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Sudan is the largest country in Africa, covering about 2.5 million kilometers. The population is estimated at 17 million and growing at about 2.5 percent per year, per capita income for 1976/77 was U.S. $290. Much of the country is sparsely populated. Sudan has about 85 million feddans of arable land, 240 million feddans of grazing and 60 million feddans of forest. Of the total cropped area only about 4 million feddans are artificially irrigated while the rest of the area is under dry farming. The proximity of the Sudan to oil rich Middle East countries places it in a favorable position for agricultural exports. Agriculture holds a pivotal position amongst the different sectors of the economy. It contributes nearly 40 percent of GDP, while over 80 percent of the population depends for their subsistence on agriculture and related activities. Agriculture is a major source of exportable commodities, accounting for over 90 percent of the country's foreign exchange earnings. Also over 50 percent of the government revenue comes from agriculture and besides that agriculture supplies over 90 percent of the raw material entering the local industries. The objectives of this study are: 1) To provide a descriptive analysis of the public and private sector mechanized farming in the Central Rainlands, including the historical development and present status of mechanized farming; 2) To identify and measure the effect of the mechanization potentials on farm output, income and employment; 3) To compare the financial and economic costs and benefits of mechanization in the Central Rainlands; 4) To analyze the impact of mechanized farming on farm income distribution in the Central Rainlands; and 5) To derive policy implications and programs for the development of the Central Rainlands.


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