Article from ROAPE Volume 10 Number 26
Formation of the Agricultural Labour Force in Sudan

The Formation of the Agricultural Labour Force in Sudan
Vol.10 No.26 (Summer 1983), pp15-34
Seasonal recruitment was a primary means of obtaining agricultural labour in Sudan during the colonial and much of the post-colonial period. And as in many other African nations, agricultural labour was predominantly migrant labour. The supply of labour increased as government policies and increased penetration of capitalism expanded cash needs. But as O'Brien relates, responses to such needs varied among different groups and in different parts of the country. Hence the agricultural labour force displayed a variety of patterns of migration and a diversity of forms of integration into the capitalist economy depending - among other factors - on the nature of the crop harvested and the internal characteristics and local conditions of the communities from which labour was drawn. In recent years, however, the segmented nature of the agricultural labour force has begun to give way to the development of a national labour market. O'Brien reviews the background to and implications of this change.