seasons of major pests like santa and quelea birds (late August through October). One serious consequence of this strategy is that early-planted millet does not always germinate, so replanting is often necessary. 2. Several techniques are employed by farmers for combatting quelea birds, such as: (1) small children carrying noise makers through the fields; (2) farmers erecting "scare quelea bird" figures in their fields; and (3) farmers getting together and destroying any bird nests they find in trees adjacent to their cultivation areas. None of these methods is very effective in controlling the birds. (3) Farmers rotate their crops in a field from one year to the next. For instance, if they planted millet in a field this year they often plant sesame in it the following year. This strategy helps lessen the danger of a major pest build-up year after year in the same field. 96Direena (small beetle) is a bug which attacks millet and sorghum stored in sacks.



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-53 an overview of the demographic characteristics of households, land tenure and land use patterns, cropping patterns, agricultural inputs and outputs, animal husbandry and other income generating strategies which farmers pursue to supplement farm incomes. The next section will focus on the marketing component of the farming system which heavily influences all major economic decisions farmers make.



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-95 help retain soil moisture. Farmers should then plant in these fields without removing this plant material.97 The continual build-up of plant debris would contribute to the establishment of a humus layer in the soil which would help retain soil fertility. D. Availability of Rainfall Rainfall in this area is near the minimal average level required for any type of agricultural production (annual average 347 mm). Aside from this low average, the amount of rains from one year to the next will vary significantly ranging from 200 mm to 460 mm. In addition, rains are very sporadic within a particular season, and long periods of no rain may occur between periods of abundant rainfall. Given this unpredictable rainfall pattern farming in this area is a highrisk venture. Missing one or two rains could mean the difference between a crop success or a crop failure. Periodically, during years of minimal rainfall, obtaining any kind of crop output is not feasible. Wring such years many farmers have little choice but to migrate. Thus, rainfall must be considered one of the most critical constraints to farm production in this area. Compensating Strategies 1. Farmers plant their crops before the rains come to ensure that they tak advantage of all the rain that falls. Unfortunately, sometimes they plant their crops too early, and the seeds don't germinate or pests eat the seeds, so replanting is often necessary. 2. Most farmers plant their crops within three days after a rainfall to take advantage of the soil moisture for plant germination. (This practice was followed in all the villages we surveyed). 3. Many farmers are presently planting early maturing varieties of millet, sorghum and sesame. These are recognized for their adaptive qualities during minimal rainfall years. 4. In the past, farmers used to make small depressions or catchment areas around each plant in their field so that water would accumulate around it. This is not commonly practiced nowadays. 971nitially, farmers might resist this suggestion for several reasons: (1) Leaving plant debris in fields has been observed to be detrimental to the crop, because the plant debris will tend to absorb moisture and possibly nitrogen. (2) The plant debris may harbor insect pests. (3) Labor costs for weeding is higher than with clean fields. Experimentation is called for to determine if the long-term benefit to soil fertility of leaving plant debris on the fields, outweighs these short-term costs. This would be a good subject for on-farm trials.



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-72 surrounding el-Obeid to be self-sufficient in cereals. Because sorghum is imported to the region, farmers are released from the necessity of always looking first to their subsistence crop, and a variety of cash cropping strategies have developed. Owing to these historic changes, at least half of the grain consumed by villagers at this time is sorghum imported to the region from the mechanized schemes. The balance is made up of locallyproduced and consumed millet, and some local sorghum, along with a small amount of wheat that is produced in the Gezira or imported from abroad. El-Obeid Grain Market The marketing of cereal grain in the el-Obeid area is closely keyed to the supply of grains and prices prevailing in el-Obeid grain market. The el-Obeid grain market consists of about forty grain merchants in all. Half of these are located in a special enclosure where only grain is sold. Of these, six merchants are big wholesalers. Big merchants sell grain by the sack and by the mid (thirty mids to a sack) to their customers who are either small retail merchants or consumers. The small retail merchants generally sell to consumers by the mid only. Besides the grain market enclosure which lies in the center of town, there are several outlying 0 marketplaces which are near to the areas where trucks coming from the villages load and unload passengers. Although grain prices in these outlying markets are slightly higher than those found in the central market enclosure, there is the convenience for villagers of buying grain near to transport. The following cereal grains are regularly found at el-Obeid grain market: (1) feterita -this makes up 90% of the sorghum sold in the el-Obeid market; it is a.major staple of the urban and rural poor because it is the' least expensive of the cereals, although it is not a preferred food because the flour is dark. Most feterita marketed in el-Obeid area is transport by trucks from the mechanized farming schemes at Habila, South Kordofan.L (2) habbashiya (or safra) and dabar (or gasabi) -two sorghums grown in the Gedaref region and transported to el-Obeid mainly by rail via Kosti.83 Both sorghums generally show the same price at el-Obeid market and they invariably cost more than feterita. The flour of both habbashiya and dabar is prized for its whiteness and fine texture. Mainly it is eaten by the urban middle and upper classes. (3) millet -most of the millet is grown at Habila although some local millet finds its way into the-urban market; millet from Dar Fur is never sent to el-Obeid. (4) wheat -this grain is from two sources (a) wheat that is produced in the Gezira and (b) wheat produced abroad (called istraali). Wheat is eaten on an occasional basis even by villagers. 82Owing to the petrol crisis that currently afflicts the Sudan, the cost of transporting one sack of feterita from Habila rose from 2.000 in January to 4.000 in March. 83Transportation by rail is often delayed but the alternative--hauling by truck from Kosti--is too expensive. Seventy sacks are hauled by rail for 56 L.S., while a lorry carrying seventy sacks costs 450 L.S.



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-146 49. Did you sell any animals last year? If so, where? Date of sale Types of animals sold and amount Price received 50. Do you hire anyone to take care of your animals? How much do you pay him? (per head or per month)



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-104 shopkeepers rather than from a government loan agency. By forcing down interest rates on loans the government credit program could appreciably benefit farmers without putting the burden on itself of being the sole supplier of rural credit. The institutional format of the credit program could take several forms. Crop mortgaging loans, which are presently offered in a Sudan Agricultural Bank program to assist small farmers (See Appendix H), are one possibility. A pawn shop to give loans in exchange for valuables left at the shop is another. Increasing the disposable income of farmers by making loans available at intervals during the cropping season would have the effect of allowing farmers to hire more labor in order to increase their yields either by intensifying operations such as weeding or by expanding the area under cultivation. But such a result has further consequences. First, increasing crop yields by intensifying the labor inputwill cause soil nutrients to be used up at a faster rate. Secondly, the expansion of area under cultivation will leave more of the soil denuded of its natural vegetative cover and will make it more vulnerable to wind erosion. Both these factors will be noticed in a faster decline in soil fertility. Therefore, a farm input-loan program should be coordinated with a soil management program advocating intercropping, regular fallowing, the use of shelter belts and possibly fertilizers (although it is a moot issue whether fertilizer use in this area of low, erratic rainfall can be economical for the near future). Moreover, more than just environmental constraints are activated by the establishment of a farming inputs credit program. It is not clear, for example, that increased crop yields will lead to farmers' earning higher real incomes. Since agricultural prices in the el-Obeid area are related to the prices at el-Obeid Crop Mar-ket and these reflect national-level and interational market prices, increased yields could in any year bring disappointing results at the market. Exactly this has happened to the groundnut crop this year. Thus, a credit program also may have to be coupled with the imposition of an effective price support program by the Sudan Government and with long-range market forecasting in order to advise farmers of the changing demand for local crops. Beyond this, a program to expand the market for local crops should be considered. B. Procedures for Auctioning Crops Minor irregularities in the procedures for auctioning crops have a small effect on reducing farmers' earnings. These are: (a) The assignment of farmers' crops to lots is not randomized. The problem is that the first lot bid on usually receives the lowest price of the day. The composition of this first lot is usually made up of the crops which were delivered earliest to the market. Thus, the farmers who bring their crops early



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-50 investment. 49a Those farmers who do invest in camels use them in income generating activities such as hauling crops, oil presses, and hauling wood, charcoal and millet stalks for sale. Horses are rarely found in most of the villages around El Obeid. Only three farmers in our sample owned a horse. All three of them were from Umm Ramad. One of these farmers had three horses, but this was quite unusual. Horses are most frequently used to pull the carts (kaaroo) on which crops, water, building materials or other supplies are transported. Several of these carts are in use in Umm Ramad. The other two villages do not have such carts nor the horses to pull them. They rely on camels and donkeys for such services. The extent to which farmers are investing in animals is worth noting. Such investrfients are considered a form of savings. For instance, when a farmer's crops do poorly, he can rely on his animals to help him get through a bad year. In addition to being a source of meat or milk, income obtained from animal sales can be used to purchase foodstuffs and other household commodities. Thus, animal investment is another strategy followed by farmers to help deal with the uncertainty imposed on them by their environment. Unfortunately, the long term effects of this short term strategy are detrimental to the environment, and are increasing the danger of desert encroachment. Overgrazing has become such a severe problem that it can no longer be overlooked. Steps should be taken as soon as possible to impress on farmers the need for better range management practices. This should be done in conjunction with the introduction of proper crop rotation practices. Otherwise, environmental degradation will continue on its present course. Although many farmers are investing in animals, such a strategy is not a viable option for poor farmers with limited resources. These farmers must rely on other means to supplement their meager farm incomes. The following discussion will focus on some of these alternatives. Migration One alternative farmers pursue to supplement their incomes is to migrate to other areas for seasonal work. In 40 percent of the forty farm families someone had migrated for seasonal employment, and this included nine of the farmers. Half of these migrants left their villages for employment in El Obeid (8), while the rest migrated to places like Khartoum (2), Habila (2), Gezira (2), Rahad (1) and Wad Medani (1). El Geifil had the greatest number of migrants (5 of 10 or 50%) followed by Umm Ramad (6 of 15 or 40%) and El Kharta (5 of 15 or 33%). The usual pattern for those who migrate is to wait till the harvest is through for all crops then to leave beginning in late December or early January.50 They usually return at the end of May or early June in time to 49a Several informants mentioned buying camels from nomads passing near their village as a way of acquiring an animal cheaply, but in such cases the camel sometimes was weak or sick so that it died in the first year that the farmer owned it. 50 Some farmers left as early as November or as late as March; however, the usual time for migration was around January.



