Cover Image
close this book Measuring drought and drought impacts in Red Sea Province
close this folder 7. Land tenure, agricultural labour, drought and food stress in the Gash, Gash Dai and Tokar agricultural areas. Roy Cole
View the document Summary
View the document Introduction
View the document Production in the Gash and Tokar deltas
View the document The Gash Delta
View the document The Tokar Delta
View the document The schemes and food stress
View the document References
View the document Appendix 7.1: Agricultural districts of the Gash Delta.
View the document Appendix 7.2: Blocks (Muraba'a) of Tokar Delta.

7. Land tenure, agricultural labour, drought and food stress in the Gash, Gash Dai and Tokar agricultural areas. Roy Cole

 

Summary

Land tenure, agricultural labour, and the role of the Gash, Gash Die, and Tokar Deltas the Red Sea Province regional economy and in the food security strategies of the people of Red Sea Province is examined in the present paper. Results of the study show that sharecropping is a rational risk-minimising economic strategy that assures a food entitlement even in a highly variable environment such as that represented by the Tokar Delta and the Gash Dai. Where the environment is less variable, such as the Gash Delta, wage labour arrangements predominate. Both agricultural schemes were found to contribute significantly to the regional economy and to strengthen rather than weaken the ability of pastoralists to cope with drought through the provision of thousands of feddans of grazing, vast quantities of crop residues, cereals, and employment.

 

Introduction

The Gash Delta, in northern Kassala Province, and the Tokar Delta, in southern Red Sea Province, form two of the principal agricultural and livestock production areas of the Eastern Region (see Map 7.1). They are two of the richest areas in the Sudan. Other areas of great agricultural and pastoral importance in Eastern Province are Khashm el-Girba and Gedarif. The focus of the present report is on the Gash, the Gash Dai extension of the Gash Delta, and the Tokar Delta agricultural areas.

Although they are separated by three hundred kilometres, there is good reason to consider the Tokar and Gash deltas as part of one economic region. They share a common pool of labour and both are used as grazing areas by pastoral and agropastoral groups shuttling back and forth between Kassala and Red Sea Province. Both form a productive hinterland for large centres such as Port Sudan and Kassala and for small centres such as Tokar town, Garora, Derudeb, Haya, Sinkat, and Suakin. Until the 1970s, the Tokar and Gash Deltas were administered by the same authority. There was one manager, one plan, and one policy for both schemes. The system of administration changed when cotton was abandoned in the Gash.


Map 7.1. Agricultural areas, Eastern Sudan.

The Gash, Gash Dai, and Tokar agricultural and pastoral areas together constitute a resource for several classes of Red Sea Province residents as well as a resource for land users from Kassala Province, Eritrea, and the Nile Valley:

1. Landholders who reside in Red Sea Province but own land in one or more of the schemes.

2. Livestock owners who seasonally migrate with their animals, send their livestock with hired labour, or ship their animals by truck to one or both of the schemes during the course of the year.

3. Migratory and resident labour which seasonally moves from opportunity to opportunity or from home area to opportunity.

These three groups constitute a dynamic local system of sometimes contradictory interests linked to social, political, and economic structures at the regional, national and international levels. Although their interests may be sometimes contradictory in the particular, in general, however, they are mutually interdependent and must be in order to succeed and survive. All of the above groups attempt to minimize risk and optimize the return to their efforts.

In most years demand for labour exceeds supply in the Gash and Tokar Deltas. In the rainfall and flood deficit years in the early-1980s this situation was reversed. The 1989 agricultural year was a year of extreme labour deficit for the Gash for a variety of reasons most important of which was the abundant and well-distributed summer rains. These rains enabled people in Red Sea Province, for example, to plant in areas that they had not planted in six or more years. Indeed, some areas in 1989 were planted that had never been planted before, according to local accounts. This was the principal reason why many accustomed to annual work on the Gash stayed away this year, despite the higher wages. McLoughlin (1966) provides another interpretation of labour scarcity during wet years in the Gash. He states that for labour that is permanently resident in the Gash that in exceptionally wet years "...people who ordinarily would become labourers, planted their own crops (1966, 114)." Another important reason for the labour deficit was that the planted area in the Gash increased greatly because of the excellent rains and flood. There was simply too much work for the available work force. This year (1988-89) landowners have left sorghum stalks in the fields for the livestock because there is not enough labour to cut and transport them to market.

A last reason for the lack of labourers in the Gash Delta was the fear of disease. The incidence of malaria and typhoid fever in the Gash (but not the Tokar) Delta increased with the unusually high floods and rainfall and many labourers stayed away from the scheme.

Labourers in the Gash and Tokar schemes form part of wider familial and extrafamilial networks and employ economic strategies that include some or all of the following activities in differing proportions according to the time of year:

1. Urban wage labour.

2. Livestock raising.

3. Agriculture.

4. Rural crafts.

5. Gathering of marketable natural products.

6. Trade outside the auspices of the government

Labourers, when formulating an economic plan for a given year weigh the estimated relative benefits from all of the activities in which they are involved or are interested in becoming involved. When one economic activity appears to premise a good return, far example, agriculture in Eastern Region this year, the labourer will shift his or her economic activities to take advantage of circumstances. It is this opportunism that characterizes agricultural labourers in the two schemes.

Relations between the three groups mentioned above are decidedly market-oriented (see McLoughlin (1966) for a historical discussion of labour in the Gash and Tokar Deltas), but defined through customary arrangement. These customary arrangements generally involve same form of sharing of the agricultural products between the landowners, tenants, and labour force. There are many arguments for and against sharecropping in the Sudan and elsewhere (Mohammed M. Abdel Salam 1978, Elfatih Shaaeldin 1983, Mohammed Hashim Awad 1973). The view of the author, that traditional sharing arrangements spread risk in a highly variable environment and are superior to fixed rent systems is presented in the conclusion.

 

Production in the Gash and Tokar deltas

The Gash, Gash Dai, Tokar Delta and other planned and unplanned agricultural areas produce six categories of products:

1. Grain.

2. Sorghum or millet stalks.

3. Weeds.

4. Stubble and residual weed grazing.

5. Vegetables.

6. Fruit.

The first product from the schemes is grain, either sorghum or millet. The Gash Delta produces almost exclusively sorghum and the Tokar Delta produces more millet and sorghum. The principal variety of sorghum grown in the Gash is Sorghum bicolor; the specific variety is termed aklamoi. In the Tokar Delta Hijiiri sorghum and finger millet are grown. Grain yields in the Gash vary depending on soil type from ten to thirty ninety-kilogram bags per feddan according to our informants. According to Ausenda (1987), yields vary from between six and twelve ninety-kilogram sacks per feddan (almost 2 tonnes per hectare on average). In the present good year yields are reported to be high.

Systematic farming-system type studies need to be conducted in the Gash to improve our understanding of agricultural production and the links between agriculture and pastoralism. In the absence of such studies all figures must be treated with caution. Yields and prices in the Tokar Delta are comparable to those in the Gash. One half pound of grain is needed to seed a feddan at a spacing of 50 by 75 cm, the usual spacing in the agricultural schemes. Spacing of plants in Red Sea Province varies from 50 by 50 to 200 by 200 cm depending on site conditions.

