Sample Essay on Wheat Farming Project in Sudan

Wheat Farming Project in Sudan


The Middle East is always considered a blessed region. It is rich in hydrocarbons and mineral wealth. Despite this, the Arab region is a water-scarce area and an arid region. It has socio-economic challenges and population problems. In the Middle East, it is very challenging to cultivate food crops. This is mainly contributed by scarcity of water supply and limited arable land. Middle East is susceptible to variations in global product demand. The cause is overreliance on imported food. Due to this reason, I propose to carry out wheat farming project in Sudan since it has favorable land conditions for wheat production. For instance, Sudan is an enormous nation. It has great productive lands in a region of 238 million ha of land. Out of this, about 75- 84 million ha of land are estimates of arable area range. The agriculture area has sub-sectors that include modern irrigated area, the traditional and the rain-fed mechanized subsector. Principal crops in the Sudan are food crops that include wheat, sorghum, and millet. Cash crops include groundnuts and sugar. The project proposed would therefore; focus mostly on wheat production specifically in Gezira scheme since it is the largest system in the Sudan. Gezira scheme is a major contribution to the Sudan economy. The scheme constitutes about sixty percent of Sudan’s wheat production (Sudan Gezira Board, 3).


Previous methodologies to encouraging wheat production in Sub-Sahara Africa have been criticized for having a narrow focus on technical issues such as increasing grain yields (Morris and Byerlee, 23). In this project, the project manager seeks a balanced empirical perspective. As the first step, the assessment of biophysical suitability addresses the question of the areas and the agro-ecological zones that are suitable for wheat production. Secondly, the project manager will evaluate the economic profitability of wheat production by estimating net financial returns to domestic resources with international prices (P=I-E). Using international prices will allow project manager to gauge the price competitiveness of domestic wheat production with wheat imports.

The hypotheses

  • There is relationship between geographic areas that are biophysically suitable for rain-fed wheat production;
  • There is an association in the evaluating the economic profitability of growing wheat using international prices as a comparison.

Trends in consumption

As production of wheat is several times more important in North Africa than in sub-Saharan Africa, so is wheat consumption. Globally, average annual consumption of wheat is highest in North African and Central Asian countries with over 200 kg/capita/year. The Eastern Europe, Russia, West Asia, and high-income countries (Western Europe and North America) follow. Both the Eastern Europe, Russia, has a higher consumption of wheat if total consumption (aggregate demand) is considered, but not if use is defined as solely for food. By comparison considering the importance of other starchy staples in the diet of Africans south of the Sahara, the current average annual consumption of wheat is 30 kg/capita/year in eastern and southern Africa. On the other hand, it is only 18 kg/capita/ year in western and central Africa. Nonetheless, two aspects of this situation are of particular policy relevance. The first is that, as we have seen, there is very little wheat produced in SSA, and thus there is a tremendous reliance on imports to meet consumption needs. A second aspect is the rising growth rates in wheat consumption. In developing economies worldwide, consumers are buying more convenient and processed products, reflecting urbanization, rising household incomes, and increasing opportunity costs of labor (Meng, Lyons and Peña, 19).

Where do Arab region gets cereals/wheat

According to a report produced in the 2009 by the United Nations Food, the International Fund for Agricultural Development, (FAO) and the World Bank explicitly demonstrated that Arab countries are the main importers of cereal (wheat) in the world, around fifty percent of the food calories consumed which majorly consist of wheat.” Other countries such as Egypt, Syria, or Iraq initially were the breadbaskets in the past. Nevertheless, their agricultural sectors have faced many challenges. These are effects of government negligence, value inflations, and underinvestment. As a matter of facts, nations in the Arab world import wheat, with exceptions of Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, and Oman, which rely on imports for grains.

Land needed for large-scale wheat production

In general, the link between economic efficiency and wheat farm size in Sudan is partly motivated by the increasing pressure on agricultural land that arises from increasing population and high external demand as well as the persistence of large neighborhood populations despite increasing urbanization. The arable land is therefore under pressure from other sources such as climate change that aggravates the already diminished fallow periods due to fragmentation in the more populous and high fertile potential regions. The need for efficient in land use by both natives and non-natives brings the large wheat farms into great prominence. The project therefore addresses an important question of whether or not there are significant economic efficiency differences between large-scale farms and smallholder units that are the most likely to predominate in the future as the different pressures mount on the land resource. Due to the fact that 0.085 tons of wheat is produced in 1ha. This means that 42m tons of wheat imported from the world will require approximately 495m ha (42m/0.085). Out of this, Sudan can only produce 84m ha of land which within the range of Arabs. This means that 7.2m tons of wheat would be produced.