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-117 2. khulba After cutting five to seven plants, the stems are piled into small piles called khulba. They are left in these small piles for one to-two days. 3. dirra After a day or two, the khulbas are gathered together or tukal in one of three types of l-arge piles. A dirra is a or masharrI very large circular pile of sesame stems approximately one meter high. Its main advantage is that a large amount of sesame can be stacked in such a pile. The second type of pile is called a tukal. It is smaller than a dirra, but the main difference is that sesame stems put in this type of pile are stacked upright, with the pods pointing up in the air. This type of pile has two advantages: 1) it prevents the seeds from being spread out on the ground if a late rain should come in October; and 2) stacking the stems this way better protects the seeds from ants and termites. Tukals are often used by farmers who grow simsim HireeHri, which is an early maturing variety. This type of sesame is often put in drying piles before the end of the rainy season. The third type of drying pile is called a masharr. These piles are less uniform than the other tw-o, and usually involve laying the stems out in a broad shallow pile so they dry quickly. The masharr pile is often used by farmers who are in need of cash in a hurry. The sesame is put in such piles so that it cE!n be sold as soon as possible. Farmers who have to pay back loans to merchants or who are in need of buying household necessities will use such piles. The normal drying time for a masharr is ten days. As for dirras and tukals, the Fying time is fifteen to twenty days. Farmers will put DDT around all three types of piles to protect them from ants and termites. 4. Hal This is what the whole process of threshing sesame is called. Ha~iita Women will often take some of the sesame stems from one of these large drying piles before threshing really begins and shake them into a reeka or an empty sack. This sesame is used for home consumption and is called Hatiita. 5. shi9ba Men will use a tool called a shi9ba to remove the seeds from the stems and pods by raking the plants. The stems are then pulled aside from the seeds. 1A threshing floor is often prepared before farmers begin piling their sesame in large piles. The piles are then placed on top of these floors. The same process is done for sorghum and millet.



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Name of Tool Description Farm Operation(s) Crop(s) Non-Farm Uses abag Shallow disc shaped 1.Winnowing (mudraa) All crops Used for carrybasket about 16 2.Transporting crops ing things and inches across storage reeka A deep large bas1.Transporting crops Millet Used for carryket 18 inches Sorghum ing things and across and 6 to 8 storage inches deep suwaal or Wash tub with many 1.Used to separate Sesame None garwaal small holes punched sesame seed from in it leaves, stems, dirt and pods ghurbaal Screen sifter 1.Separates seeds Millet ? from dirt and sand Sorghum Sesame kadankoora A flat board with 1.Used to prepare All crops Used in buildwaasuug a long handle perthreshing floors ing house to pendicular to it and areas under firm-up millet used like a rake crop drying piles stalks faas Axe 1.Cutting trees to All crops 1.To cut fireclear land wood 2.To cut building materials faraar Small axe 1.Tapping gum trees Gum Arabic 1.To cut building materials 2.Weapon 3.To cut firewood funduk Mortar and pestle 1.Smashing millet Millet Food preparation chaff to separate the seed kurtaala A light leather 1.Used to collect Gum Arabic Storage container container made gum Arabic from a cow's head mugshaasha Broom 1.Used in threshing Millet Cleaning houses kureeg Shovel 1.Digging storage Digging post pits holes for houses karat Iron rake 1.Clearing fields Collecting wild grasses for fodder and sale



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Animal Number Local Name Scientific Name Description Other Uses Camels 1-23 See above See above See above See above 27gatgaat Vigna sunhum green grass 1.use the root as medicine 28kursaan Boscia eneglensis bush or small tree 1.fodder 2.human food 29marikh Lepledenis pyretechria bush 1.use it in making rope Cattle 3-6 See above See above See above See above 8-14 " 15-17 " 19" 21-23 " 25-26 " 28i" Donkeys 5See above See above See above See above 8-9 " n ,, 13" 15-17 " 19 " 21-22 " 23" n 25" n 27-28 I n



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-149 Appendix K. Glossary of Arabic Terms 9asiida -a thick porridge made from millet or sorghum; mainstay of the rural diet. 9ish -a cereal grain; in the El Obeid area, the term more commonly refers to millet than to sorghum. 9ushuur -a 15% ad valorem tax assessed on cash crops; a major revenue source for rural councils. baladi -"local"; the common local variety of a crop; late-maturing. barbatee -the local variety of groundnut (i.e. Barbiton). buuda -striga, witchweed. buur -fallow land. daHwa -morning work period, approximately from sunrise to midday. damaan -"guarantee"; the procedure in livestock marketing where a professional witness testifies that the animals being sold are the lawful property of the seller. darat -the harvest period at the end of the rainy season and beginning of the dry season; a time of plenty. dimbi -the common long-maturing millet; same as dukhan baladi. dukhun -millet. dugundi -cash rent for the use of an area of land during one season (e.g. 2.000 L.S./makhammas). fuutra -rent charged on use of land for one season amounting to 10% of the yield. fuul -groundnuts. gibaana -market use tax on cash crops; taxrate is 0.150 L. S./kantar of produce that is sold. gifaar -village land held in reserve by the shaikh (headman); the shaikh has the descretion to make gifts of land to people settling in the village. ghafiir -a guard or watchman. guwaal -a work arrangement where the laborer receives a lump sum payment for completing a given task (e.g. cutting a field of millet).



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-57 we found merchants to be somewhat reticent about their business dealings. This means that we had to interview the same merchant on repeated occasions until he had taken the measure of us and a relationship of candor had been developed. We knew that we had broken through our informant's reserve if he would explain smuggling methods to us. Of course, we never got that far with a number of merchants, but we did with some. A problem, which is related to that of rapport-building and which we confronted in interviewing merchants, was to select an optimum time for meeting informants. We found that the best times were early in the morning and late in the evenings. Typically, the merchant opens his shop around 7:30 or 8:00 a.m. It remains open until mid-afternoon, at which time the merchant may go home--after locking up--for lunch and a nap. The shop opens again for several hours in the evening. Interviewing a merchant on detailed issues is not very productive during the period from mid-morning to mid-afternoon, because the merchant is busy looking after customers at this time.57 Also, he may be reluctant to discuss his business with his customers in earshot. The evening is an especially good time to interview because merchants like to gather in front of their shops for tea and conversation. Four interview forms are being used in the market study: (1) an inventory of marketing services, which is being administered in all villages; (2) an interview of village merchants (social characteristics, career history, capital assets, description of business activities including crop buying and loans, farming activities); (3) an interview addressed to periodic vendors (social characteristics, residence, stock-in-trade, sources of goods, price mark-ups, attendance at markets, farming activities); (4) an interview addressed to market visitors (social characteristics, occupation, residence, sales and purchases, frequency of visits to market, other markets visited). The original plan to carry out a systematic survey in all markets with these interview instruments proved to be too ambitious. The modified objectives that are now being sought are to conduct the market service survey in all villages in the sample and to carry out a survey of merchants in all villages.58 The previous plan was to carry out the merchant survey from December to February, but this timing was found to be inappropriate for gathering data about crop marketing because the season continues from late October until April and May .59 A systematic survey of periodic vendors and market visitors is no longer planned due to the time constraints and limited research personnel. These interview schedules are being used to assemble a sample of 15 to 20 case studies of each 57This is an excellent time to make observations of the shop's operations, however. One is quickly made aware of how farm produce is a substitute for cash and how the merchant is continuously making small commodity loans to his customers, recording the merchandise and its value in a notebook. 58A 50% sample of merchants in each village would total about sixty-five interviews. In villages which have only one shop, the merchant is always included in the sample. 59The merchant survey was postponed, therefore, until April and May, 1982.



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-132 2 squash, jewsmallow, radishes and green onions. Once aqain, tea and sugar are usually served after the meal. Supper (9isha) 8:00 p.m. -9:00 p.m. (7:00 p.m. on the farm) In most cases, the main supper meal will consist of leftovers from lunch. Occasionally guraasa will be prepared. However, for many families, a cup of tea with milk and sugar is all that is consumed for the evening meal. Foods and Drinks Consumed Between Meals Coffee and tea are beverages often consumed between meals. In addition to these, lemon juice and other sugar based drinks like karkadee may be provided to visting guests. Watermelon is often eaten as a between meal snack as well as groundnuts and watermelon seeds. During certain times of the year, wild fruits like gaddeem, nabag, aradeeb, tabaldi, and laloob are consumed as snack food. Differences in Consumption Among Household Members Relatively few differences exist between family members in the types of food that are eaten. Children eat the same foods as adults, and no special meals are prepared for the sick or old persons. However, pregnant and lactating women tend to consume more milk and 9atron madiida. The woman of the house is usually responsible for the preparation of all meals. Sometimes daughters and other relatives may participate in the cooking. All the male members of the household and their guests are served first, usually in a separate room. The female household members and their guests eat later somewhere else. Seasonal Differences in Consumption The period of time just following the harvesting of crops is locally referred to as the darat (mid September to mid December). It is considered a time of plenty when food and money are available. It is during this time that many important social occasions take place, like weddings and circumcisions. During the darat too, most families are consuming millet harvested from their fields. Very little purchased sorghum is consumed. Also meat consumption is at its highest level during this time because of the availability of money. Following the darat is the winter (shita). This is a cool dry period which lasts from mid December to the end of February. Millet is still consumed in greater quantities than sorghum at this time, in the form of 9asiida. People prefer hot millet porridge on cold winter days. Less meat is consumed during this season than during the darat. 2Most villages in our sample don't have all of these vegetables available in their markets. Also, most poor families cannot afford to buy very many of these vegetables.



