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Copyright 2016 © Kenana Sugar Company. All rights reserved.

African Farm Communities

Can Be Sustainable And Modern

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Architect's sketch of a solar village for Sudan

Above, the way it could be...

To the right, the way it is...

This is a typical rural village in Sudan

where a thousand farmers and families now live.

 

Hundreds of thousands of villages just like this one can be found in Africa:

No running water, no sanitation, no electricity, inadequate housing, a useless schoolroom, no health clinic and no connection to the world, all sums up as bare survival for adults and no hope for the children, the next generation.

This is a model of what can happen.
 
Thousands of self-sustainable farming communities can dot the landscapes of rural Sudan.

The Back Story

Forty years ago, KSC started from scratch building the farms, mills, and infrastructure needed for sugarcane growth, refining and distribution to market. 

From the start, KSC’s commitment to its employees was to create a quality built environment where they could work. It was a great challenge.

 

Farming or subsistence farming uses techniques common in the time of the ancient prophets.  KSC led the use of industrialized farming in rural Sudan. Transformations were challenging and slow but inevitable.

Industrial farming radically improves food productivity while transforming the work, income, lifestyles and mental models of farmers and workers who gain valuable skills. Industrial skills can expand the mind and raise expectations for an optimistic future. What happens in the minds of people is what makes transformations work.

Sudan’s exports show a dramatic building of capacity over the years, starting with commodity products like cotton, peanuts, gum Arabic, sugarcane, cassava, sesame seed, bananas, sweet potatoes, animal feed, livestock and more; plus added-value derivative products such as textiles, pharmaceuticals, refined sugar products, leather goods, and the like. Sudan’s economy is slowly complexifying, that is, increasing the number, type and variety of occupations where the next generation can find interesting work with decent wages. To accelerate the complexification process, KSC is committed to doubling its food production and building sustainable self-sufficient solar villages in the vast rural heartland of Sudan which work as magnets to attract the young, able, knowledge-workers of the country to IT-driven food production jobs, solar community derivative jobs, and spin-off enterprises that flourish in rural areas with modern facilities and low-cost labor.

40 Years Later

In 2017, Sudan is distinctly better off than it was when KSC started up, but there is a lot more work to do. Here are the key facts:

 

•  GDP of $175 billion (purchase power parity)

•  GDP per capita of $4,500

•  3.1% real growth rate in 2016

•  13% unemployment rate

•  46% below World Bank poverty line

•  Exports to UAE (32%), China (16%),

   Saudi Arabia (16%)

•  Imports from China (26%), UAE (10%),

   India (9%)

"Asset rich,
capital poor”

C.K. Prahalad 

These are the words Wall Street guru C.K. Prahalad uses to describe countries like Sudan in “The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid,” a book describing how private sector investments in developing countries can be hugely profitable for both the companies and the countries that engage in joint projects, many of them agricultural.

Sudan’s assets are rich indeed. Sudan has one of the most productive solar energy locations on the planet, so much so that if the support infrastructure of a plant’s solar panels doubles as housing and community infrastructure for farming families, a Power Purchase Agreement can be sold in private/global markets that renders the housing easily affordable to farming families who earn equity and retirement savings from lease payments.

There’s a lot of work waiting for Sudan’s farmers because of another asset: water. Sudan may not be known for it, but its water-table, rainfall and Nile River provide arable conditions for crops and animals in a broad swath of geography the size of several Midwestern US farm states which are currently fallow.

That land has another rich asset: knowledgeable farmers. Sudan has two generations of knowledge about industrial farming and thousands of years of ancient agricultural knowledge lodged in the minds of hundreds of thousands of farmers scattered in primitive villages through this arable but unproductive territory.

 

And here is an asset that is perhaps surprising.

 

As a largely untouched environment, Sudan has no legacy infrastructure that has to be replaced, or carbon that has to be sequestered, or a regulatory framework that prohibits development. Sudan’s resources are in pristine condition waiting for profitable, productive, evergreen, sustainable development.

Into this mix comes KSC which is embarking upon food production opportunities for global capital, technology and management – now including the United States as it normalizes relations with Sudan.

 

KSC is an experienced multinational firm that welcomes partners from the East or West or anywhere in between. These partners have an expertise in globalization, trade, enterprise, innovation, knowledge-management, digitalization, technology, food, energy, and community development - not in fragmented, disconnected silos but integrated, transparent and accountable.

 

KSC knows Sudan and it also knows international business. KSC is part of the solution for food production, for poverty and for climate change and is looking for international partners of common cause. 

World Food Programme