MUTASIM M.M. ELRASHEED1, HAMID H.M. FAKI2, HASHIM A. ELOBEID3
1Upper Nile University, Agricultural Economics, Sudan
2Ministry of Science and Technology, Sudan
3University of Khartoum, Agricultural Economics, Sudan
Most of the Sudan's livestock wealth is in hands of traditional producers. Despite the fact that traditional production methods have great advantages of utilizing marginal lands (natural pasture of organic origin) it puts Sudan's market supply of sheep under the mercy of producers' attitudes and believes. Based on primary data, this study was carried out to analyze the impact of selected influencing factors natural r esources (rainfall and natural pasture), animal density, availability of water, and improvements of production inputs (veterinary services and purchased animal feed) on market supply of sheep in Sudan. Accidental sampling technique was carried out, whereby 115 respondents were interviewed in August 2002. Gibiesh market in western Sudan (Kordofan State) as a major market for desert sheep (hamari) was selected for the study. Mean comparison analysis was used to arrive at the stated objectives.
The result revealed that farmers prefer to supply more of their sheep during conditions of heavy and poor rainfall (rich and poor pasture), but they adopt a policy of over-stocking under moderate rainfall conditions. It was also evident that producers prefer to sell more of their young animals (younger than 12 months) when the animal density is high. With expectation of low animal density, they sell more of the old ones. They as well sell more of their animals during adverse conditions of poor drinking water availability, refraining from sales when water is abundant.
Based on farmers' past ten years experience, any improvements in animal feed induce producers to sell more of their male sheep. In contrast, market supply of female sheep increases during periods of moderate and increasing levels of animal feed availability. Also it is apparent that, improving levels of veterinary services encourages producers to increase their supply of both male and female sheep older than 12 months. On the other hand, they are compelled to sell more of their younger sheep (younger than 12 months) under deteriorating access to veterinary medicines. Conducive policy intervention to stabilize sheep supply includes stable pasture and drinking water availability as well as tax exemption and subsidized veterinary services on progressive male sheep sales.
Keywords: Animal density, animal inputs, market supply, natural pasture, rainfall, veterinary care, water availability, policy measures, over-stocking