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intercropped. Likewise, mareeg/zunaari HireeHri was the second most common type regardless of planting strategy. In other words, no real difference existed between these farmers regarding types of sorghums grown. Only4 farmers in the sample, all in El Kharta, planted more than one type of sorghum, and all of them intercropped sorghum with another crop. Sorghum cultivation patterns differed in important ways in the three villages. In El Kharta, 93% of the farmers (14 out of 15) grew sorghum, and all of them intercropped it with sesame. No farmer surveyed grew sorghum in a sep ate stand. Only the mareeg/zunaari varieties were grown in this village, and the early-maturing HireeHri and late-maturing baladi types were grown in equal amounts. In El Geifil, only 40% of the farmers interviewed (4 of 10) grew sorghum. Three of these farmers intercropped sorghum with sesame and one grew it in a separate stand. The mareeg/zunaari varieties were the dominant types grown although one farmer grew a naajaq/feterita type. The major reason for the failure of other farmers in El Geifil to grow sorghum was the difficulty in acquiring seeds. Several farmers indicated that they would have planted sorghum if the seeds had been available. In Umm Ramad, 80% of the farmers in our sample (12 of 15) grew sorghum, and all of these farmers grew it in separate stands. Sorghum is usually planted in separate stands in this village because the higher amounts of rainfall and clayey soils characterizing this area allow for successful sorghum cultivation.16 In fact, 20% of all the land cultivated in Umm Ramad was in separate stands of sorghum, This cropping pattern gives this village a unique character when compared to the other two. Mareeg/zunaari varieties were the main types of sorghum grown, with baladi planted more extensively than HireeHri. One farmer did grow a type of najaad/feterita. In addition, two farmers also intercropped sorghum with groundnuis in this village, however, intercropping sorghum was not a common pattern. The role of sorghum in the farming system found in this area is quite important due to the multiple functions it serves. First, it serves as a food source for farmers, often as a substitute or supplement for millet, and therefore is considered the second most important subsistence crop grown in this area. Second, the stems of sorghum also serve as a food source for both farmers and their animals. The high moisture and sugar content of the stems make it a thirst-quenching energy source in the field where it is consumed in great quantities by farm laborers harvesting crops like sesame. This is especially true in villages where water is in short supply.17 In 15Mareeg/zunaari varieties seem to be better suited to the environmental conditions found at El Kharta, such as low rainfall and sandy soils (qoz). 16Other possible reasons why sorghum is cultivated in large amounts in Umm Ramad are 1) in addition to serving as a human resource, the sorghum stems are a fodder source for the large herds of cattle these people own; and 2) the sorghum is also used extensively in the village to produce mariisa, a locally-brewed beer. 17Watermelons are often planted with sesame also to serve as a water source for laborers.



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ix LIST OF TABLES 1. Distribution of Farmers by Size of Cultivated Unit .... ......... 8 2. Distribution of Farmers by Proportion of Total Land Cultivated .9 3. Distribution of Farmers by Type of Millet Produced ... ......... 1-2 4. Distribution of Land by Type of Millet Planted ..... ........... 12 5. Distribution of Farmers by Type of Sorghum Produced ............ 14 6. Distribution of Farmers by Type of Cultivation: Separate Stands and Intercrop ...... .... .. ............................ 14 7. Distribution of Farmers by Type of Sesame Produced ........... ..17 8. Distribution of Land by Type of Sesame Planted ..... ........... 17 9. Distribution of Farmers Who Intercropped by Types of Crops with Sesame ...... .... ............................. ..21 10. Distribution of Farmers Who Intercropped by Number of Crops with Sesame ...... ..... ........................... .22 11. Seeding Rate by Crop ........................34 12. Sources of Seed ...... .. ........................... ...36 13. Chemical Inputs Used ..... ... ........................ .38 14. Labor Expenditure per Makhamas by Crop ...... ............... 43 15. Yields of Principal Crops ...... ....................... ..44 16. Rate of Return to Labor by Crop ..... ................... ...45 17. Average Number of Animals Owned by Type of Beast ............ ...47 18. Distribution of Farmers by Type of Animal Owned .............. ...48 19. Market Villages in the Study Sample ..... ................. ..55 20. Comparison of Prices of Selected Food Products at Abu-Jahal (el-Obeid), Abu-Haraz and el-Geifil ..... ................. ...59 21. Commercial Structures at Abu-Haraz and Umm Ramad Markets ........ ..61 22. Periodic Markets in the Four Sample Villages ... ............ ...64



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-75 charge is based on the el-Obeid price plus a mark-up for transportation costs. The merchant's profit derives from the fact that the price of feterita will increase dramatically with the onset of the rainy season. As the harvest approaches, the demand for feterita will decline, because farmers will begin eating their own millet and sorghum while it is in the dough stage (fariik). The merchant's strategy at this period is to be rid of his feterita stocks in order to use the empty sacks and storage space for gathering cash crops while the harvest progresses. The merchant may not restock feterita for several months afterwards because the demand is low. The ideal, which only the wealthier households satisfy, is to eat millet throughout the year either from the family's own stocks or from purchases from village merchants. We have already noted that the wealthier merchants routinely do this. Farmers that are less well off are compelled to buy feterita at least for the dry season in order to save their millet for rainy season consumption. The general belief is that feterita is "light" (khafiif) and "cold" (baarid) making it an undesirable food for the rainy season, a time when farmers are engaged in the heavy labor of weeding their fields. For this work they need a "heavy" (tagiil), "hot" (sukhan) staple, which millet is, to give them the strength to work hard. During the rainy season too, when meat is not affordable due to the farmer's low purchasing power,87 millet 9asiida can be eaten with oil rather than a meat sauce because it is filling, high in fiber, and good tasting. Feterita, on the other hand, is so bland that villagers prefer to eat it with a meat sauce for flavor. Of the forty households which were surveyed at el-Kharta, el-Geifil, and Umm Ramad, thirty-two (80.0%) had purchased feterita in the past year. The range of purchases varied between two and eighteen sacks; the mean number of sacks purchased was 8.6 (Table 27). Table 27. Distribution of Feterita Purchased by Household Sacks of Feterita Purchased Number of Households 1-5 8 (25.0%) 6-10 15 (46.9%) 11-15 6 (18.8%) 16 and more 3 (9.4%) 32 87At this season poorer farmers have no source of income except their hired labor.



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-3 rigorously and unambiguously followed. In the first case, the reader is quickly discouraged by the difficulty; in the second case, he has to guess how to pronounce many of the words. Our first research report suffered from the shortcoming that Arabic terms are not spelled in English letters according to a consistent procedure. We have remedied that in this report by using a transliteration system developed by the Summer Institute for Linguistics. The system is described in the book Sudanese Colloquial Arabic for Beginners (1979) by Andrew arid Janet Pe'rsson. With it, Arabic words can be accurately recorded with a normal English typewriter and while it is not one of the easiest systems to learn, the effort required is repaid by the accuracy of recording the sounds of Arabic words. The sounds of Sudanese colloquial Arabic that are unfamiliar to the English speaker are described below. The other sounds are pronounced more or less as they are in English. Of course, fully accurate pronunciation of Sudanese Arabic can only be learned by listening to native speakers. Arabic consonants not found in English: d -pronounced like an English "'d" but with the back of the tongue raised toward the soft palate in order to give the sound a deeper resonance. t -pronounced like an English 'It" but with the back of the tongue raised toward the soft palate. z -pronounced like an English "z" but with the back of the tongue raised toward the soft palate. S -pronounced like an English "Is" but with the back of the tongue raised toward the soft palate. gha voiced uvular fricative. H -much more emphatic than the English "h"; muscles of the throat are constricted so that a rasping or hissing sound is made; this consonant is unvoiced. kh -pronounced like Scottish "ch" in "loch". sh -pronounced like English "sh" in "shore". r -a rolled "r" 9 -a voiced pharyngial fricative; something like a Parisian "r". ? -glottal stop. Vowels: It is convenient to think of Arabic as having six vowels -long and short "la", long and short "i", long and short "u" -plus two diphthongs. The pronunciation of the vowels is influenced by the consonants that come before them, particularly in the case of long and short "a".



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-77 income. Consequently, their farming production is low and they are unable to grow enough millet to feed themselves. They also lack capital to purchase feterita in bulk when the price is low. 2. Feterita is bought in quantities of one to three sacks at a time, usually during the seef (hot, dry season) and perhaps the khariif (rainy season). Probably ihe majority of farmers adopt this stra-tegy, making adjustments in the quantity of feterita they buy from year to year depending on the yield obtained from their millet crop. This strategy coordinates well with cash crop sales in the period of January to June. Hence, it depends on the farmer being able to save his cash crop until the price increases later in the marketing season. This coincides with the period when feterita prices are at their lowest. The Marketing of Major Cash Crops The survey of village merchants, which is presently underway, is intended to provide quantitative information about the flow of cash crops in the various marketing channels and the price mark-ups and costs in each channel. Our purpose here is to discuss the marketing system of cash crops in qualitative terms and to point out some of the major constraints and incentives which shape the behavior of different classes of marketers. Figure I is a diagram of the marketing system for cash crops in the el-Obeid area. The diagram illustrates that the flow of crops from rural producers, through intermediary institutions or dealers such as the rural branch market, village merchant, and agents/assemblers, to crop agencies based at el-Obeid. Alternatively, crops may be marketed at the el-Obeid government market where export agents-usually local big merchants--are the principal buyers. Most of the sesame grown in the region is locally consumed after processing into oil. Groundnuts and karkadee are exported to a large degree although they too have a local market particularly if world prices for these commodities are low. Gum arabic is strictly for export as the Gum Arabic Company88 is the sole buyer at Port Sudan. The marketing system shown in Figure #1 applies generally to all these cash crops. It remains to be learned from the village merchant survey what quantitative differences exist owing to the incentives or constraints which cause marketers to use different marketing channels for different crops at different times of the season. 88Fifty-one per cent of the shares are publically owned.