In the Gash at Tindulai in January, 1989, a bag of sorghum was worth £110.00 Sudanese, however, at Delai Station, 100 kilometres north of Tindulai, it was worth £130.00, and in Port Sudan, £170.00.

Traditional grain flows from the Eastern Sudan are to Eritrea and the Arabian Peninsula (Paul 1954). According to reports, most of the grain produced in the Gash in 1989, as in most years, was sold in Eritrea because of the relative scarcity of grain there and consequent higher prices (£500.00 Sudanese per ninety-kilogram sack). In the past cotton was also smuggled in large quantities to Eritrea. Because of the illegality of unofficial exports, it is difficult to estimate the trade flows from the Gash and Tokar Deltas to Eritrea and Saudia Arabia. It is probable that Eritrea accounts for the major portion of the production of both schemes. It may also be that market shares are divided according to distance and price variables with the bulk of the Gash production going to Eritrea and much of the Tokar production to Saudia Arabia This is an unclear area

Traditionally, grain is stored in underground silos (matmuura, mataamiir) roughly 75 cm deep and 120 cm in diameter. Ten ninety-kilogram bags can be stored in each of these silos. Silos are dug separately or in swarms representing a family or several families of the same minimal lineage. The site is guarded by a family member who receives one small ruba' (3 kg) from each silo and one quarter of a ruba' from each person who adds to or removes from the stock. Ownership of production is by individual family and the guard keeps a list of all grain owners.

Sorghum stalks (millet and sorghum stalks in the case of Tokar Delta) are a second product of the agricultural schemes. Income from the sale of stalks varies from £100.00 to £300.00 per feddan depending on whether they are sold standing or cut and bundled. The value of sorghum stalks was another item that differed substantially from that found by Ausenda in 1986. Ausenda found that sorghum stalks per feddan were sold for £12.00 per feddan, a difference of a factor of ten; this is not easily explained by inflation.

A third important product from agricultural areas are weeds. In some years weeds may be more important than cultivated crops. Each feddan may produce up to 300 bundles of weeds (principally Echinochloa colonum and Cyprus rotundas). These bundles (kulega) are sold at £0.50 per bundle. This represents an income of up to £150.00 per feddan. This income is, as is income derived from the other sources mentioned above, variable.

The fourth product from agricultural areas is stubble and residual weed grazing. Outside the agricultural part of the Deltas (and in the Tokar Delta this means most of the delta itself) grazing on annual grasses (considered "weeds" on the scheme) is the principal use of the land. In many areas of the Tokar Delta these grasses remain green for up to nine months. They remain palatable for up to 3 to 5 years. Along the southern and eastern sides of Tokar Delta there are thick stands of Sueda fruticosa (adliib), excellent pasture for camels. In the Gash there is no adliib, however, pastures of annual grasses are plentiful and rich. Although it is difficult to evaluate the importance of stubble and residual weed grazing to the household and regional economies in money terms it is undoubtedly one of the major inputs to the livestock economy and is responsible for a large part of the weight gained and milk produced by livestock in and after the rainy season. The rest of the year is a period of weight loss for all livestock. This period of weight gain is of major importance for the survival of livestock in the dry season.

The fifth product from the schemes is vegetables. These are produced for home consumption as well as for the market. Although the distinction between food and cash crops is difficult to establish as most food crops are also cash crops the following division is useful. Market crops are tomatoes, watermelon, sorghum and millet, ful masry, beans (lubia and fasuuliya), spinach, cucumber, squash (courgette), carrots, okra, and greens. Crops that are used in home consumption are sorghum and millet, groundnuts and "sauce" crops like okra, greens, and squash.

A sixth product produced in the Gash, but not the Tokar Delta, is fruit. Small plantations of mango trees, orange trees, lemon trees, grapefruit trees and bananas are located along Khor Gash around the scheme area and reportedly all the way to Eritrea.

 

The Gash Delta

The Gash River originates in the Eritrean Plateau fifteen miles south of Asmara. It flows principally from July to September but there may be occasional flows in June. The length of flow of the Gash River from Kassala to the Gash Dai is about 160 kilometres. Average discharge is 560 million cubic meters of water. The highest annual flood was in 1929 when 1069 million cubic meters of water were recorded. The lowest flood years were 1921 and 1963 when the volume of the flood was 140 million cubic meters for each year.

Cultivation of cereals in the Gash Delta has probably been practiced almost as long as people have lived there. Little is known of the area prior to the nineteenth century. Cotton was first grown in the Gash Delta in 1870 by Mumtaz Pasha in the first experiment with cotton in the Sudan. The Gash scheme as it is known today began in 1924 with the cultivation of 9000 feddans. By 1927 over 26000 feddans were under cultivation. The total demarcated area of the Gash today is 720000 feddans although only 400000 feddans of this area are suitable for irrigation cultivation (Morton 1986). Only about one-tenth of the Gash area is used in any year for scheme agriculture. The rest is used for non-scheme cultivation or pasture. A network of seven main canals and thirteen subcanals are used to irrigate 240000 feddans in a three course rotation of 80000 feddans annually. Each of the three courses is fallowed for two years. The following table presents data on irrigated and cultivated land in the Gash during the twenty-six year span from 1963 to 1989.

Tab/e 7.1. Total irrigated area (scheme only), cultivated area, and area under sorghum (durra) in the Gash Delta, 1960 to 1988 (in feddans).

YEAR

TOTAL IRRIGATED

TOTAL CULTIVATED

DURRA

1960

12434

*

*

1961

22957

*

*

1962

12821

*

*

1963

37802

*

19364

1964

70852

*

25675

1965

49185

*

14810

1966

60593

*

14848

1967

103948

84197

40581

1968

45333

45333

13090

1969

80353

78470

29877

1970

80557

79341

35740

1971

86970

64167

28059

1972

74101

71275

33290

1973

72174

71935

30786

1974

100007

86816

42955

1975

159441

81319

59362

1976

61892

*

16393

1977

64593

62272

31762

1978

65278

54161

30425

1979

54446

49844

28740

1980

54951

26834

21623

1981

*

12861

*

1982

50184

35688

26330

1983

38358

*

32935

1984

51531

*

51531

1985

55371

*

55371

1986

46579

*

33288

1987

47000

*

29597

1988

78000

78000

78000

SOURCE: Gash Board (1989).

Cotton was the principal crop in the Gash until the early 1960s when it was gradually replaced by castor, first introduced in 1959. Prior to 1970, sorghum was sown over onequarter of the cultivated area, however, in 1970, when cotton cultivation was discontinued, the area devoted to sorghum increased to one-half of the annual area sown. The cultivation of cotton was reintroduced in 1976. The area sown to castor and cotton decreased from 1979 to 1984 and both crops were finally abandoned in favour of one hundred percent cultivation of sorghum in 1984. The Gash Board attributes the change in cotton cultivation to the following factors:

1. Declining yields.

2. Decline in international prices.

3. Cotton smuggling across the eastern border into Eritrea

4. Pest problems.

Factors cited by producers in the Gash in 1989 were:

1. Falling international prices.

2. Drought.

3. The high relative labour demands of cotton.

4. The inability to control destruction of cotton crops by livestock.

Castor was abandoned principally because of castor toxicity although decline in international prices was also an important reason. One independent economic study in 1987 found that castor production was a net loss to the producer.

