(Hind A. Elbashi and Mohamed A. Imam) - Many types and cultivars of fruits and vegetables
can be produced almost all the year round due to the climatic variations plus available land and water. This large potential could supply both local and export markets. However, horticultural crops represent about 12% of the national agricultural income, compared to17% for cotton and 29.6% for cereals and oil seeds. Hence the economic impact of fruits and vegetables is still very limited compared to their actual production potential in the country. This is due to less attention paid to them compared with the cash crops e.g. cotton, gum Arabic and the staple food grains. Even reliable data on the area and production of fruits and vegetables are still difficult to obtain. Various vegetables are grown in both irrigated and rain–fed plots, in a total area of about 273,000 ha i.e. about 3% of the total cultivated area producing on average about 3.4 million tons of vegetables. The most important vegetables are onions and tomatoes followed by potatoes, okra, eggplant, water melons, cucumbers, pumpkins and a number of leafy vegetables. Vegetables are grown in small plots with pumped water including the national corporations such as Gezira Scheme where about 30,000 ha are devoted to vegetables. There are some areas and production of some major vegetables during the period 2005 to 2009.
Fruit production in Sudan needs very little agro-chemicals thus the fruits are relatively free of chemical residues which if certified could give a comparative edge and a competitive advantage in international markets. The variations in climate and topography created conditions for the production of various types of fruits including date palms, citruses, mangoes, guava, pine apples and banana In the high areas of Jebel Marra temperate fruits such as apples, grapes, strawberries and sweet oranges grow well. However, commercial production is hampered by the lack of investments and poor transportation facilities. The estimated total fruit production in Sudan is about 1.9 million tons in a cultivated area of about 186,000 ha. The area and production of some major fruits grown in Sudan during the period 2006-2009.