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-52 Selling Charcoal and/or Wood Another activity of some farmers to gain additional income is the selling of charcoal and/or wood. Twenty-two percent (8 of 37) of the farmers in our sample were involved with such activities. Almost all of them (7 of 8) produced charcoal for sale, while half also sold wood for building material. Only one farmer sold firewood.52 Most of these farmers (6 of 8) had either a donkey or a camel to haul their wood or charcoal, however, two farmers relied on borrowed or rented animals to do the hauling. Although the selling of charcoal and/or wood is a way of supplementing the family income, many farmers view this strategy as a last resort. This is especially true of charcoal manufacture. Many of the charcoal producers we interviewed considered this activity hard, nasty work and if they had a choice, they wouldn't do it. Exceptions to this were some camel owners who found it profitable to sell charcoal in urban areas like El Obeid. They willingly pursued such activities. Thus, the farmers who are doing this are either poor and/or camel owners. Other Types of Income Generating Activities A number of other activities help supplement farm incomes. These include regular off-farm occupations as well as income generating capital investments. For instance, farmers may be employed by the government as guards, clerks, school teachers or other school employees, policemen, medical assistants, mill operators, etc. Or they may work in the private sector for merchants, truck owners, mill owners, and bakery owners. The number of these employment opportunities which are available to farmers is highly dependent upon the size and institutional development of their village. In addition to off-farm occupations, some farmers are investing in capital intensive enterprises to gain additional income. The particular investments heavily depend on how much cash they have at their disposal. Some of the enterprises in which they commonly invest include shops, trucks, bakeries, flour mills, oil presses, cisterns, wells, camels for transport, and hauling carts (kaaroo). Due to the resource requirements of such investments, it is only the wealthier farmers who can do this. From a farming systems perspective, all of the alternative strategies farmers use to supplement their farm income are very important. Given the uncertainty of the environment, farmers cannot always depend on the output gained from cropping activities to meet their minimal household needs. Therefore, they find it necessary to rely on additional income sources to help meet these needs, such as wage labor for other farmers, animal husbandry, migration, monetary gifts from relatives, off-farm occupations and capital intensive enterprises. Which of these strategies farmers pursue and how they combine these with their cropping activities vary from one farmer to the next. It has been the purpose of this section of the report to discuss the preliminary findings of the initial farming systems survey conducted in the El Obeid region of North Kordofan up to March, 1982. Our aim was to present 52 Firewood collection is usually done by women of the household.



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-121 Appendix E. Producers' Boycott at El-Karra Crop Market El-Karra is one of the markets in competition with el-Geifil market. The village lies due north of el-Geifil on the western side of a long transverse dune. Jebel Kaw is in view to the southwest. The crop market takes place in el-Karra on Tuesdays in conjunction with a general periodic market. The village is smaller than el-Geifil and lacks many of the latter's facilities. For example, it has no school, no flour mill, no bakery, no first aid station, and no Hafiir (only a seasonal rain pool). Water is hauled by truck from Khor Tagget, and the people go to el-Geifil or el-Obeid to have grain ground into flour at a mill. But relative to el-Geifil, el-Karra is wealthy. It has five shops and three trucks which are used for hauling water to villages in the area. The trucks are individually owned by big farmers in the village. El-Karra's market is more active than el-Geifil's. Six trucks from neighboring villages have come regularly this year to haul crops. This is the market's first year of operation. It is said to be doing very well.* El-Karra market was observed by us on January 26, 1982. We were told that crop sales had fallen off at that time because farmers were storing the remainder of their sesame in underground pits as a savings for beginning the new cropping season in May and June. Adventitiously, January 26 was also the date on which an attempt was made to change the system for measuring crops and assessing taxes. The change had been ordered by the Rural Council headquarters in el-Obeid because of the potentially high tax revenues the market was capable of earning. The situation provided a natural laboratory for observing market dynamics and it showed that farmers can respond decisively to policies that they don't like. The system of crop marketing that had been used at el-Karra until that day is called shiishna (estimation) because the producer's sesame crop is measured by voTu-me-rather than by weight and then a formula is used to estimate the weight based on the volume.** This is necessary in order to assess the gibaana tax. The other major tax--called 9ushuur--is an ad valorem tax. In the shiishna system, the price of the crop is not determined in a formal auction. The 9ushuur tax is assessed according to a standard value which the People's Co-uncil at el-Obeid establishes each season. This year, for example, sesame was valued at 13.000/kantar and karkadee at 25.000/kantar. Gum arabic requires no value estimator since gum sales are not taxed by 9ushuur. The system that was being introduced that day is called mizaan beciu-se the crop is actually weighed to determine the amount of gibaana tax, and its price is determined by an auction so that 9ushuur may be assessed precisely. The auction was scheduled to begin at 11:00 a.m. This itself was an innovation since under the shiishna system the merchants are available in the market throughout the d'ay whereas in the mizaan system-the bidding on *The market clerk indicated that the tax revenues of el-Karra market equaled those of Abu Haraz. **Karkadee and gum arabic are usually sold in much smaller quantities than sesame. They are weighed on a merchant's balance.



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-118 6. kashkash Men will take a tool called a baraaza and rake the stems and pods away from the seeds. Essentially, the baraaza and the shi9ba perform the same function. The pods (joojoo) whTch are separated out from the stems are fed to camels. 7. suwaal Sometimes women will use an old wash tub with holes or garwaal in it called a suwaal or garwaal to separate pods, leaves and small branches from the seeds. This tool is more common to the north and east of El-Obeid. 8. mudraa Women will winnow the seeds with a tabag or a reeka to separate them from the dust. 9. ghurbaal An additional cleaning method used to separate the sand and dirt from the seed is to use a screen sifter. After the seed has been subjected to the screen it is ready to sack. 10. keel Often the men who were raking the sesame with the baraaza and the shi9ba put the sesame in sacks. It is hauled back to the village the same way as groundnuts. Sorghum (zunaari or mareeg) 1. gati9 First the sorghum heads are cut. Both men and women participate in this activity. They usually will cut five to seven heads, then lay these on the ground and go on. 2. kunjaala After cutting, the small piles of five to seven heads are piled into slightly larger piles called kunjaala. The number of sorghum heads in a kunjaala is about one reeka full. The sorghum is left in these piles for about three days. 3. jurun After three days, all of the kunjaala piles are placed into one large pile called a jurun. There is usually only one jurun per field unless the field is quite large. Once the sorghum is piled into a jurun it is left to dry for up to forty-five days. Should the farmer go back into his field and collect secondary heads of sorghum (called kusheeb) this sorghum is piled into another separate jurun. 4. dagg The sorghum heads are then smashed with a mudgaaga to separate out the seeds. 5. kararu After smashing, the men will use a baraaza to separate the stems from the seeds. A tool called a kadankoora may be used to push the pure seeds to one side.



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-63 el-Geifil market -thirty-five year-old woman selling utensils She is a farmer and lives in a village that is two and one-half hours away from el-Geifil by donkey and is a member of the area's dominant tribe, the Jawama'a. She is selling utensils and kitchen wares. About once a month she rides a lorry from her village to el-Obeid in order to restock her merchandise. The round-trip to el-Obeid for herself costs 3.000 and she also pays 1.000 for each large box of goods. When interviewed she had brought three large boxes of merchandise on a donkey and she had ridden a second donkey. One of the donkeys belonged to her. The other she was renting that day for 1.500. She buys goods from a wholesaler in el-Obeid and sells them at a mark-up which covers her expenses and earns some profit. For example, she is selling a coffee pot for 0.750 which was purchased in a lot of twenty for 13.000, a mark-up of 15%. Aluminum wash tubs she sells for 3.50 apiece having bought them by the dozen for 40.000, a mark-up of only 6%. Plastic pitchers are selling for 2.500 apiece. She paid 24.000 per dozen for these, a mark-up of 25%.69 The woman says that she has been a periodic trader for the past ten years. She has been coming to el-Geifil market every week during the marketing season for the past three years (since the market was started). She also sells at three other village markets in the area. Abu Haraz market -forty year-old man selling millet and sorghum This man is from a village that is a one and one-half hour walk from Abu Haraz. He belongs to the Rizeigat (a nomadic tribe) but has been a settled cultivator in this area for many years. He is selling millet and zunaari (local sorghum) which he grows on his farm. He has brought for sale one sack of millet and six mids of zunaari. These goods were transported from his village by camel, for which he is paying the owner 1.000. Before setting his price at Abu Haraz market the man asks the prices at which the merchants are selling millet and zunaari. Then he sets his price 0.050/mid lower than the prevailing price. On this occasion (Nov. 1981) he is selling millet for 1.20/mid and zunaari for 1.00/mid. He has been coming to Abu Haraz market for more than twenty years. He comes throughout the year except when he is sick or busy. If he has no grain to sell, he may sell wood, charcoal or animals. Abu Haraz market -seventeen year-old woman selling vegetables This young woman is living in Abu Haraz with her parents since her husband left for Khartoum in search of a job. Her ethnic origins are Fellata (West African), although she was born in a village nearby Abu Haraz. She is selling tomatoes and turnips, which she has bought at wholesale in Abu Jahal market, el-Obeid. The tomatoes were bought for 3.000/box. Because some of the tomatoes were damaged, she only has thirteen good piles from the box. A pile contains five tomatoes. She is selling these at a competitive price of 0.200/pile. This means that she is losing 0.400 on the box of tomatoes. She really doesn't have much choice, however, since there 69These items are only a small sample of her stock in trade. The selling prices indicated are only approximate since bargaining may occur.



