Khartoum: Gum Arabic is the exudate produced by two major trees, acacia senegal and acacia seyyal, in addition to 30 other acacia trees all of which comprise the so-called Gum Arabic Belt in the Sudan, said Dr. Abdelmajid Abdelqader, Secretary General of the Gum Arabic Board in Sudan.
Gum Arabic trees throughout the region depend completely on rainstorms and no supplementary irrigation is needed. The rainy season is limited to the hot months from June until September. Also the trees do not need any fertilizers or any chemicals such as insecticides or pesticides. The trees and their product are hundred percent organic matter, Sudan News Agency (SUNA) reported.
This Gum Arabic belt extends from the eastern borders of Sudan with Ethiopia to the western borders with Chad and Central Africa, spanning an area of 500,000 sq. km.
The Gum belt trees altogether makes a suitable environment to host 90% percent of Sudan’s animal wealth, around 130,000,000 million sheep, livestock, and camels and provides 60% of the natural forage for these animals.
The Gum Arabic belt and its trees constitute the most suitable micro climate for the rainfall of 1,000 billion cubic metres of water filling the ground reservoirs and maintaining the rain fed agriculture and supplying the Nile River and its tributaries, and considered the main supply of water to Egypt and other countries.
Hence, the gum Arabic belt will continue to be the main stable factor for supply of potable water and a place for food security and a strategic location for food security to Arab and African countries.
The Sudan and its neighbouring countries depend entirely on the Gum Arabic Belt for charcoal and firewood in lieu of petroleum or gas products. The Gum belt trees supply the Sudan with 1,200,000 tonnes of charcoal annually in addition to the supply of 5,000,000 tonnes of timbre for burning and building.
The gum Arabic trees mostly belong to the ‘leguminous’ family which gives natural fertilization to farmlands and emit oxygen.
The Gum Arabic Belt of the Sudan is housing all available wild life in addition to the migrating birds from Europe which fly during the winter season and stay in the Belt during the period October to March. Of course, for this international issue the world community is held responsible to sustain the environment and increase the Gum trees.
The Gum Arabic commodity is a very important ingredient in food industry, drinks, and medicines in addition to other textile and paints industry.
For all these reasons, the Sudanese government and the local farmers are exerting big efforts to develop the gum Arabic belt and making it a very sustainable source. Also gum Arabic importers, the environmentally-concerned authorities and NGOs worldwide have great interest to consider the gum Arabic belt as a sustainable source.
Source: Bahrain News Agency