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.
This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
M.E.N.T. Ahmed (1999) The 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
D.M.W. Anderson (1993) ArticleTitleSome factors influencing the demand for gum arabic (Acacia senegal L Willd) and other water-soluble tree exudates Forest Ecol. Manage. 58 1–18
K.H. Badi A.E.H. Ahmed A.A.M.S. Bayoumi (1989) The Forests of the Sudan Agricultural Research Council KhartoumSudan 184
E.B. Barbier (2000) ArticleTitleThe economic linkages between rural poverty and land degradation: some evidence from Africa Agric. Ecosyst. Environ. 82 355–370
F. Bernhard-Reversat (1982) ArticleTitleBiogeochemical cycle of nitrogen in a semi-arid savanna Oikos 38 321–332
B.N. Chikamai (1996) A 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
J.D. Deans O. Diagne D.K. Lindley M. Dione J.A. Parkinson (1999) ArticleTitleNutrient and organic-matter accumulation in Acacia senegal fallows over 18 years Forest Ecol. Manage. 124 153–167
M.D. El Khalifa M.O.E. Sammani H.O. Abdel Nour D.W. Pearce E.B. Barbier A. Markandya J.C. Burgees (1989) Gum 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
El Tahir B.A., Madibo G.M., El Wakeel A.S. and El Hag F.M.A. 2004. Influence of Acacia senegal A.seyal A. tortillis on some properties of sandy soil in North Kordofan StateSudan, Vol. 12. University of Khartoum Agricultural Science127–141.
M.S. Freudenberger (1993) Regenerating the gum Arabic economy: local-level resource management in northern Senegal J. Friedman H. Rangan (Eds) In Defense of Livelihood: Comparative Studies on Environmental Action Kumarian Press West HartfordUSA 231, 52–78
P.A. Gerakis C.Z. Tsangarakis (1970) ArticleTitleThe influence of Acacia senegal on the fertility of a sand sheet (“Goz”) soil in the central Sudan Plant and Soil 33 81–86 Occurrence Handle10.1007/BF01378198
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.
A. Jamal L. Huntsinger (1993) ArticleTitleDeterioration of a sustainable agro-silvo-pastoral system in the Sudan – the gum gardens of Kordofan Agroforest. Syst. 23 23–38 Occurrence Handle10.1007/BF00704849
B.A. Larson D.W. Bromley (1991) ArticleTitleNatural resource prices, export policies, and deforestation: the case of Sudan World Develop. 19 1289–1297
M. Lemenih T. Abebe M. Olsson (2003) ArticleTitleGum and resin resources from some AcaciaBoswellia and Commophora species and their economic contribution in Liban, Southeast Ethiopia J. Arid Environ. 5 465–482
F.A. Mohie el Deen (1991) ArticleTitleThe use of GIS, GPS and satellite remote sensing to map woody vegetation in Kazgail areaSudan ITC J. 1 3–10
L. Olsson (1993) ArticleTitleOn the causes of famine-droughtdesertification and market failure in the Sudan Ambio 22 395–403
L. Olsson J. Ardö (2002) ArticleTitleSoil carbon sequestration in degraded semiarid agro-ecosystems – perils and potentials Ambio 31 471–477 Occurrence Handle12436845
D. Pearce (1988) ArticleTitleNatural resource management and anti-desertification policy in the Sahel-Sudan zone: a case study of gum arabic GeoJournal 17 349–355 Occurrence Handle10.1007/BF00181046
A.G. Seif el Din M. Zarroug (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
US Federal Register 1997. Executive Order 13067 – Blocking Sudanese Government Property and Prohibiting Transactions With Sudan. 3195-01-P. 62: 59987–59990.
About this article
Cite this article
Elmqvist, B., Olsson, L., Mirghani Elamin, E. et al. A traditional agroforestry system under threat: an analysis of the gum arabic market and cultivation in the Sudan. Agroforest Syst 64, 211–218 (2005). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10457-004-2371-3