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-14 per plant than HireeHri. In contrast, najaaq/feterita varieties are usually straight-necked types of sorghum with small seeds. The types of najaad/ feterita grown in this area usually have whitish or reddish seeds.14 These types of sorghum are typically intermediate in maturation length when compared to the mareeg/zunaari types (90 to 100 days). Table 5. Distribution of Farmers by Type of Sorghum Type of Sorghum Frequency Percentagea mareeg/zunaari baladi 19 63 mareeg/zunaari HireeHri 13 43 najaad/feterita 2 7 aSome farmers planted more than one type of sorghum, so the percentages add to more than 100. Mareeg/zunari baladi is the most common type of sorghum grown in the area followed by mareeg/zunaari HireeHri and najaad/feterita (Table 5). To determine if farmers who planted sorghum in separate stands grew different types from those who intercropped it, we compared the sorghum varieties grown by each. Table 6 presents the frequencies and percentages of farmers who grew the various types of sorghum comparing those who grew it in separate stands with those who intercropped. Table 6. Frequency Distribution of Farmers Comparing Those Who Planted Sorghum in Separate Stands with Those Who Intercropped Separate Stands Intercroppeda Type of Sorghum Frequency Percent Frequency Percent mareeg/zunaari baladi 7 54 12 63 mareeg/zunaari HireeHri 5 39 9 47 najaad/feterita 1 8 1 5 aSome farmers intercropped more than one type of sorghum, so the percentages add to more than 100. Table 6 indicates that mareeg/zunaari baladi was the most commonly grown sorghum both by farmers who grew it in separate stands and those who 14To the south of El Obeid in the Nuba mountains area, straight-necked varieties of sorghum with black seeds have been found.



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-145 Name: Date: Vi lage: 40. During the past year, how many sacks of feterita did you buy? Where did you buy it? When? 41. During the past year, can you estimate how many sacks of feterita other members in your household bought? Where did they buy it? When? 42. So far this cropping season, can you estimate how many mids of millet other members in your household sold to village merchants? 1) 2) 3) 4) 5) 6) 7) 43. Do you migrate from the village in the dry season? dates of migration: Where do you migrate? Who accompanies you? What do you do there? Explain: 44. Do other members of your household migrate? Identify these members: Dates of migration: Where do they migrate? Who accompanies them? What do they do there? Explain: 45. Is any money sent to you or your household from relatives or friends living in other places? -If so, identify Approximately how much money is sent to you (monthly or yearly) 46. Material Goods Inventory: Household building material Radio/recorder Water barrel Gold jewelry China tea cups w/saucers 47. Do you or any members in the household own animals Specify. cattle donkeys sheep camels goats horses 48. Did you buy any animals last year? If so, from where? Date of purchase Type of animals bought and amount Price paid



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-68 (i.e., mids or sacks) to weight (i.e., kantars) is used to estimate the weight, in order to assess gibaana. Then a standardized estimate of the crop's value71 is used to calculate 9ushuur. Because the taxes are determined in this case by estimations rather than precise measurements this system is termed shiishna (estimation). The Mizaan System Report No. 1 described in some detail the operation of the mizaan system at Abu Haraz crop market. The following reiterates and develops that discussion: The market place is open the year around, but crops are mainly sold between October and April. There are eleven local merchants who regularly buy crops at Abu Haraz; they all live in the village. However, the sales are usually dominated by four merchants who have capital and are agents of a crop buying agency based in el-Obeid which has a long history of relationship with the Abu Haraz area.72 Prices of crops are determined in a roundrobbin auction in which participation is limited to those merchants who have obtained a crop buyer's permit from the People's District Council.73 The auction is managed by the kaatib as-suug (market clerk). He starts the bid by setting a basement price and then each merchant in turn is allowed to increase the bid or to pass. Below are the results of an auction that occurred at Abu Haraz market on January 15, 1982. Only four merchants participated in the auction. Table 24. Results of a Crop Auction at Abu Haraz Crop Lot Quantity Start Bid Final Bid Buyera Groundnuts Ib 8.76 7.000 8.350 Ibrahim 2 6.27 --Ibrahim Sesame c 23.40 15.000 17.450 Abdel-Rahman 2 52.42 17.300 17.450 Abdel-Rahman Gum 1 38.73 18.000 19.400 Muhammad 2 50.83 19.250 19.450 el-Taj 3 89.32 19.300 19.450 Abdel-Rahman Karkadee 1 0.86 27.000 28.050 Ibrahim aThe names are fictitious. bThis lot was completed late. No bids were taken on it and it was added to Ibrahim's other lot of groundnuts. cThis lot was completed late. It was bid on separately and bought. 71This value is set at the beginning of the market season by the People's District Council. 72One of the two flour mills in Abu Haraz is owned by the family who owns the crop agency. This family also owns several of the commercial buildings in the village. 73To obtain this permit the applicant must be recommended by one of the big merchants registered at the el-Obeid Crop Market. This makes the village merchant the agent (wakiil) of the big merchant. However, this arrangement does not obligate the village merchant to sell to the big merchant even though he buys crops at the branch market in the big merchant's name. The permit to participate in a branch market auction does not require a fee to be paid.



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-98 costs. Presently, the Agricultural Bank in El-Obeid is initiating cooperative credit programs of this type and their success should be carefully monitored. Two other types of credit programs might be encouraged. First, a credit program could be initiated where farmers could exchange valuables they possess for cash. These valuables would be retained until the farmers paid back the cash plus interest.98 This particular type of credit program seems to be working quite well in the Umm Rawaba area. A second type of credit program which should be encouraged is like the self-help project initiated by farmers in El Kharta. (See Appendix I for a full description of the program.) Several related families rented a tract of land and set aside one day a week when they all worked on the field. They all shared in the expenses of the inputs such as seed and food. The output gained from the field was sold, and the cash was used to establish a self-help program. Loans were provided from this fund to the poor families in the group. These loans were to be paid back the following season. The money in this fund was also used to help people when disasters occurred like fires, family deaths,0 etc. Credit programs such as this would require little input from the Government to set-up, and could be run by the villagers themselves. 3. The introduction of animal traction may be worth considering as a way of overcoming labor bottlenecks. Presently a French team is working with farmers in South Kordofan attempting to introduce animal traction for planting and weeding purposes. A similar program should be considered for this area. However, care must be taken to introduce a technology which is suitable to the loose sandy soils of the area around el-Obeid. Minimal tillage technologies would be optimal. B. Access to Seeds Many farmers have trouble gaining access to sorghum seeds. For this reason, they are often unable to intercrop sorghum with sesame. In addition, many farmers can't obtain seeds of short-maturing varieties of millet and sesame. As a consequence, they are planting longmaturing varieties of these crops. As stated earlier, the longmaturing varieties have negative implications for poor farmers' labor practices (See Labor Constraints). Likewise, these varieties require more rainfall than the short-maturing varieties. 98 We believe that any credit program which is established will not be successful unless the interest rate charged is at least equal to the inflation rate. This will ensure that the program does not need to be heavily subsidized by the Government to operate.



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-124 Table I Results of Auction at El-Karra Crop Market, January 26, 1982 Crop Lot No. Quantity Starting Bid Final Bid Buyera gum arabic 1 14 sacks 18.000/kantar 18.350b/kantar Ibrahim 2 7 sacks 18.000 18.400 Isa 3 6 sacks 18.250 18.500 tsa 4 3 sacks 18.200 18.510 Muhammad 5 2 sacks 18.000 18.500 Ibrahim 6c 3 sacks ? 18.500 Isa karkadee 1 5 sacks 26.000 30.000 Muhammad 2 3 sacks 30.000 30.000 Muhammad sesame 1 4 sacks 17.250 17.500 Muhammad 2 5 sacks 17.500 17.550b Isa 3 6 sacks 17.500 17.600b Isa 4 9 sacks 17.550 17.600b Ibrahim 5 2 sacks 17.550 17.660 Ibrahim 6 3 sacks 17.660 17.670 Isa 7 4 sacks 17.000 17.680 Muhammad 8 8 sacks 17.500 17.690b Ibrahim 9 8 sacks 17.700 17.710b Muhammad 10 5 sacks 17.700 17.700b Ibrahim 11 6 sacks 17.700 17.750b Muhammad 12 5 sacks 17.500 17.700 Isa 13 5 sacks 17.750 17.770 Muhammad aNames are fictitious. bProducers' representative rejected the final bid on this lot. cA farmer who had gum in this lot wanted to reject the bid but he was overruled by the farmer representing all producers who had gum arabic in the lot.



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-96 Recommendations 1. Agricultural scientists should focus on the development of early maturing, drought resistant crops to be made available for farmers in this area. Work could begin with the varieties farmers are already using. 2. Rainfall patterns for this area should be more closely studied to determine if there are optimal times when farmers should be planting. The present practice which is followed of planting early before the rains increases the danger of wind erosion. However, any suggested changes in planting should take into consideration the labor constraints farmers must deal with if everyone plants during the same period. 3. As discussed earlier, mulching practices and shelter belts should be introduced into the area. These practices help retain soil moisture, thereby increasing the efficient use of limited rainfall. 4. Research should focus on the beneficial effects of water catchment areas around plants. If such catchment areas do have some positive effect, farmers should be encouraged to reinstate the old practice of creating these depressions around the plants in their fields. The depressions could be created at the same time that thinning is done, which usually takes place during the first weeding. In addition, other types of water catchment strategies might be explored to determine their utility for this area as well. Input Constraints Input constraints to crop production include those inputs farmers have unequal or no access to which impact crop output. A. Access to Labor The most limiting factor for crop production in this area other than natural conditions is labor. Access to labor usually determines the size of the cultivation unit which a farmer can maintain. Labor shortages during the critical periods of planting, weeding, and harvesting can adversely effect the success of farmers. Labor is often the only thing of value poor farmers have to sell to overcome periodic food shortages. This takes away labor input from their own fields which is detrimental to their crop output. Compensating Strategies 1. Farmers plant their millet and other crops early before the rains to take advantage of the low cost and availability of labor. Likewise, they clear their land early for the same reason. Such strategies are employed to avoid peak labor shortages that arise with the coming of the rains. Unfortunately, many farmers still have to replant during this time



