Business Acumen Training for Gum Arabic Smallholder Farmers in Sudan
Gum Arabic is a commodity with a wide range of applications. As E414, it is used in products ranging from Coca-Cola to Haribo gummy bears. It is gathered from two types of acacia trees, which typically grow in dry savanna areas, particularly in Sahel countries like Chad, Nigeria and Sudan. The successful production of Gum Arabic can have significant environmental and social impact. Since it grows in areas that are prone to desertification growing (or preserving) the trees can help to stop this process. In addition, as it grows in areas where few other commercially viable cash crops can grow, it can provide a source of income to many smallholder farmers. However, most often the economic potential for the smallholder farmers remains largely untapped as they just sell the raw product and do therefore not engage in value addition. Due to its potential to generate foreign exchange reserves, ensure food security, promote sustainable agriculture and forestry, and combat desertification and climate change, Gum Arabic is a promising commodity for a number of sub-Saharan African countries.
To really bring these smallholder farmers to their full economic power, particularly in the less developed Gum Arabic industry, the Gum Arabic smallholder farmer community will be offered support in entrepreneurship training, namely - support on understanding basic business concepts to grow businesses in agri-communities into more resilient, financially sustainable enterprises. Ultimately, Gum Works aims to improve the quality of their entrepreneurship trainings in local communities, and to create a positive impact on the livelihood generation, social cohesion and food security problems in Sudan.