There are 12000 registered tenant farmers on the Gash scheme in 1986, sixty-three percent of whom were Hadendowa Beja (Ausenda 1987). In 1929, seventy percent of the tenants were Hadendowa, according to Paul (1954). In 1988, according to the Gash Board, there were 14000 registered tenants and eighty percent of the tenants were Hadendowa According to Ausenda's 1986 figures, other ethnic groups that participate in the scheme are West Africans (23%), Other Beja (996), and Northerners (5%). Land is allocated on a firstcome first-served basis at an official rent of £16.00 per feddan. It was reported that some land is rented by the tenant to other tenants at rates of between £40.00 and £60.00 per feddan although this could not be substantiated.

According to the Gash Board, the tenancy is from five to fifteen feddans. Ausenda reports that individual tenancies may be as large as 700 feddans. According to Ausenda (1987: 122) each tenant is

...grouped into clusters represented by an 'agricultural sheikh'. All tenants are registered in the Corporation's books with a notation as to the size of tenancies assigned to them. The number of tenants, not the size of their tenancies, is prorated according to the ethnic group to which they belong. Each year, once lands destined to irrigation are flooded, they are allotted to all registered tenants according to a system based on the drawing of lots carried out in each of the six blocks into which the Gash Delta was divided.

The status of the Gash Dai is less clear than that of the Gash proper because it is outside government auspices and data are not regularly collected there. The total area of the Gash Dai is estimated to be 200000 feddans. Most of this area is used for pasture. Land is held in customary tenure arrangements by diwaab, a grouping of Hadendowa lineages. Landowning tribes in the Gash Dai come from the Derudeb, Musmar, Haya and Kassala areas. This year an enormous area was deeply flooded and consequently the planted area is unprecedented in size.

Organisation of labour

Beyond the level of the State, use of the land and its products in the Gash is organized into a two to three layered system.

1. The state.

2. The tenant (saahib al-rabt or saahib al-hawaasha).

3. The sharecropper (saahib al-tilt or saahib al-nuus).

4. The wage labourers (al-'ummaal).

The state is the landowner in the Gash Delta and it allots land in five to fifteen feddan parcels to tenants for £16.00 Sudanese per feddan. The state is paid a charge for irrigation and cleaning of the land at the end of the agricultural season.

The tenant, when a sharecropper is present, works under one of two arrangements:

1. When the sharecropper shares the costs of all stages of production he receives fifty percent and is called a saahib al-nuus.

2. When the sharecropper chooses not to share all costs of production he receives thirtythree percent and is called a saahib al-tilt.

Generally, the larger the tenancy or where the tenant is occupied with other activities (for example, his herds), the greater the likelihood of a sharecropper being present to manage the labour. On smaller holdings the tenant can manage the labour himself, providing that there are no other activities to divide his time. The tenant is responsible for the provision of seeds (fifty percent of the seeds if a saahib al-nuus sharecropper is present, one hundred percent if the sharecropper is a saahib al-tilt) and the food of the labourers (including coffee and sugar) for their period of contract in advance. The tenant keeps the sorghum stalks for himself. 1985 was the first year in which sorghum stalks were sent from the Gash to the Port Sudan market. Before 1985 sorghum stalks were just burned in the fields as a step in the cleaning of the field. An explanation advanced for this practice was that the government fined tenants who failed to have their fields clean by a certain date after harvest. It is more likely, however, that market prices for sorghum stalks were not high enough before the drought to encourage people to cut, bundle, transport and sell them.

The sharecropper is responsible for all agricultural activities including planting, weeding, replanting when necessary, harvesting, and the hiring and management of wage labour. Tenants or sharecroppers who need field labour go to the central market of Kassala to the wage labour market and hire those labourers that are needed. Unlike the Tokar Delta, there are no sharing arrangements for labourers; they are simply paid a daily wage. Contrast the arrangement used in Khor Arba'at in Rural Port Sudan in the production of tomatoes. There, the waterpump owner/landowner receives fifty percent of the proceeds from the sale of the tomatoes, the lorry driver to market receives twenty-five percent, the dealer in the market receives ten percent, and the producer-c of the crop fifteen percent. All of the people involved in production in the Arba'at area are generally related to one another. This is usually not the case in the Tokar and Gash Deltas.

There are 7000 to 10000 labourers working in the Gash Delta scheme at any one time (compared to 12000 to 15000 in the Tokar Delta). One fifth, or 1400 to 2000, of these labourers are tenants (Ausenda 1987) and the remainder are migrant labourers. Unlike other areas of Africa, most landlords in the Gash do not establish long-term relations with their wage labourers. Instead, they simply operate according to the laws of supply and demand and hire whoever is available at the lowest possible price.

Labour in the Gash area is organized and accomplished according to negotiated agreement (muqaawala) between the tenant and the labourers. Production is divided into five categories of activity:

1. Planting.

2. Weeding.

3. Cutting and piling sorghum heads.

4. Threshing.

5. Bagging.

By arrangement with the landlord these activities may be grouped. For example, cutting, threshing, and bagging may be negotiated together at a certain wage for one or more persons rather than three different persons. Specific rates depend on supply and demand. The following table illustrates wage rates in the Gash and Gash Dai for several activities.

Table 7.2. Wage rates In the Gash and Gash Dal In Sudanese pounds per feddan, January-February 1989.

 

Wage

Wage

Operation

Gash Delta

Gash Dai

Land Rent

16*

na

Planting

30

1/15 harvest

Weeding

50-100**

na

Harvesting

60

1/5 harvest

* £40.00 to 60.00 on the unofficial market

** Depends on degree of weed infestation

Quinney, in a report on the 1987 agricultural year, found workers to be paid £25.00 to 30.00 for weeding and £10.00 for planting. Ausenda (1987) reported £10.00 per feddan for harvesting during the 1986 agricultural year. If these data are accurate, then wage rates have doubled for weeding, tripled for planting, and, since 1986, increased six times for harvesting. There were rumours circulating in Eastern Region that harvest wage labourers in the Gash had negotiated a deal in which they received fifty percent of the harvest, although, I was not able to substantiate these rumours.

Harvesting, when combined with threshing and bagging as is the norm, is the most labour intensive agricultural activity; eleven days are required to harvest one feddan. Weeding requires 5.75 days per feddan and planting, the least demanding of all activities, only 1.5 days per feddan.

Generally, labourers prefer to work in the Gash Dai because, according to our informants, the remuneration was higher. Workers dislike daily wage labour. They prefer, instead, a sharing arrangement. No empirical evidence exists to prove or disprove the assertion made by labourers that sharing is more profitable to them than daily wage labour. This is a topic for future research.