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Appendix F. Some Fodders Used in the El-Obeid Area Animal Number Local Name Scientific Name Description Other Uses goats 1sa9aata bush or small trees 1.building materialmainly in walls around compounds 2shiHeet Combretum aculeatum tall bush 1.the branches (thin ones) are used as support branches in houses. 3simsim al-jumaal Sesamum alatum wild sesame none 4ghabaash Guera singelonsis grass none 5bitiikh Citrullus lanatus watermelon 1.drinking source 2.human food 3.seeds are eaten and sold. 6sayyaal Accacia pistula tree 1.building material 2.fire wood 3.charcoal manufacture 7haraaz Accacia Albida tree building material 2.fire wood 3.charcoal manufacture 8Haskaniit Cerchrus biblorus grass 1.sometimes people eat the seeds. 9goo Aristida nutablis grass None 10indiraab Cordia abssinca tree 1.building material 11riHaan Lantana sweet smelling grass None 12umm libeena Euphorbia grass None 13 bigheel Blephoris Linarifolia grass-very green has None seeds like dates on top



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-116 HARVESTING PROCEDURES The following presentation will briefly outline the steps used in harvesting each of the main crops grown in this area. All tools mentioned in this discussion are described in the preceeding chart. Groundnut harvesting procedures will be discussed first, followed by sesame, sorghum and millet. Groundnuts (fuul) 1. sall The first process involves pulling the plants out of the ground. All members of the household participate with the exception of small children. 2. koom After the groundnuts are pulled from the ground, they are piled into small piles called koom. The size of the piles varies from one area to another. The length of time the groundnuts are left in these piles is anywhere from three to ten days. 3. dirra If the amount of harvested groundnuts is sizeable, they will gather the kooms into one large pile which is called a dirra. (If the amount is small they just leave them in kooms.) In this large pile, the groundnut seeds are turned upside-down so that the leaves are on the ground and the seeds are in the air. This helps in drying the seeds. The plants are closely packed together into a circular shaped-pile and will be left in this pile for as long as the farmer wishes to keep them like this. Usually not more than one month. 4. gareed This process involves removing the seeds from the plant. When the amount of groundnuts is quite large, the process of removing the seeds from the plants is referred to as dagg which means smashing. 5. fariik This process involves rubbing the seeds between the hands to remove stems and dirt. Usually this process is used when the groundnuts are planted in qarduud soil. 6. mudraa The seeds are winnowed to separate them from dirt. 7. keel This involves putting the seeds in sacks in the field. These sacks are brought back to the village by donkey, camel, cart or sometimes a lorry if the amount is quite large. Sesame (sims i m) 1. gati9 First, the stems of the sesame plant are cut using a munjal(see tool chart). Both men and women will participate in cutting.



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maturing crop, like sesame or sorghum. Regular plantings of sesame, groundnuts and sorghum generally occur in June and early July. These crops, too, may have to be replanted if rains are insufficient for germination or if sandstorms kill the seedlings. According to an ideal expressed by farmers, every crop should be weeded at least twice. Although wealthy farmers can afford to hire labor for a third and even a fourth weeding of groundnuts, poor farmers are forced by their need for cash to hire their labor to other farmers and thereby neglect an adequate weeding of their own fields. Harvesting operations are spread out over the period of late August to January, with the most activity occurring in October and November. All threshing operations are accomplished with hand labor. Next to the vagaries of the climate, labor is the most important constraint on the cropping system. For many farmers the cost of hiring agricultural laborers is the largest input expenditure that they make. Looking at returns to labor by crop it was calculated that the rate of return was highest for millet, followed by groundnuts, sesame, and sorghum. Sesame's popularity among farmers, although its rate of return is lower than either millet or groundnuts, can be attributed to risk-aversion. Millet is relatively a greater risk to plant than sesame because of its higher susceptibility to pest attack, while unstable prices and a high outlay for the labor input limits the planting of groundnuts. Animals play an important role in this farming system. The availability of drinking water, first, and pasture during the dry season, second, are the central-most constraints on livestock raising. Crop residues as well as commercial sorghum are an important source of fodder for working animals but herd animals subsist largely on the pasture that lies beyond the village's zone of cultivated lands. Most farm families own a donkey and several goats. Better-off families are able to invest in sheep and cattle. The largest herd of cattle recorded was 60 but the average herd size was only 6. Similarly, the largest herd of sheep was 120 but the average herd was also about 6. Nearly every farm household supplements its income through off-farm activities. The latter include dry-season migration for a wage, charcoal manufacture, water-hauling, tailoring, carpentry, metalworking, itinerant marketing, and the operation of such capital-intensive enterprises as village shops, bakeries, flour mills, oil presses, cisterns, and trucks. Monetary gifts from relatives living elsewhere is another important source of income for about one-fourth of the farm households. Farming in this region is not subsistence-oriented. Farm households purchase foodstuffs at village shops each day, or several times per week at least. These goods are paid for either in cash or in kind. In the latter case a crop is usually offered to the merchant as payment, the price of the crop having been determined by the schedule of prices prevailing among all crop buyers in the village. To obtain a cash income from agriculture, farmers may sell their crops (primarily sesame, groundnuts, roselle, and gum arabic) to a variety of buyers, including the shopkeeper, the urban crop merchant's agent who buys at rural crop markets, and jobbers and



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-79 Table 29. A Qualitative Analysis of Crop Marketing in the El-Obeid Area Seller Buyer Channel Incentives and Constraints Farmer Village Direct Sale The farmer trades small amounts of crops Merchant (one to two mids at a time) to obtain commodities from the merchant's shop. This is the most important marketing strategy for most farmers early in the post-harvest period when the prices of crops are still low. For poorer farmers whose production has not been good, this may be the only means they use for marketing crops. Essentially, their crops are a substitute for cash. Branch Market The farmer sells in quantity (i.e., one Sale or more sacks at a time). This marketing strategy is more prevalent later in the marketing season when prices for crops at el-Obeid have risen thereby forcing up prices at the branch markets. The village merchant who bids in the branch market is closely constrained in the price he can offer. It must not exceed the median price at el-Obeid Crop Market less the cost of transportation from the village to el-Obeid. This price is what the crop agency at el-Obeid will pay the merchants. (They will also reimburse the 9ushuur tax.) Farmer Agent/ Direct Sale A direct sale by farmers to an agent/ Assembler assembler is most likely to occur late in the marketing season (March-May). At this time the farmers open their storage pits before the on-set of the rains and sell the remainder of their crops in order to pay for land clearing and planting as well as to buy feterita while the price is still low. Truckoperator agents may haul feterita to the village in order to make a direct exchange of sorghum for sesame. The produce is taken from the farmers' pits and put directly in the agent's sacks. The agreement to buy from farmers in this manner is made ahead of time so that the agent is assured of filling his truck.



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xi LIST OF CHARTS Chart 1. Timing of Cropping Activities -Millet .. .. ..... .... 26 Chart 2. Timing of Cropping Activities -Sesame. .. .. ..........27 Chart 3. Timing of Cropping Activities -Groundnuts .. .. ..... ...28 Chart 4. Timing of Cropping Activities -Sorghum .. .. ..........29 LIST OF FIGURES Figure 1. The Marketing System for Cash Crops in the el-Obeid Area ...78 Figure 2. Monthly Transactions for Livestock Sales at Abu Haraz Market, March 1980 -January 1982. .. .. ............ ..85 Figure 3. Livestock Sold at Abu Haraz Market, March 1980January 1982. .. ...... ........ ..........86 Figure 4. Average Monthly Prices of Cattle, Sheep and Goats at Abu Haraz Market, March 1980 -January 1982. .. ....... 87 Figure 5. Livestock Marketing by Major Tribal Groups at Abu Haraz Market, March 1980 -January 1982 .. .. ..... ..89



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Table 16. Rate of Return by Crop (3) (4) (1) (2) Average Rate of (5) Average Average Total Labor Monetary Gain Net Cash Yield Per El Obeid Cost Per (1) x (2) Per Crop Mukhammas Price Mukhammas (3) Mukhammas Millet 1.14 34.00 L.S. 20.69 L.S. 1.87 18.07 L.S. Sesame 1.06 32.22 L.S. 20.50 L.S. 1.66 13.65 L.S. Groundnuts 6.58 8.90 L.S. 33.45 L.S. 1.75 25.11 L.S. Sorghum 1.09 23.50 L.S. 21.22 L.S. 1.21 4.40 L.S.



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Table 12. Sources of Seeda I Purchased Reserved Purchased from fown Fild Mrhan Armter Markbetd Favrmno ascGiftd fOm fild Mroman Fother Elarbeid Govrmein Received Fe.% F e.% Freq % Frq. % Fre. Freg. % Millet 20 53 5 13 12 32 0 0 0 0 2 5 (n=38) Sesame 28 76 6 16 7 19 0 0 0 0 0 0 (n=37) Groundnuts 8 42 1 5 0 0 2 11 11 58 0 0 (n= 19) Sorghum 22 73 5 17 4 13 0 0 0 0 ,0 0 (n=30) a Since some farmers obtained seed from several sources, the percentages will not add up to 100 percent.



