The Republic of Sudan is close to purchasing 100 John Deere tractors and will follow up within the next three-plus months by acquiring as many as 500 additional tractors, Bloomberg reports.
"We have a deal in the pipeline, not yet concluded," agriculture minister Haleem al-Mutafi told Bloomberg in the Khartoum, the capital of Sudan.
The deal indicates the state-owned Agricultural Bank of Sudan will purchase the 100 John Deere tractors, which then would be passed on to farmers, according to the minister. He did not disclose how much Sudan would pay but he did say Sudan is likely to purchase 500 additional tractors and similar agricultural machinery by May.
The largest of the Arabic and African nations will conduct voting this Sunday to determine whether to divide the county's north and south.
To encourage peaceful cohabitation between those two regions, the U.S. loosened sanctions against the nation in October. The diplomacy also was designed to enable the country to minimize its oil dependency.
In 2005, the U.S., U.K. and Norway brokered the end of a 20-year civil war that saw as many as two million Sudanese killed.