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阿卜杜勒·阿齐兹:苏丹 重拾种棉大国梦


将转基因抗虫棉引入苏丹是一项深受欢迎的创新之举,因为它有效地遏制了近年来棉铃虫肆虐给农作物生长造成的严重影响。转基因种植棉还能够提高棉花产量,使棉花重新成为苏丹的主要经济作物


文I 阿卜杜勒·阿齐兹《苏丹人报》高级编辑    翻译I 王晓波    图片提供I 阿卜杜勒·阿齐兹



● 从石油转型棉花

● 转基因抗虫棉的引入

● 中苏合作刚起步

● 推广苏丹经验


从石油转型棉花

2011年当南苏丹分离出去后,苏丹丧失了80%的资源,这对其经济无疑是一个重创,但它并未影响到国家实现每公顷产棉5吨的既定目标。吉尔吉斯斯坦在2003年与中国合作后取得了很大成功,充分证明了这样的目标是切实可行的。

苏丹寻求中国对其农业产业的投资,并使之成为双边经济关系新亮点。此前,中国与苏丹的经济合作重点聚焦在石油产业,但是由于石油储备大多集中在南部,因此要在北部与中国保持经济交往就需要一种新型方式。

商务部下属的中国国际贸易经济合作研究院研究员吴芳说,“现在苏丹发展农业产业在一定程度上与南苏丹的脱离有很大关系,因为南苏丹拥有其石油储备的90%之多”。

她进一步解释说,“中国需要就与苏丹在农业方面的合作,制定一个全面计划,包括援助、投资和科技园区。”

 

转基因抗虫棉的引入

苏丹面积有190万平方公里,是非洲的第三大国。虽然境内耕地面积达到8400万公顷,并享有“世界粮仓”的美誉,但其中只有20%的土地被用于农业。

棉花是苏丹最重要的农作物之一,在其石油产业开发前是国家最主要的外汇收入。在2012年6月国家生物安全委员会成立后,苏丹开始种植转基因抗虫棉,并且只有一种被称为Seini 1的棉花被允许在灌溉和旱作地区种植和商业推广。Seini是一种中国的转基因类型的抗虫棉(异源四倍体),它携带来自Bacillus thurengenesis (Bt)的Cry 1A 基因,是一种2004年中国官方机构批准的可以作为商业化生产的杂交棉,代号是CN-C01。

将转基因抗虫棉引入苏丹是一项深受欢迎的创新之举,因为它有效地遏制了近年来棉铃虫肆虐给农作物生长造成的严重影响。转基因种植棉还能够提高棉花产量,使棉花重新成为苏丹的主要经济作物,并为国家经济发挥重要作用。

 

正在收棉花的苏丹农民


中苏合作刚起步

Elsir M.Nour是一位研究苏丹与中国关系的专家,他说,“中国对我国农业的投资才刚刚起步,与其在石油领域的投入相比,投资金额还很少。”他认为如果苏丹能将其土地和资源与中国的技术、管理和财政支援结合起来,那这一领域的前景是“非常光明的”。但他同时指出,“提高苏丹农业产量的关键是需要中国的投资者们在苏丹对原材料进行加工,增加其附加值,然后再将其出口到国外”。

虽然前景乐观,但中国山东对外经济技术合作集团有限公司副总经理周星仍希望苏丹政府能对此给予更多的支持,并实施一些优惠政策。

El-Dali和 El-Mazmoum 是苏丹国营棉花出口商,其主席兼总干事Hashim Hago Ibrahim也表达了类似的关切。他认为苏丹与中国目前在农业服务和技术领域的合作远远达不到双方的实际需要。

不过喀土穆与北京签署的合作协议意味着苏丹将致力于提高生产能力和完善经商的便利性,为合作创造更有利的条件。

去年8月,国家立法议会议长透露,苏丹政府已经与中国的公司签订了谅解备忘录,允许中方公司在苏丹种植最多达100万费丹的棉花(一个费丹相当于1.038英亩)。

国家立法议会议长Jalal Min Allah Gibril说,中国公司除了在苏丹建纺织厂和成衣厂,还将种植45万费丹的棉花。

 