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A SUMMARY OF THE MAIN FINDINGS This research report of the University of Kentucky INTSORMIL (International Sorghum and Millet) Project is the second of two reports written during the course of field investigations carried out in the el-Obeid area of Sudan. Like its predesessor this is a report of work in progress. Succeeding reports will analyze larger data bases which may call for the modification of a few of the conclusions found in this manuscript. Part I of the report presents an analysis of the data collected from a preliminary survey of 40 farm households in three villages. Part II describes major aspects of the rural marketing system in the area based on data collected from four marketing centers. Part III is an analysis of the main constraints to agriculture in the area. This section also describes how farmers attempt to deal with these constraints at present, and it proposes new strategies for alleviating each constraint. Following Part III, there are a number of appendices which present additional data that could not be easily reviewed in the main body of the report. A glossary of Arabic terms and a copy of the questionnaire used for surveying the 40 households are also found in the appendices. Overview of the Farming System The el-Obeid area receives on the average 347 mm of rainfall annually, most of it falling in the period of July through October. The amount of rainfall varies greatly from one year to the next, and within a single season the pattern of its distribution is quite irregular. These characteristics of the climate make consistently successful farming extremely difficult to achieve, given the rudimentary labor-intensive technology that farmers are able to apply. El-Obeid lies on the transitional zone between the clayey sand soils to the south of it and the goz soils (stabilized sand dunes) lying to the north. These two principal soil types are associated with some differences in cropping patterns and livestock rearing. Both types of soil are characterized by low fertility. Fallowing is the principal means for restoring soil fertility. The natural propagation of Acacia senegal, a native of the region, allows farmers to gain an income from their fallow land through the collection of gum arabic produced by these trees. The rural population is dispersed in villages that vary in size from five or six households to 1,000 or more. The number of villagers that occupy a village varies with the season. The population is greatest during the rainy, cropping season and lowest during the dry season. The average household numbers between seven and eight members. Nuclear family residence seems to be preferred but extended families, matrifocal families, and other household arrangements are fairly common. 'Whereas the household is the basic unit of consumption, agricultural production is typically in the hands of more than one decision-maker in the household. A common pattern is for husband and wife to manage separate farms. Unmarried sons and daughters who are old enough are also given land to manage, if it is available. Besides farming, virtually every household has members who work in secondary occupations,) usually on a seasonal basis. The survey



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-131 Preparation procedures: They gradually mix millet flour with boiling water with continuous stirring for about half an hour. After this, they add a small piece of 9atruun to the flour mix. This substance is poured into bowls called koora, and milk, samin and sugar are poured over it. umm taktulniThis food is made from cowpeas, sesame and salt. Preparation procedures: As with shagratee, they first grind sesame mixed with water in a mortar until it turns to an ,oily butter-like substance. They then clean the cow peas by soaking them in water and boiling these for abour half an hour to an hour until they are soft. The soft cowpeas are then mixed withthe oily sesame substance and salt is added. This dish is eaten by itself. It is a common meal for people working in the fields during harvest time. GENERAL CONSUMPTION PATTERNS OF HOUSEHOLDS IN THIS AREA The following discussion will focus on general consumption patterns of households in this area, identifying meal times and the usual types of foods eaten. These data were based on 24 hour recalls collected from women in several households of the three villages under intensive study. Pre-breakfast (shaai or "tea") 6:00 to 7:30 a.m. Usually the only thing consumed before breakfast is tea. This is either drunk with milk and sugar or with sugar alone. The tea is usually purchased from village shops for 12 to 15 pts. per ounce. Most families obtain milk from their own animals (either cows or goats). However, sometimes milk is purchased from other villages for 20 to 25 pts. a rooVl, or people will buy powdered milk from village merchants. The sugar is either bought from merchants at black market prices (80 to 120 pts. per rootl) or it is gotten through a government distribution program (tamwiin) for 40 to 45 pts. a pound. Breakfast (fauur) 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. (8:00 on the farm) In most cases, the main breakfast meal includes 9asiida and a mulaaH. Rarely is kisra eaten for breakfast. MulaaH roob is commonly served although sharmuut, tagaliya, luubiya and dam9a are served also. Sometimes shagratee will be eaten for a change of pace. Tea with sugar is commonly drunk after the meal. Lunch (ghada) 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. (1:00 p.m. on the farm) Either 9asiida or kisra will be eaten with a mulaaH. Occasionally. in the villages with big markets, lunches prepared on market day will consist of fresh meat and vegetables. Vegetables which may be served include tomatoes, eggplant, potatoes, okra, sweet potatoes, pumpkin,



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-102 5. Some farmers build cisterns in their villages to sell water to other farm families. They rely on local village trucks or Government trucks to haul water from other locations to fill the cisterns. (Water is hauled from places like Khor Tugget, El-Obeid, Ban Gedid, and Bano). 6. Some farmers use their camels or donkeys to haul water from other places back to their own villages. 7. Many farmers migrate to urban areas or mechanized farming schemes where water and employment are more plentiful. They usually obtain nonskilled occupations and work until the rainy season when water is once again available in the village. 8. Farmers owning livestock, especially cattle, take them to distant watering points every few days. One serious consequence of this pattern is that fodder becomes a serious problem because animal movements are restricted to within a certain radius of watering points. Another strategy which farmers use is to migrate with their herds to the south whet'e fodder and water are more plentiful. 9. Some farmers depend heavily on watermelon as a source of water where water shortages are critical. One of the main reasons they plant watermelon in their sesame fields is to provide laborers a source of water. Other farmers build up large supplies of watermelons and consume these throughout the dry season to avoid paying high water costs. In addition, watermelons are also fed to animals as a source of fodder and water. Recommendations 1. Water access is a very delicate issue Which has important environmental implications. Careful regional planning is necessary to ensure the optimal distribution of watering points. Increasing the availability of water to the rural areas may help alleviate some of the pressures on urban resources which result from yearly rural-urban migrations during the dry season. However, care must be taken to ensure that increased access to water does not lead to inappropriate animal husbandry practices which could endanger the region to desert encroachment. One possible way of approaching the problem would be to restrict some watering points only to human consumption. Other watering points would be accessible to animals and should be established in conjunction with the introduction of appropriate range management practices. A coordinated water program such as this is essential to maintain a good ecological balance in the region. Other Constraints A. Credit It is chiefly through borrowing--often at high rates of interest-that poorer farmers are able to resolve cash flow problems and



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Animal Number Local Name Scientific Name Description Other Uses goats 14hashaab Accacia senegal tree 1.gum arabic 2.building material 3.fire wood 4.charcoal manufacture 15karkadee roselle 1.beverage 16zunaari sorghum 1.people eat the seeds. 17fuul groundnuts 1.people eat and sell the seeds 18higliig (hijliij) Bala ites aegyptiaca tree 1.people eat the fruit (laloob) 19kitir Accacia medlifora tree building material 2.fire wood IO3.charcoal manufacture C\l 20tabaldi Adonsoria digitata tree 1.fire wood 2.charcoal manufacture 3.people eat the fruit. 21la9oot Accacia nubica bush or small tree None 22sidir Ziziplus spina-christi bush or small tree 1.building material 23shilini Zernia glochidiata grass None 24samugh gum arabic 1.cash crop 25dukhun millet 1.subsistence crop 269ushar Calaerobis procora bush or small tree 1.building material 2.use it to make rope Sheep 1-23 See above See above See above See above



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-13 baladi in part is due to the shortage of HireeHri seeds in El Geifil, and the long tradition of growing baladi. In Umm Ramad, baladi was also the dominant type. Sixty-four percent of the land cultivated in millet was in baladi, and 79 percent of the farmers surveyed planted it. A higher rainfall could definitely explain this pattern, since Umm Ramad is south of El Obeid. Higher rainfall also could explain the appearance of another millet variety called 9ish barnu. Twenty-seven percent of all the Cultivated millet was planted in this type. The extent of millet cultivation demonstrates its importance in the farming system. In addition to serving as one of the main sources of food for farm households, millet stalks are used for various purposes. They are, for example, the main construction material for houses and other structures in these villages. In fact, the importance of millet stalks as a building material might ensure that millet will never be totally displaced by other cash crops, unless another building material were introduced (possibly another type of grass). Presently, such an alternative building material is not widely available, especially for villages north of El Obeid. In addition, millet leaves are sometimes used as fodder. Thus, the many uses of millet in this area must be evaluated in assessing the implications of proposed changes in millet cultivation practices. Sorghum Another important subsistence crop grown in the area is sorghum. Although it was not as extensively grown as millet, the majority of the farmers we surveyed were planting some sorghum in their fields. Seventyfive percent of the farmers interviewed were growing sorghum (30 out of 40)P Sixty-three percent (19 out of 30) of the farmers who grew sorghum planted it in the same field with another crop (usually sesame). Only 43 percent (13 out of 30) of the farmers surveyed planted sorghum in separate stands. Unfortunately, it is too difficult to estimate what proportion of the total land cultivated was in sorghum since so much was intercropped with sesame or other crops. However, the importance of this crop is well demonstrated by the extent to which farmers were planting it, either intercropped or separately. Farmers in the area grow several different types of sorghum. The local names for these types are quite numerous; however, they can be grouped under three basic categories (See Appendix B for the local names). These are mareeg/zunaari baladi, mareeg/zunaari HireeHri, and najaaq/feterita. As for distinguishing characteristics, mareeg/zunaari varieties tend to have curved necks and large seeds which may be either red, black or white in color. There is essentially no difference in shape or color between the baladi versions and HireeHri versions of mareeg/zunaari. The major difference is maturation length, with HireeHri maturing much earlier (70-80 days) than baladi (90-120 days). Also, baladi tends to produce more heads 13Some farmers grew sorghum in separate stands as well as intercropped with other food crops. This especially is true of farmers to the south of El Obeid.



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-20 Although farmers provided us with several names for the kinds of groundnuts they grew, these are essentially several different names for the same type, Barbatee22 is the most commonly used name for the type of groundnuts grown in this area, but alternative names used include jukki and baladi. As expected, differences did exist between the three villages regarding groundnut cultivation. Only 5 farmers in El Kharta grew groundnuts (33%) and only 2 in El Geifil (20%). Traditionally, these villages are not in areas where groundnuts are grown. However, a few farmers grew groundnuts this year because of a government sponsored program to encourage farmers in these areas to start growing this cash crop. The Farmer's Union based in El Obeid had distributed groundnut seeds provided by the Government23 to some farmers in each of these villages. Only a small number of farmers from El Kharta and El Geifil participated in this program, which was reflected by the few numbers of farmers in oursample who grew them. In Umm Ramad, groundnuts have been grown by farmers for many years. Eighty percent of farmers surveyed grew this crop (12 of 15). Twenty-two percent of the land cultivated in this village was in groundnuts. The importance of groundnuts in Umm Ramad can be partially explained by the more favorable environmental conditions to which it is exposed. This village receives more rainfall and has access to more clayey soils than either El Kharta or El Geifil. These conditions are favorable to groundnut production. For this reason, groundnuts are considered to be just as important to a farmer's cash earnings as sesame. This second cash crop gives farmers in this village more flexibility as far as cropping decisions are concerned. The opportunity to grow two cash crops as well as two subsistence crops (millet and sorghum) allows these farmers to plant several different combinations of crops. This added diversity makes farming in Umm Ramad more viable than farming in El Kharta or El Geifil. Farms with only a few crops are more vulnerable to environmental hazards like pests. Reliance on four crops instead of two increases the chances that one of the crops will succeed. Likewise, farmers with two cash crops are less vulnerable to yearly fluctuations in market prices than farmers who only grow one. For this reason, groundnuts are a very important crop to farmers in Umm Ramad. Aside from cash earnings, groundnuts also serve other functions as well. First, they are a source of food. Farmers often consume them raw, roasted or boiled as a snack between meals, or use them in soups and other main dishes. Second, groundnuts are sometimes used to produce an oil used in food preparation.24 Third, the leaves of groundnut plants are used as a 22Barbatee was the name farmers used for barbiton. 23This program was sponsored by the Ministry of Agriculture and the Office of Extension for Kordofan Province. 24Farmers in these three villages rarely use groundnuts to produce oil. They usually use sesame for this purpose.



