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Agricultural Research in the Sudan dates back to beginning of the last century. The earliest experimental farms were started at Shendi in 1902 and at El Kamlin in 1903 to explore the possibilities of growing irrigated cotton in the northern Sudan. Shortly afterwards, more experimental farms were started at Rumbek, Tonj and Wau, primarily to test cotton under rain-fed conditions in the southern Sudan. Organized scientific research was started in 1903 with the establishment of the Welcome Tropical Research Laboratories (WTRL).