SUDAN— The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and the African Development Bank (AfDB) have reported a staggering 70% increase in wheat production in Sudan over the past year.

This remarkable surge, made possible by the AfDB-financed Sudan Emergency Wheat Production Project, holds the potential to significantly alleviate the country’s ongoing humanitarian crisis.

Sudan is teetering on the edge of becoming the world’s largest hunger crisis, with WFP estimating that over 2 million people are at high risk of falling into IPC 5 (Catastrophe/Famine) in more than 40 hunger hotspots, underscoring the urgent need for humanitarian assistance.

However, the US$75 million project, a testament to the impactful work of the African Development Bank and the World Food Programme, has been celebrated for being pivotal in ensuring food security during this critical period.

According to the report, the country produced 645,000 metric tonnes of wheat this year, providing crucial support to Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), with more than 30% of beneficiaries in the Northern State being IDPs.

The 645,000 metric tonnes of wheat yield met 22% of Sudan’s total wheat consumption needs, with farmers reporting an average 44% increase in productivity per hectare compared to the previous season.

This wheat production project became the heart of production at a critical moment in Sudan. Anchored on earlier game-changing wheat projects, it provided both short-term emergency and humanitarian relief and contributed to long-term resilience building,”said Ms. Mary Monyau, AfDB’s Country Manager for Sudan.

“We are grateful to our development partner, the World Food Programme, for implementing this project and achieving positive outcomes in at least five states, including Gezira, Kassala, River Nile, White Nile, and Northern states, even amidst active conflict,”she added.

On his part, Mr. Eddie Rowe from WFP highlighted the devastating impact of the ongoing conflict on Sudan’s agriculture, noting that the country produced only half the wheat it would in a typical year.

Thanks to funding from the African Development Bank, we were able to mitigate some of the impacts of this war on wheat production,” Rowe stated.

The project’s distribution of climate-adapted wheat seeds and fertilizers to over 170,000 smallholder farmers in the 2023-2024 agricultural season had a significant impact.

It covered both stable northern and eastern regions and conflict-affected areas like Gezira and White Nile states.

Notably, around 16,000 newly displaced farmers received support, helping them rebuild their livelihoods. Additionally, 12 harvester machines were provided to farmers’ associations in the River Nile and Northern states to improve harvesting efficiency and reduce losses.

The African Development Bank’s investment in Sudan’s agricultural productivity is crucial to increasing crop yields and food availability amid ongoing violence and hunger.

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