TARIG GIBREEL, SIEGFRIED BAUER
Justus Liebig University, Project and Regional Planning, Germany
Agroforestry is seen as an appropriate farming strategy to obtain a sustainable farming and to stabilise rural economies in developing countries. The Sudanese gum arabic production system is facing the conversion of the acacia's land into commercial cropping enterprises. This has an adverse impact on the smallholders' welfare and intimidates the sustainability of the land use system. Gum arabic is an important non-wood forest product (NWFP) obtained from Acacia senegal tree. Sudan accounts for nearly 80% of the world production and controls 60% of gum arabic world market. Gum arabic is also a significant source of cash income for the peasant communities occupying the gum belt, it accounts for 15% of the gum arabic producers' income and 10% of other farmers. However, its production has slumped over the last three decades.
This paper analyses the determinants of agroforestry system practices and assesses the impact of commercialisation on the farm household resource allocation decisions in the gum belt in western Sudan.
Results from commercialisation index (C1) and Two-Stage Least Square model (2SLS), confirm a positive significant influence of commercialisation as well as the investment in livestock on the production of food crops. Furthermore, results from the probit model revealed that, an adequately attractive price level, equivalent to off-farm income, provides a motivation for a sustainable gum arabic production system. Finally, household decisions to allocate more resources to cash crops, to market access and to invest in livestock, in order to spread risk, appear justified especially under a degraded agricultural production environment. Therefore, increased farm gate prices for gum arabic producers will provide an incentive to use the land in a gum arabic agroforestry system, and this will lead to a win"=win situation by enhancing cash and food crops productivity and environmental stability.
Keywords: 2SLS, Acacia, commercialisation index, dryland, gum arabic, Sudan