Mahgoub Sons Group – Enhancing Agribusiness & Food Security in Sudan
Sudan was for years considered one of the world’s greatest bread basket, with approximately 84 million hectares of arable land.
Unfortunately, the secession of South Sudan, destruction of forests, increased aridity, and expansion of urban centres have drastically reduced arable land to only about 10.72% of the total land area.
Today, a nation expected to feed Africa and pretty much the rest of the world can barely feed its people.
Sudan’s agriculture and livestock sector account for 35% of the national GDP, currently estimated to be $ 34.37 billion.
Mahgoub Sons Group (MSG) was established in 1969. Its founder, the late Merghani Mahgoub, saw the agricultural sector’s potential and the importance of sustainable food production in the country. So, he started an agribusiness company.
Five decades later, MSG has more than 20 companies under its umbrella, most contributing to the agribusiness portfolio.
Besides producing fresh produce from their plantations, Mahgoub Sons Group chose to diversify in other areas of agribusiness.
This is the oldest division operated by MSG. Three companies are under this division.
The African Plantation Company (APCO) was the first company established and operated by Mahgoub Sons Groups. At the time, the company had 3,000 acres of land for food production. Today, APCO owns 200,000 acres of land and is one of the largest food producers in Sudan.
The major food and cash crops that APCO grows include sorghum, sunflower, maize, sesame, and cotton.
MSG has invested heavily in harvesting machinery to ensure the crops are harvested quickly and promptly before being handed over to the other companies under MSG for packing, processing, and export.
Besides operating its plantations, APCO has also formed partnerships with farmers. APCO provides seeds, fertilizers, machinery, and farming knowledge. Farmers, on the other hand, provide the land, labor, and water. This cooperation has resulted in increased food production for the local and export market.
MSG has two other companies operating under the agriculture division.
The African Livestock Company (ALC) was established in 2016. Its sole responsibility is to supply animal products to the local and international markets.
This company is the link for farmers who don’t know where to sell their livestock. ALC currently specializes in the sale of high-quality frozen and chilled beef and lamb.
Besides trading in animal products, ALC also produces animal feed from agricultural byproducts. The main sources of animal feeds are corn, soya beans, sorghum, pigeon peas, and fava beans. Since the feeds produced cannot sustain the demand, ALC also imports concentrated feeds for poultry, cattle, and sheep.
The other company under this division is the African Ginning Factories (AGF). This company is an extension of AFCO.
The Al-Hourri Ginning Factory packs and wraps at least 50,000 bales of cotton every season for export. This factory has state-of-the-art machinery and is considered the best ginning plant in Sudan.
MSG is currently constructing two other ginning factories in Medani State and Alsime. These factories are expected to have the highest international standards, just like Al-Hourri.
Mahgoub Sons of Agricultural Inputs and Services (MSIS) and Elnilein Engineering and Spare Parts Company are the two companies under the group tasked with importing and distributing agricultural machinery and farm implements.
These companies seek to meet the needs of farmers and companies providing agricultural services, from seeding to harvesting.
MSG has a trading division, the second largest in the group. The African Cotton Trading Company (AFRICOT)), Mahgoub Sons Trading Co. Ltd (MASOT), and Almagoub Pharmaceutical Company are the three companies under this division.
MASOT, established in 1990, was the first agribusiness company under this division. As the main trading arm of MSG, MASOT focuses on importing and exporting agricultural products, such as sesame, wheat, sugar, cotton, sorghum, sunflower seeds, sunflower oil, and so on.
MASOT’s contribution to the growth of Sudan’s economy cannot be overlooked, considering it handles more than 60% and 30% of the sorghum and sesame exports, respectively.
AFRICOT, on the other hand, was established in 2018. Its role is primarily to manage the classification, transportation, warehousing, marketing, and export of cotton.
Cotton was for years the main source of wealth for Sudan. AFRICOT hopes to revive the industry and restore its former glory. Sudan currently exports about 16,000 metric tons of cotton annually.
Delta Food Complex, Almagoub Factory of Sweets, Delta Oil Refinery, and Tahniya & Tahini operates under MSG Food.
Value addition is a very important component in agribusiness. Unfortunately, many farmers receive very little income from their products because they don’t know how or have no means of adding value.
MSG Food division is one of the most prominent in Sudan because it provides high-quality food for the local and export market.
Initially, the company imported wheat, lentils, sugar, and rice in bulk then package them for sale in smaller quantities. Today, 80% of food packaged in this division is produced locally. MSG Food packages and exports sesame and sesame products.
Marketing is critical in agribusiness. Since MSG runs a range of services, having a media division that meets all the marketing needs of all the companies under MSG seemed to be a great idea.
Additionally, the media division earns revenue from marketing the services of other farmers and companies.
The companies operating under this division are Brand Avenue and Sudania 24 Media Group.
Commodore Transport was founded in 1992 to provide integrated logistics support for the seamless supply of farm inputs, and farm produce to and from MSG farms located in different parts of Sudan.
Transport is a challenge in agribusiness. Many farmers suffer losses. Their produce rot on the farm because they do not reach the market fast enough.
Instead of relying on other service providers who may not share their vision, MSG opted to have a logistics department to meet its transportation needs. MSG transport also offers logistics services to other farmers and agribusiness companies.
Today, Commodore transport has a fleet of more than 150 trucks and 260 trailers. The trucks and trailers are customised to allow for the transportation of goods in different forms and conditions. For example, they can carry packed, bulk, and produce in liquid form.
MSG workshops and a team of engineers are always at hand for the regular maintenance of the trucks. Having these services in-house reduces repair downtime and guarantees uninterrupted service.
MSG Joint Ventures
MSG has formed partnerships to provide unique and vital agribusiness services.
LBTY – Sudan is a joint venture that has brought together MSG and Stakeholders Ltd. Together, the group has built Sudan Factory, which produces approximately 150,000 metric tons of steel bars for construction. The steel bars are handy for the construction of warehouses.
LBTY has also invested in an induction furnace that produces 75,000 metric tons of steel billets annually. This joint venture also intends to expand into the production of corrugated steel sheets and steel pipes.
MSG Engineering division has also formed a partnership with the Agricultural Bank of Sudan to form the Sudanese Canadian Company. This company has a state-of-the-art workshop in Medani State where agricultural implements are assembled for the local market.
Additionally, the Sudanese Canadian Company is the sole agent and distributor of heavy-duty agriculture equipment produced by Foton-Lovol International Heavy Industry Co. Ltd.
Undoubtedly, MSG is a massive agribusiness group of companies transforming Sudan’s agricultural space. The scale of operations has helped make agribusiness easier for local farmers. MSG has also been critical in providing employment opportunities.
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