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[农业报道]你看好转基因香蕉么?

2014-02-19    来源:普特英语听力    【      美国外教 在线口语培训
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VOA Learning English, this is the Agriculture Report.

Today, we take you to a small banana plantation near Kampala. The trees are healthy and green, but Andrew Kiggundu does not like what he sees.

"The disease on the leaves you see right now is not the wilt, it is a different disease called black sigatoka. It is just killing off the leaves and causing significant yield loss. This is a big problem, although of course not as much as the wilt, because the wilt just destroys the whole plant."

Andrew Kiggundu works with the National Agricultural Research Organization, also known as NARO. The Ugandan government agency is developing genetically engineer bananas. The new plants are meant to resist black sigatoka and banana bacterial wilt, which has been destroying a large amounts of the country's banana crop.

Uganda is the world's top consumer of bananas. NARO Research Director Wilberforce Tushemereirwe says this is why it is so important to produce healthy plants.

"The disease keeps on moving around wiping out garden after garden, so you will go to areas where you find they have changed from banana to annual crops. That has already introduced food insecurity, because they are not used to handling annual crops."

The central African nation already permits testing of genetically modified organisms, or GMOs. Lawmakers are considering a bill that would permit the development and distribution of such organisms through out the country. But some activists say genetically modified organisms would be dangerous to human health and the environment.

Giregon Olupot is a soil biophysicist at Makerere University in Kampala.

"There are a range of options that risk to be wiped [out], just by this technology. With bananas, tissue culture has worked well to engineer healthy plants. You then take these plants to a clean garden and maintain field hygiene. Why are we not giving emphasis to that technology?"

Most genetically modified seeds are patented, this means farmers must purchase them after each planting. Mr Olupot says, this might be possible for profitable farmers, but smaller farmers depend on their own seeds. In his opinion, selling genetically modified seeds to small farmers could trap them.

"If you are to go commercial, it has to be on a large scale. Now the farmers we are talking about, on average, have 0.4 hectares of land. It is simply not suitable for our farmers."

A public institution is developing Uganda's genetically modified bananas. NARO says no patent laws will restrict their use. But Mr Olupot says this would probably not be true with genetically modified crops introduced to Uganda in future. Mr Kiggundu says opponents of genetically modified plans have been strong in their criticisms. He says many farmers are now afraid of GMOs.

The Ugandan parliament is expected to pass the Biotechnology and Biosafety Bill before the end of the year.

And that's the Agriculture Report from VOA Learning English.

文本来源于普特论坛[report整理] SENEWS-2013-10-15


这里是美国之音慢速英语农业报道。

今天,我们带您走入坎帕拉附近的小香蕉园。绿油油的香蕉树很健康,但是Andrew Kiggundu 并不喜欢所见到的一切。

“现在看到叶子所患的疾病不是枯萎病而是另一种称为“香蕉叶斑病”的疾病。它正在使叶子枯死,造成严重的减产。这是个严峻的问题,虽然比不上枯萎病,因为枯萎病会破坏整株植物。”

Andrew Kiggundu就职于国家农业研究组织(简称NARO)。该乌干达政府机构正在研发转基因香蕉。这种新型香蕉树将能抵抗“香蕉叶斑病”及香蕉细菌性枯萎病,这两种病害已经毁掉该国的大片香蕉作物。

乌干达是世界上最大的香蕉消费。国家农业研究组织研究负责人Wilberforce Tushemereirwe表示这就是生产健康香蕉树至关重要的原因。

“该疾病持续侵害一家家香蕉园,所以你到一些地方会发现,这种疾病已经从香蕉蔓延到一年生作物。这已经引发了食物安全问题,因为人们还不会应对一年生作物的这种疾病。”

这个中非国家已允许进行转基因生物实验。立法者正在考虑通过一项在全国研发和推广这种生物的法案。但是,一些活动人士称转基因生物可能对人体健康和环境造成危害。

Giregon Olupot是坎帕拉马凯雷雷大学的一名土壤生物物理学家。

“通过该项技术可以消除多种风险。针对香蕉,组织培养在改造健康植物基因方面效果很好。可以将这些植物带入无疾病的香蕉园并保持田间卫生。为什么我们不能重视该技术?”

多数转基因种子都有专利,这意味着农民每次种植后还必须再次购买。Olupot先生称,这可能对高收益农民可行,但是小农户依靠的是自己的种子。Olupot先生认为出售转基因种子会使小农户陷入困境。
“如果转为商业性,那必须是大规模。现在我们提到的农户平均占有0.4公顷地,这并不适合我们的农户。”

某公共机构正在研发乌干达转基因香蕉。国家农业研究组织称没有任何专利法规限制其使用权。但是,Olupot先生称这可能对未来引进到乌干达的转基因作物并非如此。Kiggundu 先生称转基因计划反对者们强烈指责。他表示不少农户现在害怕转基因作物。

乌干达国会有望在年前通过生物技术和生物安全法案。



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