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AGRICULTURE REPORT - Life Not So Sweet for Nigerian Sugar Farmers

作者:Carolyn Presutti 发布日期:3-26-2013

A laborer gathers sugarcane at a commercial farmland in Numan community, Adamawa state, northeast of Nigeria, Nov. 2009.
A laborer gathers sugarcane at a commercial farmland in Numan community, Adamawa state, northeast of Nigeria, Nov. 2009.

From VOA Learning English, this is the Agriculture Report in Special English.

Farmers in northern Nigeria say their land could be some of the most productive for sugar in West Africa. But they say that productivity is wasted without big local buyers.

The Nigerian government has a new plan designed to help the local industry. For now, farmers sell sugar cane as snacks on the street while the country imports 97 percent of the sugar it uses.

Mallam Usman Abdu Gubuci has five hectares of land. He describes himself as one of the sugar farming "giants" in his area. He says his part of northern Nigeria could be a major supplier of sugar to West Africa. But he says farmers no longer even bother to grow sugar that can be refined.

"There is special sugar cane for that sugar, which we were introduced with. But when we planted it, no buyer. In other words, no industry to buy it."

Instead, he says, all of his product goes to local markets, and people drink sugar water from the sugar cane stalks. And while these stalks do sell, he says, it is not a business that can grow.

Last fall, the Nigerian government introduced a plan to decrease sugar imports and boost Nigerian production. The plan includes increasing taxes on imported sugar and giving tax breaks to anyone who wants to invest in local sugar refinement. It also calls for no import duties on machinery used for processing sugar.

Sugar officials say Nigeria spent $620 million on sugar imports in 2012. They do not expect that number to go down immediately.

Hajiya Bilkisu Mohammed heads the Association of Women Farmers in northern Nigeria. She says part of the reason local farmers cannot sell sugar for refining is that factories in this part of Nigeria face continual electrical shortages. The factories depend on costly power generators.

Saidu Usman Gwambe is a sugar cane farmer. He says his land could be very profitable, but he is not sure how much longer he can wait for a government rescue.

In recent months the Nigerian government has also announced plans to reduce imports of other food products. In January, President Goodluck Jonathan promised to increase food production by 20 million metric tons by 2015. Doing this, he says, will create 3.5 million jobs and reduce Nigeria's dependence on imports.

网友的学习评论(7条):
作者:jk---南大
3-28-2013 7:43:47
The nigerian gavernment to guid local famer of plante sugar how to make their local industies.as soon as sugar famer could have sweets life!
作者:塞翁
3-28-2013 17:57:48
agriculture depend on industury!
3-28-2013 21:33:57
不能看懂啊 还需努力
作者:Cherise
4-10-2013 23:7:28
The farmers in Nigerian lack of awareness to make a good use of the lands. Nigerian government should takes some actions to help the sugar cane famers.Being a farmer, especially being a brainy farmer, mastering some skills is a must. So the government in Nigerian can set up some organizations which mainly teach agricultural skills.
作者:MRSCAI
4-11-2013 23:35:46
好好努力啊
作者:zhangjiayu
7-10-2013 11:10:16
我成功了,能听懂90%的意思。
3-11-2014 8:1:59
Government help farmer will make significant change in economic development. Chinese goverment need consider that way as well. We hope Chinese farmer can achieve agriculture production industry, help farmer increase income, better apply Chinese land resourcing.
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