Gum Arabic trade in decline

‘Gum Arabic: Government responsible for failure’

23 Feb. 2007 (Juba Post)

The government is directly responsible for the problems of marketing Gum Arabic says the Acting General Director of Gum Arabic Company Abdullah Mohammed Ali. He added that no benefits accrue to the Company since 1994.

Abdallah made these remarks during a workshop organized by the Company. Abdullah said that the government rather than the Company should be responsible for the supply of  basic services in the production areas.

He added that the Company had until 1994 achieved a great part of the objectives for which it has been established. He went on to say that the company is a private company; and the government only has 28.9% of the Company's stocks. He added that the company was not against the Unions and Cooperative Societies, rather they support the actual producers.

Regarding marketing outside the country, he said that the political situation in the country has negatively affected the production and trading of Gum Arabic. He adds that “ many fees and taxes, which reaches up to (59) fees which go by different names, drop in local consumption and reduction of foreign consumption from 60,000 to 35,000 tons has also affected the Gum Arabic trade”. He added that Chad, Nigeria, Ethiopia and Eritrea, to which acacia is smuggled from Sudan, also poses serious competition to our Gum Arabic market.

Meanwhile Dr. Hassan Ibrahim Ali, Executive Director of the Company has called for the establishment of a Council of Gum Arabic similar to the  Oil Palms Council in Malaysia. He pointed out that Sudan produces about 80% of the International Gum Arabic production.

He adds that Gum Arabic is a strategic crop which could be stored for more than 20 years.Kabashi Anur, Gum Arabic producer from Abujubeha; South Kordofan, said that there are no clear policies in dealing with this commodity. He adds that as producers they suffer more from this lack of clear policies than any other categories involved in the Gum Arabic trade. He pointed out that they pay taxes, “Zakat” and other fees, but do not receive any services in return. "I have paid to the National Corporation of Forestry 83.2 million pounds in one year," said Kabashi.


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