推广苏丹经验

在过去的5年中,在农业投资方面最成功的做法就是转基因棉花的引进。2012年商业化之初,苏丹仅种植了19300公顷的转基因抗虫棉。到2013年,这个数字已经翻了3倍多,达到了61530公顷。今年78500公顷的土地上几乎全部种植上了这种棉花。

生物技术的效率与收益体现在对棉铃虫有效的内源控制,因为它帮助降低了生产成本,增加了棉花产量,同时也保护了生态平衡。此外,转基因抗虫棉还能够减少吸吮性害虫造成的损害,并且通过限制粘性改善棉花的品质。在那些没有种植转基因抗虫棉的区域,每公顷使用棉花杀虫剂的成本要达到892美元,而如果种植了转基因抗虫棉,费用只需586美元,成本节省了大约35%。农民种植转基因抗虫棉后每公顷的净利润预计可以达到405美元。

非洲东西部商品贸易联盟(ACTESA/COMESA)中生物技术方面的高级政策顾问Getachew Belay博士说,“苏丹是东南非共同市场中第一个将转基因作物商业化的成员国,为共同市场的其他国家提供了一个很好的实验性学习基地。”Belay博士介绍说,安排其他国家来此参观是东南非共同市场最近制定的一项涉及生物安全的政策,旨在对转基因作物的种植、贸易和为共同市场的成员国提供紧急食品援助做出科学的区域风险评估。他还说,“苏丹农民学到的经验应当与该地区的其他成员国一起分享,使它们也能获益”。

苏丹政府还需继续努力振兴棉花生产和国内纺织工业。转基因抗虫棉项目已经得到回应,证明它是非常有需求的,而且它让苏丹以世界棉花贸易的重要参与者身份重新回到了世界版图。



Sudan is looking forward to restoring the dream of the cotton


By Mohamed Abdelaziz,Senior Editor in Alsudani newspaper



Doesn't much better for Sudan, if haveability to product cotton 5 tons per hectare, it will be better for Sudaneseeconomic after great shock, when it lost 80% of resources with South Sudanseparation in 2011.

It's not impossible dream, there isexperience in south Kyrgyzstan, after cooperation with China, that project hasbeen started in 2003.

Sudan is seeking Chinese investment in itsagricultural industry, aiming to turn the emerging sector into a new highlightof bilateral economic ties.

The African nation's business relationswith China had previously been focused on the petroleum sector, but this ismainly concentrated in South Sudan, which seceded in July 2011.

Sudan is the largest country in Africa withan area of 2.5 million square km. Although Sudan has an arable land area of 84million hectares, only 20% is utilized for agriculture, according to that theycalled it "the breadbasket of the world".

Cotton is one of the most importantSudanese crops and was the main foreign exchange earner before the developmentof a national oil industry. Sudan adopted Bt cotton in June 2012 after theconstitution of the National Biosafety Council. Only one variety, named Seini1, was released for commercialization for both irrigated and rainfed areas. Seiniis a Chinese Bt-cotton genotype (G. hirsutum) carrying the Cry 1A gene fromBacillus thurengenesis (Bt); a hybrid CN-C01 was approved for commercialproduction by the Chinese National Authority in 2004.

Cotton is a major cash crop in Sudan butproduction declined in recent years because of bollworm infestation. Theintroduction of Bt cotton in Sudan was thus a welcome change and is expected toboost cotton productivity, restore cotton as a main cash crop, and serve as amajor contributor to the country's economy.

Specialist in Sudanese-Chinese relationsElsir M.Nour said: "Chinese investment in our agricultural industry is atan initial stage and the investment volume is small compared with its spendingin the petroleum sector".

He added:" the sector's prospects were"very bright" if the nation combined its land and resources withChinese technology, management and financial support.

He added that the key task for Sudan is toenhance its agricultural output, and increase exports of cotton, meat, sugar andsesame to China.

"We would like Chinese investors toprocess raw materials in Sudan and to increase its added value in thecountry," he added.

