Life Not So Sweet for Nigerian Sugar Farmers
2013-03-25 23:53:59

From VOA Learning English, this is the Agriculture Report in Special English.(1)

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.(2)

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.(3)
尼日利亚政府有一项新的计划,旨在协助本地业界。现在,农民卖甘蔗作为小吃街上而该国进口的糖,它使用的 97%。

Mallam Usman Abdu Gubuci has five hectares of land. He describes himself as one of the sugar farming "giants" in his area.(4)
Mallam 乌斯曼阿卜杜 Gubuci 有五公顷的土地。他形容自己为一体的农业"巨人"在他的领域中的糖分。

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.(5)

“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.”(6)

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.(7)

Last fall, the Nigerian government introduced a plan to decrease sugar imports and boost Nigerian production.(8)

The plan includes increasing taxes on imported sugar and giving tax breaks to anyone who wants to invest in local sugar refinement.(9)

It also calls for no import duties on machinery used for processing sugar.(10)

Sugar officials say Nigeria spent $620 million on sugar imports in 2012. They do not expect that number to go down immediately.(11)
糖官员说,尼日利亚对 2012 年的糖进口花费 $6 亿 2000 万。他们并不期望这一数字马上就去。

Hajiya Bilkisu Mohammed heads the Association of Women Farmers in northern Nigeria.(12)
Hajiya Bilkisu 穆罕默德头在尼日利亚北部的妇女农民协会。

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.(13)
她说: 当地农民不能出售精制糖的原因之一是在尼日利亚的这一部分工厂面临持续的电力短缺。

The factories depend on costly power generators.(14)

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.(15)

In recent months the Nigerian government has also announced plans to reduce imports of other food products.(16)

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.(17)
今年 1 月,总统乔纳森答应增加粮食生产的 2000 万吨,到 2015 年。这样做,他说,将创造 350 万就业机会和减少对进口的尼日利亚的依赖。

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