The Ministry of Industry and Trade in Sudan has announced new measures to control and monitor the distribution of flour. The ministry acknowledges that 25 per cent of the subsidised flour ration – equal to 25,000 sacks a day – are being ‘leaked’.
In a press conference on Thursday, the Undersecretary of the Ministry of Industry, Mohamed Abdallah warned all bakery owners or agent distributors who may be involved in the trafficking of flour that any agent distributor who fails to distribute the ration given to him will be replaced.
He added, “we will appoint qualified people to distribute the flour. Anyone who manipulates or is proved to be involved in leaking flour shall face the punishment of five years imprisonment under the consumer’s protection laws.”
Abdallah explained that the ministry has established offices in the capital and all other states to control flour and the markets. He added that they are going to strengthen the laws that regulate trade and cooperation. “The ministry will enact new laws to control the central markets, registering the exporters, and establishing central rooms to distribute the subsidised flour,” he said.
The director of market supervision at the ministry, Hasan Ibnouf confirmed the leaking of 25 per cent of the subsidised flour. Ibnouf also acknowledged the existence of abuses in the weights and specifications of the pieces of bread. “We will design a form to collect information regarding the distribution, bakeries, and agent distributors so that we can take measures to control the distributions through electronic and field monitoring.”
Kamal Hammad, a worker in one of the bakeries told Radio Dabanga that some bakeries use less than 15 sacks and hide the rest. He also explained that there are people who have flour rations and do not have bakeries at all. “The weight of a piece bread does not exceed 30 grams,” he said.
Last week, Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok said that there is now an abundance of flour and fuel in the country, with sufficient stocks to cover the country’s needs for more than a month. He promised to overcome the logistical and distribution crisis in the coming weeks, stating that the government has achieved success in providing cash.