"Sudan's promotion of its agriculturalindustry is somewhat related to the secession of South Sudan, which had 90percent of the oil resources," said Wu Fang, a researcher at the ChineseAcademy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation under the Ministry ofCommerce.



She added that China needs "acomprehensive plan for agricultural cooperation with Sudan which includes aid,investment and technological parks".

Despite the bright prospects, Zhou Xin,deputy general manager of China Shandong International Economic & TechnicalCooperation Group Ltd, called for more support from the Sudanese government andthe implementation of favorable policies.

Nowadays the Sudanese dream is coming soclose, after cooperation agreements between Khartoum and Beijing.

Last August Speaker of Gazira stateLegislative Council disclosed the Sudanese government and Chinese companieshave signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) allowing the latter to grow onemillion feddans of cotton in Sudan.

The feddan is a unit of area equivalent to1.038 acres (0.42 ha).

Last May, Sudan’s Minister of WaterResources, Irrigation and Electricity, Mutaz Musa, pointed out that theministry is implementing 155 electricity projects with china at a cost of 10billion dollars.

He said that his government will fund the$10 billion projects from multiple sources, adding that the five-year planincludes power plants and dams.

On Wednesday, speaker of the Gazira stateLegislative Council Jalal Min Allah Gibril said the Chinese companies wouldcultivate 450,000 feddans in his state besides building textile and ready-madeclothing factories.

In 2013, the then Sudan’s minister ofagriculture Abdel Halim al-Mutafi, announced that his government signed anagricultural cooperation agreement with Beijing which gives Chinese companiesseveral options to operate in Sudan.

Hashim Hago Ibrahim, president anddirector-general of Sudanese cotton exporter El-Dali and El-Mazmoum NationalCo, said that the current level of cooperation between Sudan and China inagricultural services and technology is insufficient to meet the demand fromboth sides.

In 2012, at the beginning ofcommercialization, Sudan cultivated only 19,300 hectares with Bt cotton butthat was increased to 61,530 hectares in 2013 (89% of the cultivated area forcotton) and this year it reached almost 100%, with a cultivation area of some78,500 hectares.

The endogenous control of bollworms resultsin a reduction of the production cost, an increase in cotton productivity, andthe maintenance of a favorable environmental balance. In addition, Bt cottoncontributes to a reduction in the damage caused by sucking insects and in theimprovement of cotton quality by limiting stickiness. The cost of cottoninsecticides and application for non Bt cotton cost $892 per hectare, reducingto $586 for Bt cotton, a savings of about 35%. The net profit for farmers fromcultivating BT cotton was estimated to reach $405 per hectare.

A total of 61,530 hectares of Bt cottonwere planted in Sudan in 2013 by about 27,000 farmers, up more than three-foldfrom the 20,000 hectares in 2012. Of Sudan's total national cotton hectarage of78,573.6 hectares in 2014, 99% was biotech cotton either in irrigated orrainfed areas.

 Thecommercially grown Bt cotton variety named “Seeni 1” was released by theNational Variety Release Committee in March 2012 and approved by the BiosafetyAuthority for commercial production in June 2012.

 In2012, Bt cotton saved 37% of the direct cost of cotton production. Producingnon-Bt cotton was much more costly at US$886 per hectare, compared with US$586for Bt cotton.

“Sudan is the first COMESA member state tocommercialize a GM crop, thus providing a good experiential learning base forCOMESA countries,” said Dr. Getachew Belay, Senior Biotechnology Policy Advisor–Alliance forCommodity Trade in Eastern & Southern Africa (ACTESA/COMESA). Dr Belay saidthat the visit was an important activity in view of the recently developedCOMESA Biosafety Policy intended to provide an enabling scientific regionalrisk assessment of GMOs for commercial planting, trade and access to emergencyfood aid for COMESA Member States. “The lessons learned by Sudanese farmersshould be shared for the benefit of Member States within the region,” said Dr.Belay

 Earnest efforts are now being made by theSudanese government to revive both cotton production and the domestic textileindustry. The Bt cotton program is an effort that responds to a real need andis poised to position Sudan back in the global map as a major player in theworld cotton trade.