A traditional agroforestry system under threat: an analysis of the gum arabic market and cultivation in the Sudan Article Received: 22 April 2003 Accepted: 22 August 2004 DOI:
Cite this article as: Elmqvist, B., Olsson, L., Mirghani Elamin, E. et al. Agroforest Syst (2005) 64: 211. doi:10.1007/s10457-004-2371-3 Abstract
The main aim of this study is to review the environmental and socioeconomic sustainability of the gum arabic farming system in central Sudan. A further aim is to analyse some of the main factors influencing production in recent decades in order to understand the future trade potential and consequently the smallholder livelihood. The study shows that end-user imports of gum arabic have increased during recent decades. Gum arabic is mainly for uses such as soft drinks, confectionary, and pharmaceuticals. However, even with this increased demand the production in Sudan, the main country of production, is declining. The producers, mainly smallholders, suffer from fluctuating prices. If the gum arabic farming system should be able to provide the environmental benefits of improved soil fertility and the socioeconomic benefits of risk spreading and dry season income opportunities, the prices paid to smallholders must be stabilized at a fair level, otherwise a shift to other crops or practices might take place.
Keywords Acacia senegal Crop prices International market Kordofan Sahel References
Ahmed, M.E.N.T. 1999The Socio-economic Role of Acacia senegal in Sustainable Development of Rural Areas in the Gum Belt of the Sudan Technical University of Dresden Germany 277 Google Scholar
Anderson, D.M.W. 1993 Some factors influencing the demand for gum arabic ( Acacia senegal L Willd) and other water-soluble tree exudates Forest Ecol. Manage. 58 1 18 Google Scholar
Badi, K.H., Ahmed, A.E.H., Bayoumi, A.A.M.S. 1989The Forests of the Sudan Agricultural Research Council KhartoumSudan 184 Google Scholar
Barbier, E.B. 2000 The economic linkages between rural poverty and land degradation: some evidence from Africa Agric. Ecosyst. Environ. 82 355 370 Google Scholar
Bernhard-Reversat, F. 1982 Biogeochemical cycle of nitrogen in a semi-arid savanna Oikos 38 321 332 Google Scholar
Chikamai, B.N. 1996A Review of Production, Markets and Quality Control of Gum Arabic, Technical co-operation programme (project no. TCP/RAF/4557) Food and Agricultural Organization RomeItaly 169 Google Scholar
Deans, J.D., Diagne, O., Lindley, D.K., Dione, M., Parkinson, J.A. 1999 Nutrient and organic-matter accumulation in Acacia senegal fallows over 18 years Forest Ecol. Manage. 124 153 167 Google Scholar
El Khalifa, M.D., Sammani, M.O.E., Abdel Nour, H.O., Pearce, D.W., Barbier, E.B., Markandya, A., Burgees, J.C. 1989Gum Arabic Rehabilitation in the Republic of the Sudan, Vol. 3: Literature Review The Republic of the Sudan; International Institute for Environment and Development & Institute of Environmental Studies Khartoum 38 Google Scholar
El Tahir B.A., Madibo G.M., El Wakeel A.S. and El Hag F.M.A. 2004. Influence of
A. tortillis on some properties of sandy soil in North Kordofan StateSudan, Vol. 12. University of Khartoum Agricultural Science127–141.
Freudenberger, M.S. 1993 Regenerating the gum Arabic economy: local-level resource management in northern Senegal Friedman, J. Rangan, H. eds. In Defense of Livelihood: Comparative Studies on Environmental Action Kumarian Press West HartfordUSA 231, 52–78 Google Scholar
Gerakis, P.A., Tsangarakis, C.Z. 1970 The influence of Acacia senegal on the fertility of a sand sheet (“Goz”) soil in the central Sudan Plant and Soil 33 81 86 CrossRef Google Scholar
Ibrahim A.M. and Osman M.E. 2001. Report of the meeting of the network for natural gums and resins in Africa (NGARA). In: Chikamai B.N., Mbiru S.S. and Casadei E. (eds) Gums and Resins production in Sudan. Kenya College of Communications Technology, Nairobipp. 43–49.
Jamal, A., Huntsinger, L. 1993 Deterioration of a sustainable agro-silvo-pastoral system in the Sudan – the gum gardens of Kordofan Agroforest. Syst. 23 23 38 CrossRef Google Scholar
Larson, B.A., Bromley, D.W. 1991 Natural resource prices, export policies, and deforestation: the case of Sudan World Develop. 19 1289 1297 Google Scholar
Lemenih, M., Abebe, T., Olsson, M. 2003 Gum and resin resources from some AcaciaBoswellia and Commophora species and their economic contribution in Liban, Southeast Ethiopia J. Arid Environ. 5 465 482 Google Scholar
Mohie el Deen, F.A. 1991 The use of GIS, GPS and satellite remote sensing to map woody vegetation in Kazgail areaSudan ITC J. 1 3 10 Google Scholar
Olsson, L. 1993 On the causes of famine-droughtdesertification and market failure in the Sudan Ambio 22 395 403 Google Scholar
Olsson, L., Ardö, J. 2002 Soil carbon sequestration in degraded semiarid agro-ecosystems – perils and potentials Ambio 31 471 477 PubMed Google Scholar
Pearce, D. 1988 Natural resource management and anti-desertification policy in the Sahel-Sudan zone: a case study of gum arabic GeoJournal 17 349 355 CrossRef Google Scholar
Seif el Din, A.G., Zarroug, M. 1996 Production and commercialization of gum arabic in Sudan FAO, eds. Report of the International Expert Consultation on Non-Wood Forest Products: YogyakartaIndonesia17–27 January 1995 Food and Agricultural Organization RomeItaly 465 Google Scholar
US Federal Register 1997. Executive Order 13067 – Blocking Sudanese Government Property and Prohibiting Transactions With Sudan. 3195-01-P. 62: 59987–59990.