Acquisition of land in Sudan

Traditionally wheat consumption has been confined to the northern part of the Sudan. The consumption of wheat has risen significantly as a result of urbanizations, variation in consumer habits, increased purchaser subsidies and the population increase and income growth. (Afflholder, 7). Availability of water resources has further led to the expansion in wheat cultivated area. Another factor is the first increase in wheat production. This followed the 1966 building of Roseres Dam. The development enabled wheat to develop in a region of 496800 and 109999 ha and in Gezira respectively. Gezera in specific is made up of the biggest wheat producing region, which is approximated to be more than 0.5 million hectares. This is 0.4 less the total wheat region in the entire Sudan in 1993 –1994. The region was closely followed by the Northern State, which is more than 150 thousand ha. However, the proportion of other generated areas is relatively small, (FAO, 6). Comprehensive wheat cultivation in the Gezira scheme began because of the import substitution policy. The cultivated region in the season 1980/81 was about 150 thousand ha. This produced a mean produce of 0.085 tons per ha (FAO, 6). In order to increase the production of wheat and improve the yield and quality, great achievements have been realized in new breeding varieties of wheat by the researchers from the Agricultural Research Corporation. The findings from the research made it appropriate for development of the production in the Gezira scheme. Conversely, all these efforts confronted numerous problems such as irrigation bottlenecks problem, poor profitability, scarcity of supply of seeds, inadequate knowledge of the Decomposing and availability to new inputs and practices. (Lambin, 13). Gezira scheme production improved from 1987/88 to season 1991/1992. The total area then sown  was about 532,000 ha, which encouraged by embracing  of self-sufficiency  food policy. Moreover, the cultivated area began to reduce as from 1995/96. This continued until 2002 attaining 80,000 ha.

Demand for wheat

The Arab countries make up only five percent of the world’s population. However, they take in more than twenty percent of the best grain exports. Hence, Imports in the region have escalated from thirty million tons in 1990 to 70 million tons in 2011. It has been observed that imported food accounts for approximately sixty percent of the Arab region wheat consumption. With water scarcity and limitation of arable land, production keeps on stagnating, and the price of food is perceived to go on rising.  This implies that 60% of 70m tons of grains are wheat, which is equivalent to 42m tons of wheat imported from the world, if in 1980, the demand was 7.2m tons of wheat according to FAO, (12).

Cost implication in rice production in Sudan

The Sudan wheat circumstances are characterized by high consumption, flanked by both domestic and international demand and limited production. In spite of the research, confirmed production potential of wheat has been far lower than the requirements for local and global use. Increased demand of imported wheat complicates the need to review the use of technology in wheat production. Wheat is mostly grown through irrigation for the duration of the dry moderately cooler seasons, which always reaches November to February. This season is always short and stressed with heat. The potential of the product is restricted by the high daytime temperatures. The condition prevails both during early periods of growth and at maturity in February/March. Other constrictions to this production apart from climatic conditions incorporate economic glitches for provision of the required input. The total contribution of the local production to the total consumption has reduced from thirty-nine percent in 1980/81 to seventeen percent in (2001/02). This has occurred due to reduced production which has been caused by growing shift of consumer preferences of wheat. The total production levels show periodic variation due to oscillations of the crop region and production realized. The average yield, which can be achieved in the Gezira and Northern Province, is little and was mainly contributed to poor crop establishment. Poor land management, inadequate cultural practices, and unsatisfactory plant protection measures bring this. High temperatures are felt in the early stages of plant growth and at maturity also contributed to the same.


Project Life Cycle Overview

The project management life cycle is constituted of five process groups normally called phases..

Initiation of the Project

During the start of the project, a document that outlines the wheat production is created after which a project feasibility report is completed. Before any prospect investor can plan to invest much time in the project, one must check whether the project is feasible. The feasibility of the project shows whether one is able to finish the project or process with the existing resources. Once one has assessed that the project is feasible, the project manager together with the team are assigned the project. Project scope will then be determined by outlining what must be done, how it is done, and why it needs to be done. Afterwards, a project charter is created that demonstrates the project manager of the proposed project, the project’s extent, and the project’s vital triumph factors.

Planning the Project (Phase II)

It is the second phase of the project. It consists of some stages such as reviewing the project scope and revises the scope declaration. It is done precisely to guarantee that the project extent can be realistically completed, is specific, and measurable. It also involves the complete project decomposition, which leads to the project breakdown structure.

Project decomposition concerns breaking the project into its smaller parts for example Milestones, tasks, among others, and the structure depicts these elements in a hierarchical structure.

Project Execution (phase III)

            It is the third phase of any project. The project management life-cycle phase of implementation starts once team members primarily begin to work on the duties that the project manager has assigned to them. During the period, if a product is being produced, the product is generated. In project execution phase, the some tasks are completed for example time management, cost management, Quality management, Change management, Issue management.

