Markets and Trade in Darfur

Since 2010, The Feinstein International Center has provided advisory support to the Darfur Development and Reconstruction Agency (DDRA), a national NGO in Sudan, to set up and manage a community-based market monitoring network in the Darfur Region: the Market Monitoring and Trade Analysis project (MMTA).

The goals of the MMTA are: to deepen analysis and understanding of the shifting patterns of trade and markets in Darfur on an ongoing basis for key agricultural and livestock commodities; identify how livelihoods and the economy can be supported through trade; and identify peace-building opportunities through trade.

The MMTA is comprised of a unique and powerful network of almost 50 community-based organizations (CBOs) that work collaboratively across all five Darfur states to monitor and analyze trade flows and market activity. With this strong local base, the data collection and its interpretation are rooted in local knowledge and understanding. Despite the challenges of working in a context of protracted conflict, the MMTA monitors more than 70 markets across Darfur. They produce a variety of different outputs for a range of users from state and federal government to international and national aid agencies.

This project started in 2010 as part of a major four year research project on Pastoralism, Trade and Markets, which was part of the  UNEP Sudan Integrated Environment Project funded by UKAid, from the Department for International Development.  More information about that project is available here.

The specific objectives of the MMTA project are to:

  • Deepen analysis and understanding of how the conflict is impacting on trade and markets in Darfur, and therefore on livelihoods and the wider economy
  • Provide policy and programming advice to state-level, national and international actors, on how livelihoods can be supported through support to trade and market infrastructure during protracted crisis and in preparation for eventual recovery
  • Identify where trade provides a bridge between different livelihood and ethnic groups that may otherwise be hostile to one another, to identify opportunities for peace-building through trade. This will help to lay the foundations for the eventual recovery of Darfur’s economy when peace and stability are restored

The MMTA achieves these objectives by:

  • Supporting a CBO market monitoring network in all five Darfur states in partnership with DDRA to produce:
    • monthly early warning bulletins  that cover all five Darfur states
    • six-monthly trade and market bulletins for each state that identify  economic and livelihood opportunities
  • Carrying out in-depth studies into the trade in Darfur in livestock, cash crops, and cereals. These studies have been led by Feinstein, working in partnership with DDRA.

The implementation of the MMTA has been funded by the European Union through SOS Sahel International UK, and by UKAID from the Department of International Development through UNEP. Feinstein’s advisory support has been funded by DFID through UNEP and the Building Resilience and Adaptation to Climate Extremes and Disasters (BRACED) project, and UNDP.

Issue Paper: Impact of the El Ingaz Road in Darfur
El Ingaz Road Darfur
| April 2017

In Sudan, the El Ingaz paved road now connects Darfur to Central Sudan. The road was built in stages, with the critical stage between El Fashir and Central Sudan completed...

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Against the Grain: The Cereal Trade in Darfur
cereal trade

“This report is the third in a series of in-depth studies researching and analyzing the impact of conflict and associated factors on trade in Darfur’s main agricultural and livestock commodities....

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Taking Root: The Cash Crop Trade in Darfur

This study explores the impact of a decade of conflict in Darfur on the trade in some of Darfur’s major cash crops. How has the cash crop trade adapted, and...

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A Study of Production and Trade in Fresh Vegetables: North and West Darfur

This study on the trade of onions and tomatoes in Darfur explores trends in the production of and trade in onions and tomatoes during the conflict years, and the extent to which this is an area of current and potential growth.

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Policy Brief: On the Hoof

This policy brief explores what has happened to the livestock trade in the greater Darfur region during nine years of conflict, since 2003.

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Policy Brief: On the Hoof (Arabic)

This is the Arabic translation of a policy brief explores what has happened to the livestock trade in the greater Darfur region from 2003 to 2012, during the conflict.

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On the Hoof: Livestock Trade in Darfur

Livestock is one of Darfur’s main economic assets and makes a major contribution to Sudan’s national livestock and meat exports. This report explores what has happened to the livestock trade...

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Adaptation and Devastation The Impact of the Conflict on Trade and Markets in Darfur

Conflict and crisis in Darfur has continued unabated since 2003. While there has been a growing body of knowledge about how this has impacted on livelihoods, there has been much...

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Download the Guide here.

This guide documents the experience of the MMTA project in Darfur. It captures and codifies good practices that were used to fulfill the mandate of the MMTA and offers learning from what has worked and from challenges the project encountered over a six-year period.

This guide is intended:

  • As a resource for those involved in market monitoring in Darfur and elsewhere in Sudan.
  • To share the MMTA approach with organizations and networks involved in market monitoring and market assessments internationally, recognizing that on-going systems of market monitoring have received relatively little investment and have often been a struggle to maintain, especially in contexts of protracted conflict.

Download the Guide here.

  • Launch Workshop Report: This is a report of the first training workshop for DDRA and community-based organizations. The workshop introduced the project and laid the foundation for the MMTA’s work in North Darfur. It was held in El Fasher in October 2010 and was designed and supported by Feinstein.
  • MMTA Workshop Report: West Darfur This report is of a training workshop for community-based organizations, local non-government organizations and other partners during which the MMTA activities in West Darfur were set up. It was held in El Geneina in 2012 and was designed and supported by Feinstein. The report provides insight into the ongoing training and capacity building of the market monitoring network.