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GUAR VALUE CHAIN ANALYSIS
PROSPECTS FOR GROWING AND
PROCESSING GUAR IN SUDAN
GUAR VALUE CHAIN ANALYSIS
Prospects for growing and processing guar in Sudan
KUBITA Economic Empowerment
Ms Sophieke Kappers, MSc
30th May 2017
The Hague, The Netherlands
Over the last thirty years, initiatives on guar growing and processing have come and gone
in Sudan. This Guar Value Chain Analysis is a follow-up to the initiatives taken in 2015 in
Sudan by the National Guar Council, the High Council for Agricultural Revival of the Ministry
of Agriculture, the company Fair Organic Gum Arabic and the Embassy of the Kingdom of
the Netherlands. An impetus was provided by the National Guar Conference in May 2015.
This was an important opportunity for the stakeholders of the guar value chain to meet.
This Guar Value Chain Analysis was carried out at the beginning of 2016 by interviewing
more than 150 stakeholders individually, and in groups, in Khartoum, El Fasher, Damazin
and the Netherlands. Gaps in the current Value Chain Analysis are due to the limited
information available. This report must therefore be regarded as a first step in an on-going
process: new information and comments can and should be integrated into the Analysis.
Guar is considered to be one of the significant crops in Sudan and has been incorporated
into both domestic and commercial production. Guar is grown by large and smallholder
fe/male farmers mainly in rainfed areas of Blue Nile, White Nile, Darfur, Sennar and
Gedaref States. The guar plant can be used for field protection, soil improvement,
intercropping and as animal fodder. The guar seeds can be processed into churi and korma
as animal fodder as well as into guar gum that has many different industrial applications.
The increased income from the sale of animal fodder, the benefits of heavier and healthier
animals and the increase in the yield of subsequent crops can reduce poverty and improve
the food security and the livelihoods of large and smallholder fe/male farmers. Guar can
also contribute to conflict prevention between pastoralists and sedentary farmers. At the
time the pastoralists are migrating, the fields of the farmers can be protected by the guar
plant as its unpleasant smell might keep cattle away from the fields. Farmers can also sell
the fodder to the pastoralists.
The development of the guar value chain can have a positive impact on the national
economy by increased gross net product, import substitution, higher tax revenues and
creation of employment.
The risk factors in developing the guar value chain are identified in the study and include
the low world market price of guar gum, the international embargo, and the political
instability which causes farmers to abandon their fields. These risks can hardly be
influenced by the actors in the guar value chain.
The study reveals the main bottlenecks in the guar value chain and the reasons why these
bottlenecks inhibit its development in Sudan. This Guar Value Chain Analysis is to be the
basis for the formulations of an extensive development programme. The recommendations
for the development of a sustainable guar value chain are as follows:
The participation of all actors, influencers and supporters is required to identify
potential solutions for removing the bottlenecks.
Integration of guar into their official strategy by the Sudanese government.
Collecting data on guar as the basis for the strategy on guar value chain development.
Learning from experiences abroad to be able to compare it with the performance in
Applied agricultural research is needed to improve guar production.
Innovative and less costly extension services are very desirable.
Organisation of efficient logistics is required to collect the small quantities of guar seeds
and fodder at farmers’ or village level.
A solid study is necessary to assess the financial feasibility of guar processing factories.
This Guar Value Chain Analysis in Sudan is a follow-up to the initiatives taken in Sudan by
the National Guar Council, the High Council for Agricultural Revival of the Ministry of
Agriculture, the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and the company Fair Organic
Gum Arabic. An impetus was provided by the National Guar Conference in May 2015. This
was an important opportunity for the actors, influencers and supporters of the guar value
chain to meet.
This study is carried under the auspices of the Guar Council, under the High Council for
Agricultural Revival, the Ministry of Agriculture in Sudan. My sincere thanks are due to the
members of the Guar Council for entrusting me with the execution of this Guar Value Chain
I am very grateful to all stakeholders interviewed in Sudan and the Netherlands for their
willingness to contribute and their open attitude towards the analysis of the Guar Value
Chain in Sudan. All stakeholders including government officials, large and smallholder
fe/male farmers, entrepreneurs, traders, investors, bank managers, experts, researchers,
extension officers and staff members of donor organisations provided their insights and
There are gaps in this Guar Value Chain Analysis due to the limited written information
available. This report must therefore be regarded as a first step in an on-going process:
new information and comments should be integrated into the Analysis.
Mr Mohamed Adam Elgalabi, Chairman of the Guar Council, generously supervised this
study. Mr Abdelhmid Adam Mukhtar and Mr Abdalla Mohammed Elzuber, respectively the
General Secretary and Advisory Member of the Guar Council, accompanied me on our field
visits to El Fasher and Damazin in February 2016. This was especially memorable as well
as all the support in El Fasher by Dr. Mohamed Ibrahim Ismail, the National Guar Research
The kindness and perseverance of the fe/male farmers I met in El Fasher and Damazin was
very moving and reminded me that we must always have hope, and work for, a better
This Value Chain Analysis demonstrates the multiple uses of the guar plant and the guar
seeds. It also reveals the relevance of guar for the improvement of farmers’ livelihoods
and those of pastoralists. The development of the Guar Value Chain can also contribute to
peace building in conflict areas and to the national economy.
It is my hope therefore - as an agricultural development economist - that this study will
be an important step towards joint engagement in the development of the Guar Value
Chain in Sudan.
Ms Sophieke Kappers, MSc
Value Chain Expert and Advisor Business Development
Director Kubita Economic Empowerment
TABLE OF CONTENTS Executive Summary 1
1 Introduction 4 1.1 Initiatives on guar in Sudan 4 1.2 Objectives of the Guar Value Chain Analysis 4 1.3 Methodology of the Guar Value Chain Analysis 5 1.4 Structure of the report 5
2 The Guar Plant, its Products and Production in Sudan 6 2.1 Guar plant 6 2.2 The derivatives from guar seeds 8 2.3 Guar cultivation in Sudan 8
3 Multiple uses of the guar plant and guar gum 10 3.1 Use of the guar plant 10 3.2 Industrial use of guar gum 11
4 World trade, export from and import to Sudan, value and price structure 13 4.1 World trade of guar products 13 4.2 Export of guar products from Sudan 14 4.3 Import of guar products by Sudan 15 4.4 Value of traded guar products worldwide 16 4.5 Price structure of guar products across the value chain in Sudan 17
5 Various aspects of the Guar Value Chain in Sudan 18 5.1 Distribution channels of the guar plant and its products 18 5.2 Improvement of food security and livelihood 19 5.3 Contribution to peace building 19 5.4 Impact on the economy 19 5.5 Chain strategy and organisation 19 5.6 Chain governance 20
6 Stakeholder analysis 21 6.1 Actors of the Guar Value Chain 21 6.2 Influencers of the Guar Value Chain 22 6.3 Supporters of the Guar Value Chain 22
7 Potential of the guar value chain in Sudan 24 7.1 SWOT Analysis of the guar value chain 24 7.2 Bottleneck analysis of the guar value chain 25 7.3 Risk analysis for investing in guar value chain development 26
8 Recommendations for the development of the guar value chain in Sudan 27
Annex I Overview of interviewees 28 Annex II Background information 31
This chapter first describes the growing interest in guar in Sudan and the background to
this study. The objectives and methodology of this Guar Value Chain Analysis are
elaborated in paragraphs two and three. Finally, the structure of the report is presented.
1.1 Initiatives on guar in Sudan