Life Cycle Phase IV

Project control occasionally happens nearby with project execution. Project controls often concern checking the project for various risks and try to keep those risks controlled. It also encompasses minimizing the changes in the project. Project administration often mistakenly is linked with project execution functions, though it is important not to do so. Often, during the control phase, managers tend to find that particular risks/problems compel them to check phase II – planning. It is since some risks/issues – which happen and were unanticipated, may influence the project’s incompletion, as planned.

Life Cycle Phase V

Project conclusion constitutes one of the phases, that is most oft-overlooked stages of the projects management cycle and it is no less vital than any other chapter of the project life cycle.

Market for wheat from Sudan

The Arab nations are encountering price spikes on world food markets. It is due to competition for the same food products (wheat) from the other areas of the world, especially Asia, where people’s incomes are rising, and demand for more and better calories is exploding (ICARDA, Para 3). Apart from giving a threat to the well-being of those who are living on meagre resources, the prices in fluctuation have increased the number of poverty-stricken by millions in less-affluent Middle East nations. To worsen matters for the food supply problem, world markets have experienced severe disruptions in the past years from phenomenon such as storms, floods, and droughts mainly from Russia to Argentina to Australia (ICARDA, Para 7). These natural phenomena have disrupted the global market mechanisms that control the international food trade. Prices for basic food staples are already at socially dangerous levels, approaching or exceeding their 2008 peaks.

Why Farming Project in Sudan

In general, Saudi Arabia has few areas where there is little farming without irrigation. A practice relies almost entirely on fossil aquifers. The desalted water from the sea used by Saudi Arabia to meet the ever-increasing water demand in cities is very costly for irrigation use. Saudi Arabia’s growing food insecurity has led it to purchase or lease arable land in different states, including world’s hungriest nations Ethiopia and Sudan. In fact, the Saudis, therefore, is  planning to engage in the production of food for subsistence with the water and leased land resources of other countries to meet rising food demand of its rapidly growing population.

Quantity of wheat produced

Due to fast growing populations and an ever-increasing pressure on water resources, the Arab region leaders must act immediately to avoid the looming food crisis. The most recent World Bank report found significant inefficiencies in many Arab ports and the means that Arab countries use to keep grain as compared with other large wheat importers that include Netherlands and South Korea countries. Port facilities, slow customs service and inadequate transportation means from the ports to the mills contribute to the undesired food situation. Arab states are going to be sole importers of food no matter what. Therefore, they should improve their port and storage facilities and work in managing import risks. Due to the fact that in order to meet the demand of wheat in Arab countries, then 495m ha of land is needed. However, Sudan has only 75-84m ha of land within Arab regions. This indicates that the much of wheat from Sudan will be 84m ha times 0.085 tons of wheat, which is equivalent to 7.1 tons of wheat.

Mathematical models applications, tables, Graphs and forecasting model

Sudan can produce 6800 tons of wheat in 2001/2 and sell 1156 to Arab countries operating in Sudan. On the other hand, Wheat produce in Sudan is 12750 in 1980 and sell 3825 tons of wheat in Arab regions. What can be done?

Finding the opportunity cost for each of the production choices. Opportunity cost for Sudan to produce 6800 tons of wheat in 2001/2 is that it gives up the opportunity to sell 1156 to Arab countries operating in Sudan. Opportunity cost of every production is 1156/6800 wheat. On the negative side, the opportunity cost for Sudan to sell 1156 to Arab countries operating in Sudan is that it forego producing 6800 tons of wheat. This cost of every production is 6800/1156 wheat. We can display this mathematically:

6800 tons of wheat produced = 1156 tons of wheat sold

Solving for Sudan opportunity cost of each wheat it produce:

1 wheat = 1156/6800 wheat               = 17/100 wheat

Solving for Sudan opportunity cost of each it sold:

1 wheat = 6800/1156 wheat               = 100/17 wheat

Wheat produced and sold in Arab regions opportunity costs are somewhat dissimilar:

Solving for Sudan opportunity cost of each wheat it produce:

1 wheat = 3825/12750 wheat               = 3/10 wheat

Solving for Sudan opportunity cost of each it sold:

1 wheat = 12750/3825 wheat               = 10/3 wheat

Sudan’s opportunity of producing wheat has the inferior opportunity cost of selling to Arabs operating in Sudan. It give up only 17/100 wheat for each sold while producing in Sudan and selling to Arab regions must give up 3 wheat for each sold. Sudan’s opportunity of producing wheat have the inferior opportunity cost of wheat (3/10 for each wheat versus your 17/100 wheat for each sold). Again, we inquire what do we act?