Sources of labourers

Wage labourers originate from the following areas in order of importance:

1. South Tokar, Eritrea.

2. Khor Odi, Langeb, Baraka

3. Derudeb, Haya, Musmar, Sinkat.

4. Kassala

The first group is almost exclusively Beni 'Amer or Habaab, group two is Hadendowa, and group three is a mix of Hadendowa and 'Atman. The last group is composed of West Africans, "Nigerians" or, as they are commonly called, Takaariin and refugees. The West Africans in Kassala, and in the Eastern Sudan in general, are commonly called Fellata. This group is made up of many ethnic groups from western and central Africa. The word Fellata is of Kanuri origin ('Umar Al-Naqar 1972). Paul (1954) states that the original group of Kassala Takaariin (or Tarkarna, Takaariir, Tekruur, singular Tekruuri) made the pilgrimage to Mecca from Timbuktu in modern-day Mali in 1901 and settled in Kassala on their way home. The word "Takaariir" is said to come from the Arabic verb karrir, to repeat. The implication is that the West Africans termed Takaariin were pilgrims who sojourned in Red Sea Province two times, once on the way to Mecca and once on the way back. Another, more likely, explanation for the word is from the words "Tek Rur", a large region along the Senegal River valley. In Arabic this word becomes "Tekruuri". Tek Rur played an important role in the history of West Africa and particularly in its Islamisation and was the source of many pilgrims to Mecca ('Umar Al-Naqar 1972).

The Beni 'Amer group originates from two source areas: the mountains east and south of Kassala and a contiguous area composed of coastal and mountain South Tokar and northern Eritrea The principal source area in Eritrea is Barka Province, Eritrea's northerarnost and largest province.

Wage labour is the principal economic activity of most notably the Beni 'Amer and the West Africans. During the 1986 harvest in the Hadaliya block of the Gash, the Hadendowa accounted for 65%, West Africans for 25%, Eritreans for 10% of the wage labour force (Ausenda 1987). Hadendowa and West Africans are considered the best planters, West Africans are valued by landlords for their speed and thoroughness in weeding, and all groups are equally regarded with respect to harvesting (Ausenda 1986). Colonial officials used the numbers of West African labours on the schemes as an indicator of the relative prosperity of the agricultural year (McLoughlin 1966).

In the early part of this century, the majority of labourers presenting themselves for work in the Gash and Tokar Deltas were Eritrean Beni 'Amer or Habaab. These labourers selected between work in the Gash, Tokar Delta, or Italian construction projects in Eritrea depending on the relative wage rates in each area Interestingly, these Eritrean Beni 'Amer were of servile status (according to Nadel 1945 and Paul 1950) and "clients" (according to Ausenda 1989). They were liberated or released from their relationship with their masters, the Nabtab aristocracy, after the colonial conquest. Their liberation was due to the colonial powers need for a ready source of labour for the Gash and Tokar Deltas, although this point has not been established with certainty from the written historical record. One can infer from the behaviour of the colonial powers in other areas (Cole forthcoming).

The Beni 'Amer floating labour pool situated in South Tokar involved only in harvesting operations (cutters), appears to be less diversified, more proletarianised, and more vulnerable to economic stress than other groups of labourers. These people are of more recent immigration to Red Sea Province; many of them are war refugees. Most wage labour in the Gash and Tokar Deltas are of course poor, however, there is opportunity for surplus accumulation and social mobility for hardworking and enterprising labourers. The record of the more established Beni 'Amer immigrants is evidence for this. In the Gash, some individuals, as a result of hard work, may be allotted tenancies on the scheme. Others, after they build some capital, branch into market gardening of vegetables or watermelon. Many of the Eritrean Beni 'Amer who work in the Gash supplement their income by smuggling grain and sugar out of the Sudan to Eritrea by camel. It is difficult to estimate the volume of this trade because of its clandestine nature, however, the Ministry of Commerce in Khartoum estimated that 100000 tonnes were smuggled from the Gedarif area alone in 1977 (Simpson 1980). The demand for cereals created by war in recent years has probably augmented this figure.

Hadendowa labour migrants originate from the entire Hadendowa area in Red Sea Province. The Gash is but one of several stops on their annual labour itinerary. According to the Gash Board some Hadendowa, like other migrant labourers, work during the early season in the Khashm el-Qirba scheme or even as far south as Gedarif and later move to the Gash (see Bakhit (1988). Hadendowa also work in the Tokar Delta and McLoughlin (1966) suggests that the migrant labourers choose their workplace according to the wages being paid in shares or in cash.

Because of the political instability in Eritrea, and in the highlands in general, it is not uncommon to find highland Christians working in the Gash and in the Kassala area. These people are principally involved in the illegal importation and sale of alcohol from Eritrea If they are involved in agriculture it is generally with the cash crop, watermelon.

Most labourers in the Delta are involved in seasonal migration to other schemes in addition to their work in the Gash Delta. For example, planting and weeding are done earlier in Khashm al-Girba than in the Gash so that labourers begin the agricultural year on these operations in Khashm al-Girba. They proceed to the Gash to plant and weed and, depending on the size of the harvest, either return to Khashm al-Girba or remain in the Gash. If they remain in the Gash for the sorghum harvest they go to Khashm al-Girba for the cotton harvest after the sorghum harvest in the Gash is completed. Khashm al-Girba is a scheme developed in the 1960s for people displaced by the lake created by the Egyptian High Dam at Aswaan. Tenancies are divided between the displaced Nubians and people from the Shukriyya, Bishariin, Hadendowa, and 'Atman groups.

 

The Tokar Delta

The Tokar Delta is located in North Tokar District, Red Sea Province. The delta forms part of the Khor Baraka drainage system originating in Eritrea. The delta itself is about 500000 feddans in area, however, the actual cultivated area is far less. The northwestern side of the delta has not been cultivated since the 1940s when the main stream of the Baraka began moving east. The southeast side is uncultivated at present but soon will be under cultivation as the Tokar Board has been directing the flood in that direction since the early 1980s. At present, from 180000 to 200000 feddans in the central area of the delta are cultivable, although area cultivated depends on flooding and generally is much lower than this figure. Average area cultivated in the Delta is 140000 feddans, divided about equally between cotton and millet/sorghum. Cotton is considered the principal crop of the delta, however, there are large areas where cotton cannot be grown and millet and sorghum are grown instead. The major centre for millet/sorghum farming in the delta is south of Tokar town. In 1986, 67000 feddans of millet/sorghum were farmed in that area. Within the area devoted to cotton, millet is grown as a windbreak around each cotton plot as well.

The Tokar Delta is divided into seventy-nine areas of various sizes called a muraba'a Appendix 7.1). Each muraba'a is divided into rectangles of 160 feddans (800 by 800 meters). Each 160 feddan square is divided into sections of forty feddans divided by a road from east to west (al-arba'aiin) and from north to south (altamaniin). At each juncture of al-arba'aiin and al-tarnaniin there is a post indicating the location. A feddan in the cotton area of the scheme is divided into rectangles ten by fifteen meters in size and two rows of millet are planted along the edges of the entire area as a windbreak Cotton is planted in the centre of each block and three rows of sorghum (shawiir, shawaair) are planted between the blocks.

