The Acacia Senegal tree grows in Sudan’s North Kordofan State and produces a resin known as gum arabic--a major ingredient in paint, glue, cosmetics, and many other products used everyday all over the world. Sudan is one of the world’s biggest producers of gum arabic with 20% percent of Sudan’s population making their living from its cultivation.
With the generous support from donors like you, the Near East Foundation’s (NEF) project in Sudan’s North Kordofan State has had considerable impact on gum arabic production and has helped farmers better provide for their families and invest in their communities.
NEF has helped gum arabic cultivators empower themselves by providing them with access to micro-credit, business training, Acacia seeds and seedlings, as well as training workshops on how to maximize gum yields while preserving local Acacia woodlands.
With the gum arabic farming communities on stronger footing, this month marks the end of our campaign on Global Giving. Our work in Sudan and with gum arabic farmers continues – and we hope that you will continue to follow our activities and the impact of our projects through our website, Facebook page, or Twitter feed.
We thank you for your unstinting support for vulnerable farming families in Sudan’s North Kordofan State, and leave you with a few highlights of the impact of your donation. These are just a few of the many successes of the project:
- Sudanese farmers who participated in trainings increased their average income from 200 SDG to 900 SDG per month – that is nearly $120 USD per month!
- Farmers in Sudan received 5,000 Acacia Senegal tree seedlings from the Near East Foundation (NEF) with an aim to safeguard the future of an important source of income
- NEF facilitated the distribution of seeds to 225 farmers in North Kordofan. Each farmer received 1 pound of seeds—enough to cultivate 9 acres of land; NEF provided 150 tree seeds to each farmer in the project
- NEF conducted training workshops for over 425 members of Gum Arabic Producer Associations in Sudan at which farmers gained knowledge and had the opportunity to see the impact of the project’s activities first hand through tours of local farms and communities where improved gum arabic management techniques have been put into practice
- NEF held meetings to explain to communities the importance of protecting Acacia trees, and also worked with Sudan's National Forest Corporation to set new rules and procedures for protecting the trees
- Farmers received a full range of technical support, including how to determine the best locations to plant, instruction in more efficient harvesting techniques, and guidance in improved storage of the gum arabic (to maintain high quality until it reaches the market)
Those who have benefited perhaps best express the impact of your donation:
“With the support of the Near East Foundation, I have learned new ways to increase my income and improve my family’s well-being through gum arabic, agriculture, and micro-credit projects,” said Mahdi, a gum arabic farmer from Sudan’s North Kordofan State. “We have also learned the value of gum arabic trees and the importance of protecting this resource.”
THANK YOU!!! Your generous support has allowed NEF to work with communities in Sudan to build sustainable solutions that will benefit community members for years to come. We hope that you will continue to follow NEF’s work! For more on Global Giving, consider NEF's work in rural Armenia.