Let us say whether to produce and sell to Arab operating in Sudan or produce in Sudan and sell in Arabs region has not been deliberated at first. Each evenly splitting time between produce and sell to Arab operating in Sudan or produce in Sudan and sell in Arabs region. Sudan can produce 3400 tons of wheat in 2001/2 and sell 578 to Arab countries operating in Sudan. On the other hand, Wheat produce in Sudan is 6375 in 1980 and sell 1912.5 tons of wheat in Arab regions.

Since producing and selling to Arab operating in Sudan is assumed to be the best alternative, It gets the intelligent idea that if it shifts some of its time to producing one more wheat and producing in Sudan and selling in Arabs region shift some of its time to producing two more wheat in order for both be improved. To produce one more, producing and selling to Arab operating in Sudan reduce its supply of wheat by 100/17. To produce two more wheat, producing in Sudan and selling in Arabs region reduce its supply of wheat by three. The total supply of wheat produced rises by 1/2 while total supply of wheat sold remains the same.

This logic can be shown in Table below that the whole supply and use of wheat is greatest when specialization is made where Sudan can produce wheat and sells to other Arabs regions since it boost the trading. Both have an inducement to concentrate and trade. Trade rises total affluence by allowing an individual to focus on those products that he/she produces at an inferior opportunity cost compared to others and trade for those products that others create at inferior opportunity cost. Nevertheless, how do we in truth identify what paid work to specialize in? Simply by what returns the most for the training effort and ability. Individuals seek out employment that they are competent to perform in and that pay the maximum wage/salary. Market prices (wages) disclose which of the personal skills that highly valued.

Table. Production and Consumption on Island
  Producing and selling

To Arabs in Sudan

Producing in Sudan and

Selling to other Arabs region

Total production
and consumption
prior to Specialization and earlier than Trade
Wheat produced 3400 6375 9775
Wheat sold 578 1912-½ 2550-½
subsequent to Specialization, prior to Trade
Wheat produced 0 12750 12750
Wheat sold 1156 0 1156
After Specialization and After Trade
Wheat produced 3400-½ 6375-½ 9776
Wheat sold 578-¼ 1912-¾ 2491


Forecasting is the process of making prediction of the upcoming base on earlier period and present data and analysis of trend. Prediction is analogous, but more general term. Some of the commonly used forecasting models include exponential smoothing, winters smoothing, Box-Jenkins ARIMA, predictor variable, and time trend among others. Hence, forecasting for seasonal series applies as a model and is as shown below

Season Cycle Demand Season Cycle Demand
Q1 2015 3.1M Q1 2015 4.2M
Q2 2016 3.7M Q2 2016 3.6M
Q3 2017 4.2M Q3 2017 4.1M
Q4 2018 3.1M Q4 2018 4.8M
Q5 2019 2.9M Q5 2019 4.5M


Expected demand Q1, 03= (3.1+4.2)/2=3.65M

Expected demand Q2, 03= (3.7+3.6)/2=3.65M

Expected demand Q3, 03= (4.2+4.1)/2=4.15M

Expected demand Q4, 03= (3.1+4.8)/2=3.95SM

Expected demand Q5, 03= (2.9+4.5)/2=3.7M

Overall average demand: ∑Di/10=1.91M


Unfortunately, converting agricultural land from subsistence farming system to export crops has led to even more food deficiencies. By attempting to ensure food supply by acquiring foreign farm holdings, wealthy nations are creating new food deficiencies in other parts of the world. Due to reduced flows of the Euphrates and Tigris Rivers, Iraq and Syria’s wheat harvests in Arab regions have been hit very badly. Because of the future uncertainty of river water supplies, farmers in both countries are drilling and over-pumping more wells for irrigation. For instance, Syria’s wheat harvest has fallen by one-fifth since peaking at roughly seven million tons in 2001. In Iraq, the wheat harvest has declined by one-fourth since peaking at 4.5 million tons in 2002. In Jordan, six millions of people, is risking in growing grains. For example forty or so years ago, it used to produce over 300,000 tons of grain per year. The situation today it produces only 60,000 tons and thus must import over 90 percent of its food.


In this project, wheat in the Gezira scheme was chosen as an example of the feasibility study. It was used to help investigate and measure wheat crop productivity change by examining the production technology of this wheat in large scale over time in Sudan. The input-based Malmquist (TFP) index will be employed to assist in decomposing wheat crop productivity index into two components. One of the components is to measure change inefficiency, and the other will measure technical change that will be equivalent to change in the frontier technology. Secondary data will include detailed cost items of wheat per ha, deflated by a producer price index based the year 1980.



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