The average holding in the Tokar Delta is a topic of some controversy. Five years ago it was estimated to be about 12.5 feddans. The range of ownership is from one-half to 1000 feddans with the majority being in the less than five feddan category. Land ownership in the Delta is unclear, individual owners are unwilling to come forward and identify themselves. This situation may be ameliorated in 1989 because the Sudanese government has pledged £2000000 Sudanese to the landowners of the delta providing that they identify themselves, their tribal affiliation, and the size of their holdings.

Unlike the Gash Delta, land in the Tokar Delta can be bought and sold. A feddan of land near Tokar town, for example, can be sold for about £1500.00 Sudanese this year. The price reflects the quality of the land and the distance from Tokar town.

Organisation of labour

The land tenure system in the Tokar Delta developed differently from that in the Gash Delta Government involvement is minimal in Tokar and a three layered land use system is employed in contrast to the four layered system of the Gash Delta. This difference may be due to the greater interannual variability in the flood of the Baraka river and a risk minimisation policy adopted by the tenants and the Government (see below). The following table presents descriptive statistics on the difference in flooding between the Gash and the Tokar deltas. The table illustrates the point that although, on average, the Tokar Delta receives a greater flood, its interannual variability and consequent risk to the farmer is higher.

Table 7.3. Means, standard deviations and coefficients of variation for flooded area, Gash and Tokar Deltas.

Area

Mean

SD

CV

Gash

67580

25517

38%

Tokar

78120

39075

50%

* Dates are 1963 to 1988 for the Gash and 1963 to 1986 for Tokar.

Figures for the Tokar Delta for the years 1900 to 1987, since the beginning of the scheme, are as follows: mean, 67144; standard deviation, 41792; and coefficient of variation, 62.

The following table presents data on flooding and cultivated area in the Tokar Delta from 1900 to the present. Of particular note is the higher interannual deviation of flooding in the Tokar Delta as compared to the Gash.

Table 7.4. Joker Delta, total flooded and cropped areas and average yields In small qantars (100 Ibs), 1900 to 1987.

 

TOTAL

CROPPED

AVERAGE

TOTAL

CROPPED

AVERAGE

 

YEAR

FLOODED

AREA

YIELD

YEAR

FLOODED

AREA

YIELD

 

AREA

COTTON

sm Qantar

AREA

COTTON

sm Qantar

 

1900-1901

19068

2218

7.00

1946-1947

96000

52620

5.70

1901-1902

13369

307

3.70

1997-1948

65210

41580

8.00

1902-1903

14611

2641

7.00

1948-1949

26000

17565

4.20

1903-1904

18465

5273

5.50

1949-1950

56250

30265

3.50

1904-1905

39671

9487

5.00

1950-1951

168000

64340

5.30

1905-1906

33492

6058

6.10

1951-1952

38167

31997

2.10

1906-1907

36332

16397

5.00

1952-1953

50000

25000

4.30

1907-1908

50647

18005

5.00

1953-1954

134949

70000

4.80

1908-1909

27658

11048

4.80

1954-1955

27455

13482

2.40

1909-1910

45324

24655

4.00

1955-1956

2602

0

0.00

1910-1911

51287

39155

3.90

1956-1957

177873

100000

2.90

1911-1912

43923

29721

3.80

1957-1958

22165

15000

2.10

1912-1913

53495

22120

5.20

1958-1959

71787

44540

4.00

1913-1914

30061

11353

5.80

1959-1960

117721

79780

4.00

1914-1915

76598

30550

6.70

1960-1961

23485

6161

0.99

1915-1916

38154

10562

11.90

1961-1962

214838

123699

2.20

1916-1917

122661

44000

5.00

1962-1963

12491

7000

3.95

1917-1918

43190

19000

3.10

1963-1964

22685

12777

2.60

1918-1919

42670

21000

1.90

1964-1965

117435

53500

3.00

1919-1920

47797

30000

5.10

1965-1966

29000

11000

4.60

1920-1921

135977

70000

3.10

1966-1967

27000

17766

7.90

1921-1922

54914

31000

3.50

1967-1968

112000

85000

1.80

1922-1923

42000

21212

3.50

1968-1969

111000

25000

3.90

1923-1924

49863

33000

6.30

1969-1970

28000

14000

2.50

1924-1925

35000

22032

4.40

1970-1971

110000

47972

4.30

1925-1926

31000

14400

2.20

1971-1972

40000

22032

3.40

1926-1927

33900

20000

5.00

1972-1973

82525

44009

5.10

1927-1928

60000

45000

3.70

1973-1974

88546

30594

5.10

1928-1929

75000

50000

2.90

1974-1975

124641

56766

3.40

1929-1930

125000

95000

3.90

1975-1976

167000

64199

3.60

1930-1931

100000

60000

3.60

1976-1977

56000

11700

1.90

1931-1932

85000

38000

4.40

1977-1978

118000

6361

0.29

1932-1933

99000

44000

6.80

1978-1979

128000

22000

3.10

1933-1934

70000

37700

1.90

1979-1980

35953

13000

1.40

1934-1935

66000

31000

4.20

1980-1981

61213

14000

3.80

1935-1936

25000

14050

7.60

1981-1982

55680

20000

4.70

1936-1937

82000

43000

8.30

1982-1983

63535

15000

3.12

1937-1938

43000

20000

4.20

1983-1984

78315

25000

4.50

1938-1939

85000

40000

6.70

1984-1985

35000

10000

2.40

1939-1940

54000

27000

7.40

1985-1986

95000

25000

3.58

1940-1941

50000

33000

10.20

1986-1987

88358

30000

1.87

1941-1942

64000

25596

4.40

       

1942-1943

76000

33000

9.90

       

1943-1944

71480

20558

5.50

       

1944-1945

86000

42052

11.00

       

1945-1946

114000

47560

7.10

       

SOURCE: Tokar Delta Board.

The three strata that comprise the Tokar Delta system are:

1. The landlord (saahib al-dhimin).

2. The tenant (saahib al-nuus).

3. The labourer (saahib al-ruba').

The landlord is required to provide durra and vegetable seeds and pay for the digging of a well for drinking and vegetable cultivation. Cotton seed is provided free by the Tokar Board. The Tokar Board takes five percent from the proceeds of cotton sold for each landlord for the maintenance of the dike around Tokar town and five percent of the proceeds is taken by the District Council. The landlord is entitled to one-half of the harvest.

The tenant is required to clean and burn the field after the harvest and to manage the agricultural labour. He must provide the labourers with one meal a day. He is entitled to onehalf of the harvest. He divides his half with the hired labourers. Unlike the Gash Delta where labourers are paid in cash, in the Tokar Delta payment is made in kind according to negotiated shares of the tenants portion of the agricultural produce.

The tenant, like the sharecropper in the Gash, is found most often today on medium to large farms. His role is more akin to manager-shareholder than tenant. On small farms there is no tenant and agricultural labourers are free to negotiate the terms of their tenure. In this situation the landlord is responsible for cleaning the field at the end of the agricultural year.

