Donor: Flora Family Foundation
Through a new pilot project, NEF is helping farmers break the poverty cycle, conserve natural water and forest resources, and fight climate change in Sudan's "Gum Belt."
Since the project began in 2010, participating gum arabic producers in pilot communities experienced dramatic impacts:
For impoverished families, the project is improving their incomes and quality of life, bringing hope to rural areas of North Kordofan.
Gum arabic is the source of income for 1 in 5 Sudanese - about 6 million people. Sudan exports roughly 50% of the world supply of this natural forest resource, used widely as a stabilizer in products ranging from soft drinks to pharmaceuticals.
Drought, desertification, civil war, and poverty are challenging Sudanese farmers and their ability to harvest gum arabic from the acacia trees that grow naturally in the region’s harsh climate. Current harvesting techniques are inefficient, causing farmers to lose income in the short-term and threatening negative environmental impacts in the long-term.
Through this innovative project, NEF is helping gum arabic farmers overcome these obstacles to increase their incomes and become better natural resource managers. To accomplish this we are providing training in:
Training provides farmers with the knowledge to increase gum arabic production and promote long-term sustainability, while newly-established micro-financing systems help farmers and their families undertake projects that support both improved production and conservation.