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June 29, 1995

Sudan: Agricultural Research, Extension and Training Project (Credit 1639-SU)

The Implementation Completion Report (ICR) on the Sudan Agricultural Research, Extension and Training project (Credit 1639-SU, approved in FY86) was prepared by the FAO/Bank Cooperative Programme on behalf of the Africa Regional Office. The Borrower was not able to prepare its own evaluation report on the implementation of the project, but did contribute to the ICR mission's AideMemoire.

The basic objective of the project was to improve the skills and capacity of farmer support services in irrigated areas in order to increase crop intensification and diversification. The project provided hardware (civil works, vehicles and equipment), software (training and technical assistance) and operating expenses to enable the selected research and production organizations to expand capacity, enhance staff skills, increase operations and work more closely with farmers.

The project was successful in expanding the capacity and quality of research. The flexibility that was introduced into the T&V extension methodology and the close links with research made the extension process and its messages more acceptable to farmers, who now help to pay for extension services. Improved technology was developed for cotton, sorghum, wheat and groundnuts and significant gains in production and productivity were achieved in the Gezira Irrigation Schemes for all crops, except cotton. Contact with the international agricultural research system was improved. The successful implementation of the project was compromised by the weakness of the Project Management Unit, by the ineffective Steering Committee and by delays in releasing counterpart funds. No research was done on improvement of pasture and fodder crops and the integration of livestock into farming systems as intended at project design. This shortcoming has serious implications for the future since the sustainability of the farming system would be much higher if livestock were included. The project was, therefore, successful in achieving short-run improvements in technology and skill training, but unsuccessful in building management capacity and ensuring sufficient and stable funding to sustain research and extension in the future.

The ICR provides a full account of the project and follows the structure prescribed in the new guidelines. The performance of the Bank was satisfactory throughout the project cycle. The Operations Evaluation Department (OED) agrees with the ratings provided in the ICR, with the exception of sustainability which OED considers uncertain (the ICR rated this as likely), since sufficient Government support to sustain the increased capacity is unlikely and support from poor farmers for institutional overheads and direct program costs may prove inadequate. The project outcome is rated as marginally satisfactory. Institutional development is rated as modest.

No audit is planned.



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