The basic unit of agricultural labour in the Tokar Delta is the family. The male and female adult members of a family do the bulk of the agricultural labour and the children are expected to work from an early age and contribute to the household economy. Individuals who go to the Tokar Delta just to harvest are the exception to the above statement. They usually leave their families outside the Delta Each adult member of the family is paid separately. Children's wages are given to their father or guardian. The agricultural labourers are responsible for all agricultural operations except cleaning and burning the field for cotton, millet and sorghum, and vegetables. Men and women do the same tasks in general but women perform most of the cotton harvest. Women cannot work as much as men as they have responsibilities to the children. Women also look after the mink herd kept near the house. In general, women own part or all of these animals. In general, Beni 'Amer women invest their earnings in goats for milk and sheep for market, Fellata women invest in cattle, and Hadendowa women invest in she camels. Women from all groups invest in gold. Men generally invest in pack camels, cattle, and sheep for fattening for market.

The labourers have the right to the following:

1. Twenty-five percent of the actual grain harvest for sowing the crop (hence the name saahib al-ruba').

2. Twenty-five percent of the stalk production.

3. One-tenth of the harvest for harvesting the crop.

4. One-eighth for threshing the crop.

5. The second harvest from the regrowth from the stubble of the first harvest.

6. Twenty to twenty-five plasters for every pound of cotton picked.

7. One-third of the vegetable harvest.

For tomatoes there is a special arrangement made which sometimes works to the advantage of the tenant and to the disadvantage of the labourer. Ordinarily, consonant with the rules regarding vegetable harvest in general, the labourer gets onethird, the tenant gets one third, and the landlord gets one-third of the tomato harvest. The tenant, however, prefers if he can to squeeze out the labourer, who only plants the tomatoes, and take care of the tomato crop himself from planting to the hiring of harvesters. For example, suppose a box of tomatoes sells for £50.00 in Tokar town. Five pounds are paid to the people who pick the tomatoes and five pounds for transportation. The remainder is divided equally between the landlord, the tenant, and the labourer providing that the labourer planted the tomatoes. When the tenant eliminates the labourer at the planting stage he takes two-thirds of the proceeds himself.

Cotton is a special case as well. There are two seasons to the cotton harvest. The fast is during the bulk of the year when labourers are paid a fixed rate for each pound of cotton picked. After June 15, however, when livestock are permitted to graze freely in the Delta, wage rates rise dramatically almost to 50 percent of the sale price of the cotton. In May 1989 labourers were paid .20 plasters a pound or 5 Sudanese pounds per sack and 1 pound of sugar. After June 15th labourers were paid co plasters per pound. Of the sale price of 1.20 the landowner received .70 plasters. This time of the year is called the mustard period in the Delta. Some saahib al-ruba' hide their cotton until the arrival of this period in order to obtain higher prices. This activity is said to be common among most Beja tribes that use the Delta. The Beni 'Amer, however, are reputed to rarely engage in this practice. Generally, wives of labourers do the cotton picking.

The table below illustrates the change in harvest labour rates for cotton, tomatoes, and okra.

Table 7.5. Harvest labour rates in Tokar Delta for cotton, tomatoes and okra; 1980 to 1989.

YEAR

CROP

 

Cotton

Tomatoes

Okra

 

(£S/pound)

(£S/10 kg tin)

(£S/tin)

1980

.010

15.00

10.00

1981

.010

15.00

10.00

1982

.015

20.00

12.00

1983

.020

25.00

25.00

1984

.025

25.00

25.00

1985

.030

25.00

25.00

1986

.050

25.00

25.00

1987

.050

25.00

25.00

1988

.075

50.00

50.00

1989

.200

100.00

200.00

In years of drought the bottom may drop out of the labour market, as happened in 1985. In years of labour deficit, in contrast, the labourers may get more than twenty-five percent of the harvest as negotiated pay. With the twenty-five percent system, however, the labourers stand to make up to forty percent of the harvest when they perform the additional tasks mentioned above. The labourers are provided with one half of their subsistence for eight months of the year in the form of one meal per day, generally the midday meal. Lastly, the labourers have the right to the weeds in the field to use as fodder or for sale.

The share system is preferred by labourers to wage labouring. Wage labour in 1989 was paid at a rate of £25.00 per day in the Tokar Delta. There are two explanations why labourers prefer shares in kind to wages in cash. The first reason is that sharing is simply a better deal. This explanation is plausible enough especially considering the long list of benefits the sharer receives. This, however, does not explain the whole story. Another explanation for the preference for sharing has to do with the stranger status of the Eritrean Beni 'Amer, the majority of the labourers in the delta (see next section). Their political status in Red Sea Province is unclear; they have no rights and are not well regarded by local people. The Beni 'Amer claim that the Tokar Delta formed part of the Beni 'Amer territory before the expansion of the Hadendowa and minor tribes in the 17th and 18th centuries. Because of their present ambiguous status, these labourers prefer shareholding to wage labouring because it makes them appear to have more of a claim to the land (and, for those from Eritrea, Sudanese nationality) than do ordinary daily wage labourers.

Sources of Labourers

The principal source of labour for the Tokar Delta are relatively recent Beni 'Amer (Habaab) immigrants from Eritrea, local Beni 'Amer, Beja labourers from Red Sea Province (mainly Hadendowa), and West Africans. The Beni 'Amer are mostly permanent or temporary residents of the delta area residing on the outskirts of Tokar town itself, in Korayt, a controversial settlement located five kilometres to the northeast of Tokar towns, in the Ma'arafiit area, in one of the coastal settlements south of the delta, in the South Tokar mountains, or in Eritrea The West Africans live mainly in Tokar town or in Korayt and the Hadendowa come from coastal and mountain areas in North and South Tokar Districts as well as from Sinkat and Haya Districts. It was estimated by one informant that two thirds of the men who live along the coast between Tokar and Suakin migrate to the Tokar delta, either as labourers or just for the harvest. The harvesters, qaata'iin (cutters), go directly to the fields and begin cutting. At the end of the day each cutter presents his work to the tenant who apportions the shares. The Hadendowa from southeast and south central Red Sea Province go to Tokar only to harvest sorghum and return with their shares to their home areas. They are not interested in greater involvement in the scheme.

The labourers who live in and around the delta and who are on a one-quarter sharing system move to the fields in September to begin work. Their families follow them later, generally in November. They remain in the delta with their families for eight months until May or June. They take their milk and fattening animals with them to the fields to graze them. If they have many animals they send them to uncultivated parts of the delta for grazing. At the end of the agricultural year the labourers take most of their animals and enough fodder for three months with them to their settlements. Livestock holding as a form of investment is constrained in the Tokar system by limitations imposed by the amount of available fodder and space in the labourer settlements. Most of the labourers who have invested savings earned on farm in livestock send their animals to the South Tokar and Eritrean highlands in May or June for pasture. These animals return later in the year to graze on the scheme.