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-40 should be done in conjunction with the introduction of an inexpensive, yet effective alternative to salt which controls for termites.38 Otherwise, farmers will continue applying salt to their fields despite its bad effects on the soil because termites are the more immediate problem. Labor Inputs Next to environmental conditions, labor is the most critical input in the farming system. This input usually determines the size of the area under cultivation and, thereby, the limits of a farmer's crop production. For this reason, understanding the role of labor in the farming system is essential. Labor is obtained from three sources. First, farmers use their own labor and the labor of their households. From the data presented earlier regarding productive members per household, this is the main source of labor for most farmers. Second, farmers will hire labor from within their own village. This labor source is especially important when time constraints are imposed on cropping activities. For instance, farmers who want to plant sesame after a rain must do so within three days.40 Often they hire laborers from the village to help in planting. Third, farmers will hire labor from outside their village. These laborers perform some or all the agricultural operations. Some farmers prefer outside laborers because they usually will work on a particular task until it is completed. Local laborers may not always do this because they have their own fields to take care of. Various combinations of these three sources of labor are often used, depending on the availability of the labor, the monetary resources of the farmer, and the time limitations imposed by the task. There are several types of labor arrangements. First, farmers may hire by piece work or the completion of a task for a given piece of land. The standard land unit is a mukhammas (1.73 feddans or 1.80 acres), and laborers will be paid for the number of these units they complete. For instance, a laborer will be hired to do the first weeding on a farmer's field. He will be paid a specified amount according to how many mukhammas he has weeded. Farmers usually pay by mukhammas for those operations for which time constraints are not that important. These sometimes include planting before rains (rameel), first and second weeding, and the cutting of millet and sorghum. In addition, outside labor is usually hired by mukhammas. The two reasons given by farmers for this practice are that: 1)-outside laborers usually work until the job is completed; and 2) less supervision of somewhat untrustworthy laborers is required than if they were paid by the time worked.41 38This could be another substance or a technique. 39Not all the data collected on labor have been fully analyzed, so they will not be presented in this report. This information will be addressed in detail in our final report. 40 Common rule of thumb among farmers in this area is that crops will successfully germinate if they are planted within three days after a rain. 41There is a general mistrust of outside laborers, because farmers believe that such laborers would attempt to take advantage of a time-based wage arrangement since it is to their benefit to take longer to complete the task.



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Abyyad (White Aswad (Black--Ahmar (Red)-Wad Umm Sedari (Son of Mother's Chest)----" Feriik a (Hand Rubbing Threshing) Abu Sinalta (Father of a Kind of Acacia) < Nachott z (Ripe) M 0 Wad Abu Khadraa n (Son of the Father of Green n Ahmar (Red) a a" Abvyad (White) O 0 Gelb el Jamal 0 (The Heart of the Camel rO Feriik (Hand Rubbing Threshing a Bakii (Always Crying)Wad el Fahil Ua (Sbn of a Sexually Potent a Male or Brave Man) Ma Aswad (Black a 09. Abu Dahrein (Father of Two Backs 0 Umm Tul o (Local Name 0 Tageil Abu Suf (Heavy with Hair Ahmar Gaduum et Tatil (Red) (Mouth of a Wild Goat 0 ta 0. 0 Wad el Gasari (Son of the Short People) t _/ Semin Safi (Pure Butter)0 ja Wad Aker (Son of Dirty Liquids Jinah el Gumri (Wing of the Gumri Bird) Anaga (Female Camel) Forr (Shoots Up) H Dar Meldi (Place of Meldi) SName Sojeib -(Local Name)



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-43 in accurately determining the labor costs of Door farmers who rely heavily on family labor, we opted to base these calculations on only those farmers who paid for all labor operations necessary to grow these crops. Although it is possible that these calculations slightly over-estimate the cost of labor for poor farmers, they provide a basis upon which to compare each of the crops grown. Table 14. Labor Expenditure Per Mukhammas by Crop Type of Crop Average Total Labor Costs Range millet 20.69 L.S. 14.00 L.S. -27.22 L.S. (n=10) sesame 20.50 L.S. 17.80 L.S. -24.65 L.S. (n=11) groundnuts 33.45 L.S. 27.41 L.S. -38.30 L.S. (n=7) sorghum 21.22 L.S. 18.33 L.S. -23.20 L.S. (n=4) The findings in Table 14 indicate that the average total labor cost per mukhammas to grow millet was about the same as it was for sesame and sorghum. Farmers were investing about 21 L.S. a mukhammas on labor when they grew any one of these crops. These findings made s-ense because the spacing pattern used by farmers in planting these crops is nearly the same, and therefore weeding costs would be similar. It also appears that threshing costs were not that much different. As for groundnuts, the average total labor cost per mukhammas was much higher than it was for the other crops. Farmers were spendT-ig 33.45 L.S. a mukhammas on labor for groundnuts. This was approximately 12.50 L.S. more than for the other crops. This high average labor expenditure is due to the closer planting of groundnuts than other crops, which means that planting takes more time and effort. Likewise, weeding groundnuts takes more time and effort. Therefore, the cash investment required to grow groundnuts was quite high when compared to the other crops, which could explain why farmers tended to plant smaller plots of this crop. The next step was to determine what the farmer gained in output from his labor investment in each crop. Therefore, the average output gained from each crop was calculated. The following discussion presents our findings on crop output. Crop Output To determine the average yield per mukhammas for each crop, we took the total number of sacks produced in a crop and divided by the number of mukhammas planted in that crop.



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-74 entails. In the first week of December, 1981, at Umm Ramad, a mid of millet brought 1,000 at merchants' shops while local sorghum brought 0.800 per mid. The prices of cash crops did not measure up. Groundnuts brought 0.200/mid, sesame 0.800/mid, and karkadee 0.200/rootl. Generally speaking, farmers do not like to sell millet, it being their preferred staple. But, for poorer households the high price is too enticing. In recent years, at Umm Ramad, groundnuts have been the main crop for meeting household expenses at the village store. If we assume that the daily cost of food for a household is 2.000, then last December it would take ten mids of groundnuts at Umm Ramad to purchase a family's daily needs. The same value of goods could be obtained for two mids of millet. Thus, a family may prefer to sell millet in small quantities when its price is high as needed for consumption while saving groundnuts in anticipation that the price will rise. This strategy was even more attractive this season when the price of groundnuts failed to rise early and dramatically as had happened the season before. Selling millet for consumption needs also makes sense because feterita is the main substitute for the more expensive millet. At Umm Ramad, at the same time that millet was being sold to village merchants for 1.000/ mid, feterita could be bought from el-Obeid market for 0.085/mid and it would become less expensive during the next few months. The locally produced millet and sorghum that village merchants buy from their neighbors are saved for consumption by the merchant's own household.86 Any surplus is stored and sold during the year to anyone who wants millet or zunaari for food or as seed for planting. Another marketing channel for locally-produced millet and sorghum is seen in the merchants' sale of these crops to flour mills in el-Obeid after arrangements are made with the mill owner. The mill owner is anxious to acquire millet or sorghum in this manner because the local crop does not carry the very high tax (4.650/sack) assessed on cereals shipped from Habila or Kosti. However, the government prohibits this type of sale, so, to disguise his purchases of sorghum and millet the village merchant may ask several small agents to buy for him in the periodic market. The agents (called kayyaal) are paid for the millet or sorghum which they have purchased at the going market price plus a small commission for each sack that they collect. The second marketing system of cereal grains in the rural areas is distribution of sorghum, almost exclusively feterita which is grown on the rainfed mechanized schemes at Habila. Village merchants buy feterita in bulk and sell it to farmers by the mid or by the sack. Normally, the merchant's strategy is to stockpile feterita at his shop during the months when its price is low, January until June. He begins selling feterita to villagers during the dry season and continues doing so during the rainy season when farmer's stocks of grain are depleted. The price that he will 86Because of this the merchant is often able to eat millet and local sorghum throughout the year even though he does not plant an amount sufficient for his needs. Zunaari abyad, a local sorghum, is white and is preferred over the red feterita for that reason.



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-141 Name: Date: Village: 3. Do you or any other member in the household own any of the following business enterprises? (Write in number if more than one.) flour mill camel for transport bakery oil press canteen cart (karo) tea shop well restaurant pump scheme truck (lorry) cistern 4. What is the size of your cultivated landholding? makhamas 5. How many makhamas do you have in each of the following? Seed requirements: sesame _ sorghum groundnuts gum trees millet fallow 6. How much land did you rent-in this year? makhamas 7. How much land did you rent-out this year? makhamas 8. During the last five years did you receive gifaar land? (Explain) (Any other member of the household) 9. During the last five years did you purchase land from another villager? Date Amount of land makhamas Price 10. In addition to your landholding, does any other member in the household own or operate their own private land? Who are these members? 11. How large is their landholding? 1) makh. 2) makh. 3) makh. 4) makh. 5) makh. 6) makh. 7) makh. 12. How many makhamas do they have in each of the following? 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 sesame groundnuts millet sorghum gum trees fallow