Revitalizing the Sudan Gum Arabic Production and Marketing Project
The project’s main goal is to increase small-scale gum arabic farmers’ production and income by strengthening their abilities and improving market systems.
The Sudan is the world’s largest exporter of raw gum and holds the monopoly on the global market. The livelihoods of one million poor families in Sudan depend on gum arabic. However, processing the gum attracts high taxes and producers are constrained by limited access to market information or credit.
Recognizing the shortcomings of the sector, various stakeholders, including the government are keen to reform gum arabic marketing with the goal of reducing poverty by increasing smallholders’ revenue.
Reform is possible in the wake of the government’s recent decision to decontrol gum arabic exports and to abolish the Gum Arabic Company’s exclusive concession to export raw gum. The project will develop proposals for an alternative tax system, propose incentive packages for gum processors and exporters, and improve the bargaining position of producers’ associations.
The small-scale producers involved in the project are those who work in the traditional rainfed sector. They have between 25 and 50 feddan of acacia trees in selected areas of the gum belt, and they are organised into Gum Arabic Producers’ Associations. About 125 of these associations from the North Kordofan State, South Kordofan State, the White Nile State, Sennar State, and Blue Nile State will participate in the project.
Farmers will be able to increase their income through higher farm-gate prices; they will increase production through the expansion of gum arabic tree areas and land converted to forest; and they will benefit from the increased vegetative cover over the long-term.
The project aims to increase gum arabic export production from 20,000 tons in 2007 to 30,000 tons by 2015 which would led to an estimated increase in revenue from US$61 million to US$96 million.
15 September 2009
2009 - 2014
Total Project Cost
US$ 10.88 million
US$ 3 million
Sudan Multi-Donor Trust Fund US$ 7 million