 

The schemes and food stress

It has been stated that, in general, precolonial society fared better in the face of environmental variation than it does today. More specifically, it has been said that the Gash and Tokar schemes have increased the vulnerability of people to the environment. I would like to address these two points below because I feel that these criticisms are unjustified

Precolonial relations between landowner and labour have been termed a "moral economy" (Watts 1983, Scott 1976) which cares for the vulnerable people during extreme food stress. Doubt has recently been cast on the general applicability of the "moral economy" model (see Bazin 1974, Ortoli 1939, Park 1971, Roberts 1980) and some researchers are now contending that the precolonial, premarket society was structurally incapable of coping with extreme food stress (Torry 1987). Watkins and van de Walle (1985: 10) state that "...most preindustrial economies were particularly vulnerable to crises." The authors suggest that these economies possessed production systems that had the following characteristics:

1. Few, if any, surpluses.

2. A lack of diversification.

3. A lack of systems of insurance and solidarity as have been developed by the modern state.

An almost continual condition of competition in the precolonial period between small, often ethnically different, groups reduced spatial mobility during periods of food crisis such that localized food shortages often became famines. The use of such formerly common droughtcoping strategies as the pledging of children to unaffected groups or individuals for grain has disappeared with economic diversification, increased mobility, and the cessation of intergroup conflict.

According to informants interviewed by Dahl just after the recent drought, Red Sea Province has had eleven periods of famine and loss of human and livestock life that occurred during the last one hundred and ten years (see paper 3 for a different interpretation of drought). The most severe instance of loss of life was during the 1880 to 1890 period when drought in conjunction with political instability and disease ravaged the population of Red Sea Province.

Table 7.6. Periods of food stress In Red Sea Province, 1880 to 1988.

YEAR

LOCATION

CAUSE

1880-90

General

Political instability, drought,

   

locusts, smallpox, cholera,

   

rinderpest

1904

Jebel Elba

Drought

1910

Atbai

Drought

1919-24

General

Decline of war demand and high

   

prices, high taxes

1925-27

General

Drought

1936

General

Drought

1940-42

General

Drought

1947-49

General

Drought

1955-58

General

Drought

1972

General

Drought

1979-85

General

D roughs

SOURCE: Dahl (1988).

It is important to note that the closer the period to the present the less important has been human mortality. Why, particularly during a time of general population growth, has this been so? Political stability, increased economic opportunity in the formal and informal sectors, spatial mobility have all contributed to easing the impact of environmental variation. The system of production used by Beja groups in and around Red Sea Province until very recently has been characterized by small surplus accumulation, lack of diversification, and no social insurance mechanisms to cushion extreme food stress. Indeed, one of the principal "mechanisms" for a group to cushion extreme food stress in the past was to transfer it to other groups by raiding or conquest.

The second point regarding food stress that I would like to address concerns the putative negative impacts of the Tokar and Gash schemes on the ability of the individual to respond to environmental variation. It has been stated by Morton (1986) and Ausenda (1987) that cultivation in the Gash Delta reduced pasture area and consequently caused a decline in herd size. Dahl (1988) states that the development of the Gash scheme involved a significant loss of grazing. The implication is that vulnerability to drought increased as a result of the schemes. These contentions are not supported by the facts as:

1. Much of the Gash and Tokar areas was impenetrable thicket prior to the development of the schemes and carrying capacity must have been low.

2. The majority of agricultural products produced today in and around the schemes, in particular stalks and weeds in the farmed areas and grazing in unfarmed areas, is destined to be consumed by livestock. The schemes are, in fact, fodder farms.

3. Water channelling and spreading techniques have increased the flooded area

4. The flooded, pasture producing, area is much greater than the cultivated area

In addition to producing fodder for local and transhumant livestock, the schemes produce fodder for export to predominantly Beja-owned feedlots in Port Sudan and towndwelling small stock owners in Derudeb, Haya, Sinkat, and Suakin. The feedlots in Port Sudan (located east of Daym al-wuhda) house approximately 12000 head of cattle which are used principally for the production of milk for consumption in Port Sudan and secondly as fattening stations for livestock for export. The feedlots, with the exception of some animals taken to local pastures during the winter rainy season on the coast, are entirely supported from outside. The history of the development of the feedlots since they began in the early 1970s is an interesting story of the successful adaptation of traditional activities to modem urban demand. The Gash and Tokar deltas are the breeding areas that produce the milk cows for the feedlots.

The argument that the Gash and Tokar schemes impede the ability of the Beja to cope with drought by making inaccessible traditional dry season pasture (or wet season pasture for that matter) is specious for the same reasons. The schemes have significantly increased grain production, fodder production, and have provided formal and informal sector employment for thousands of people and have, in fact, increased the ability of people to weather environmental variation successfully.

This is not to say that people are not having problems today or in the recent past - on the contrary, people have been impoverished by drought and inflation and there are large numbers of refugees in the province. These people gravitate to areas of opportunity such as the Tokar and Gash Deltas, the towns, and particularly Port Sudan.

A last point concerning vulnerability has to do with the sharing system versus the wage labour system. Sharecropping appears to be a form of risk sharing that works to the labourers' advantage. In good years the labourer is able to accumulate surpluses and in bad years is not liable for any fixed rent. Sen (1981: 5) has the following to say about sharecropping:

A peasant differs from a landless labourer in terms of ownership (since he owns land, which the labourer does not), the landless sharecropper differs from the landless labourer not in their respective ownerships, but in the way they can use the only resource they own, viz. Iabour power. The landless labourer will be employed in exchange for a wage, while the share-cropper will do the cultivation and own a part of the product. This difference can lead not merely to contrasts of the levels of typical remuneration of the two ... but also to sharp differences in exchange entitlements in distress situations. For example, a cyclone reducing the labour requirement for cultivation by destroying a part of the crop in each farm may cause some casual agricultural labourer to be simply fired, leading to a collapse of their exchange entitlements, while others are retained. In contrast, in this case the share-croppers may all operate with a lower labour input and lower entitlement, but no one may become fully jobless and thus incomeless.

Fixed rents appear to have a negative impact on the success of schemes to sedentarise pastoralists (Cole 1982). Variable rents enable the labourer to accumulate surpluses in good years as insurance against the inevitable bad years. In bad years the proportion of rent paid varies according to the harvest; in particularly bad years the sharecroppers are exempted from payment of their rents. This system, as opposed to fixed rent, seems to be well suited to the variable environment in Red Sea Province. For example, variation in flooding in Red Sea Province outside of the Tokar Delta generally varies by 100% from year to year. In the Gash and Tokar Deltas interannual variation is 38% and 62% respectively, much lower than all other watersheds in the Eastern Region.

Perhaps the difference between the Gash and Tokar deltas in terms of reliance on wage labour as opposed to sharecropping is that the Gash flooding is more reliable than that of Khor Baraka and the floods in the Gash Delta are supplemented by an average annual rainfall of 400 mm while in the Tokar Delta the average annual rainfall is 73 mm (see Cole 1989). It is possible that the Gash flow is more amenable to management than the Baraka The greater the environmental variation the greater the security demanded by labourers.

