Al-Rahad Project Farmers High Hopes for Genetically Modified Cotton

Officials in the Al-Rahad agricultural project claim that genetically modified cotton (GM cotton) will have a large harvest. Approximately 9.000 feddans were cultivated, according to the minister of agriculture, Dr. Abdul Halim Al-Mutaafi. Minister Al-Mutaafi visited the project recently to meet the farmers there. The farmers assured him they were content with the crop experiment.

Minister Al-Mutaafi started his field visits to the project at the inauguration of the training course in the Chinese Centre for Transport Technology near the project. The course included 19 farmers. The centre is a gift from China to Sudan and is a valuable addition to the project. Many studies of applied research were made possible there. These studies supported the planting of new kinds of crops, especially the GM cotton. Other new crops were cultivated for the first time, including the sunflower, peanuts and others.

The centre is one of the greatest valuable gifts from China to the Sudanese people and all African nations said the minister Dr. Al-Mutaafi and pointed that the centre will participate in providing the food security and the commercial exchange. As well as he appreciated the continuous Chinese support to Sudan and asserted on the constant cooperation between the two countries in all fields.

Director of the Agricultural Researches Administration, Mohammad Saleh Omar declared that there are full coordination between his administration and the centre and asserted on the complete readiness to approve some new kinds of crops.

The counselor in the Chinese embassy at Sudan said that the centre was gifted to Sudan on the occasion of convened the Chinese- African Forum that had been held to support Africa in China recently and added that the idea of establishing the centre began in 2007 during the visit of the Sudanese President Al Bashir to China.

In the centre many experiences for cultivating some crops had been implemented as the popcorn, wheat, peanuts, sesame, cotton and the Chinese cotton to strengthen and to promote the agricultural cooperation between the two countries, explained the Chinese counselor.

The Federal Minister of Agriculture Al-Mutaafi was honored by The farmers and the Union for his great interest and support what resulted to success the agriculture season and particular the GM cotton.

SUNA accompanied the minister in his visit to Al-Rahad project and interviewed group of farmers who implement the experience of planting the GM cotton. One of the farmers said that despite everything that had been said we insisted to cultivate the GM cotton and we managed to do it and added it better than the old one. G M cotton have many advantages and we expected high rates of production at least 12 kantar per feddan addition this kind of cotton have big flower and doesn't need pesticide.

Another farmer asserted on his colleague opinion and added that GM cotton is better than the normal cotton due less costing and the numbers of cotton flowers addition the crop gives high quality of production and.

The General Secretary of the Farmers Union in the project Ahmad Al-Arbee said "Yes GM cotton is the best . Now we plant the both the old and new cotton. The first cotton had been sprayed by pesticides more than five times while some of its flowers were fall down. And the GM cotton has large quantities of flowers. We planted 9.000 feddans of GM cotton and 3.000 of normal cotton. In future we plan to plant 65.000 feddan of GM cotton.

By SUNA, 02/12/2012