The present deterioration of the Sudanese economy is tragic because a healthy national and regional market economy in the Sudan is the short and longterm key to economic recovery for all Beja agropastoralists, farmers, and labourers in Red Sea Province. A strong and diversified regional and national economy and a strong national transportation infrastructure would promote successful adaptation to environmental variation. Strong economic performance would enable producers to accumulate assets, a diversified economy enables producers to find investments for their surplus, and a well-linked national infrastructure would enable individuals to move from opportunity to opportunity and to minimise risk through mobility. Without economic diversification it is clear that the ability of Beja pastoralists and agropastoralists to respond to drought will be seriously impeded.

 

References

Al-Naqar, U. (1972) The pilgrimage tradition in West Africa University of Khartoum Press, Khartoum.

Ausenda, G. (1987) Leisurely nomads: the Hadendowa (Beja) of the Gash Delta and their transition to sedentary village life. Columbia University Department of Anthropology, New York. 556 pp.

Bazin, J. (1974) War and servitude in Segu. Economy and Society, 2(3): 106-143.

Cissoko, S.M. (1968) Famines et epidemics à Tombouktou et dans la Boucle du Niger du XVI au XVIII siècle. Bulletin de l'Institut Français de l'Afrique Noire, B30(3): 806-821.

Cole, R. (forthcoming) Changes in drought-coping strategies in the Segu Region of Mali. Unpublished Ph.D. dissertation. Michigan State University Department of Geography, East Lansing, Michigan. 245 pp.

Cole, R. (1989) Drought, food stress, and the flood and rainfall record for Red Sea Province. Oxfam Port Sudan. 50 pp.

Cole, R. (1982) The sedentarization of pastoral nomads: an examination of 22 settlement schemes. Unpublished M.Sc. Thesis, Department of Resource Development, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan.

Cumming, D.C. (1937) The history of Kassala and the province of Taka, part one. Sudan Notes and Records, 20: 1-45.

Cumming, D.C. (1940) The history of Kassala and the province of Taka, part one. Sudan Notes and Records, 23: 1-54.

Dahl, G. (1988) Who can be blamed? Interpreting the Beja drought. University of Stockholm Department of Social Anthropology, Stockholm. 28 pp.

Elfatih Shaaeldin (1983) The Rist, Hashim and Imam reports: a resume. In Elfatih Shaaeldin (ed.) (1983) The evolution of agrarian relations in the Sudan. Ithaca Press, London. pp. 381-388.

McLoughlin, C. (1966) Labour market conditions and wages in the Gash and Tokar

Deltas, 1900-1955. Sudan Notes and Records, 47: 111-126.

Mohammed Hashim Awad (1973) Agricultural development in the Gezira Scheme: a rejoinder. In Elfatih Shaaeldin (ed.) (1983) The evolution of agrarian relations in the Sudan. Ithaca Press, London. pp. 389-395.

Mohammed M. Abdel Salam. (1978) Institutional impediments to developments in the Sudan Gezira scheme. In Elfatih Shaaeldin (ed.) (1983) The evolution of agrarian relations in the Sudan. Ithaca Press, London. pp. 357-379.

Morton, J. (1986) Oxfam Port Sudan and rural development in Red Sea Province: a discussion paper. Oxfam Port Sudan, Sudan. 31 pp.

Nadel, S.F. (1945) Notes on the Beni Amer Society. Sudan Notes and Records, 27: 51-94.

Ortoli, H. (1939) Le gage des personnel au Soudan Français. Bulletin de l'Institut Français de l'Afrique Noire, 1: 313-324.

Park, M. (1971) Travels in the interior districts of Africa in the years 1795, 1796, and 1797. Arno Press, New York.

Paul, A. (1954) A history of the Beja tribes in the Sudan. Cambridge University Press. Cambridge. 164 pp.

Paul, A. (1950) Notes on the Beni Amer. Sudan Notes and Records, 31: 222-245.

Quinney, S. (1988) Summary of work done regarding whether the food aid in RSP has deter,red people from seasonal work in the Gash Delta and Dai. Oxfam Port Sudan.

Roberts, R.L. (1980) Production and reproduction of warrior states: Segu Bambara and Segu Tokolor. International Journal of African Historical Studies, 13(3): 389419.

Sen, A. (1981) Poverty and famines: an essay on entitlement and deprivation. Oxford University Press, Oxford. 257 pp.

Simpson, M.C. (1980) Large-scale mechanized rain-fed farming developments in the Sudan. in Elfatih Shaaeldin (ed.) (1983) The evolution of agrarian relations in the Sudan. Ithaca Press, London. pp. 269-289.

Torry, W. (1987) Evolution of food rationing systems with reference to African group farms in the context of drought. In Glantz, M. (ed.) Drought and hunger in Africa: denying famine a future. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. 1987. Pp. 323-348.

Watkins, S.C. and van de Walle, E. (1985) Nutrition, mortality, and population size: Malthus' court of last resort. In Rotberg, R.I. and Rabb, T.K. (eds.) (1985) Hunger and history: the impact of changing food production and consumption patterns on society. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

Zipf, G. (1948) The principal of least effort. Alfred Knopf, New York.

 

Appendix 7.1: Agricultural districts of the Gash Delta.

 

District

Area

Length of

   

(feddans)

Canals (km)

1.

Kassala

33000

27

2.

Mekali

42000

33

3.

Degain

33000

33

4.

Tindelai

48000

50

5.

Metataib

42000

31

6.

Hadaliya

42000

46

 

Appendix 7.2: Blocks (Muraba'a) of Tokar Delta.

1.

Mugdim

2.

Togwan

3.

Kalanda

4.

Trumbo

5.

Kulkul

6.

Titeeta

7.

Leaat

8.

Etteb

9.

Hilwa

10.

Haboi

11.

Aila

12.

Debba Salim

13.

Temnonai

14.

Gobal

15.

Illabilli

16.

Fattaka

17.

Alenlama

18.

Wadai

19.

Bardob

20.

Bawakneb

21.

Kurmin Neiu

22.

Burur

23.

Shaskeil

24.

Galateb

25.

Tankil

26.

Birgana

27.

Kalloteb

28.

Hashakau

29.

Kamageb

30.

Watawatia

31.

Bashatgaw

32.

Makrik

33.

Delawiay

34.

Wassir

35.

Abu Rish

36.

Trigdad

37.

Hasbub

38.

Mohammed Oar

39.

Mumtaz

40.

Selalat

41.

Abdullah Rai

42.

Tilil

43.

Tuteamab

44.

Tonak

45.

Fadda

46.

Adriameb

47.

Adai

48.

Shikibeb

49.

Kartut

50.

Bardadet

51.

Kugeriai

52.

Fardit

53.

Afafit

54.

Aweb

55,

Buruk Diblab

56.

Englim

57.

Mant

58.

Illadebbai

59.

Tifaeit

60.

Mifris

61.

Hirjan

62.

El-Watan

63.

Hagmug

64.

Barameiyu

65.

El-Ghaffar

66.

Galelama

67.

Basogeit

68.

Dambil

69.

Umbarki

70.

Sheraein

71.

El-Rowash

72.

Adam Addit

73.

Tabeinai

74.

Hamarit

75.

Nafisa

76.

Dang El-Habba

77.

Krimbit

78.

Mekiaf

79.

Bahr Era