Cotton farmers target 150,000 tonnes

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The National Cotton Association of Nigeria (NACOTAN) says it is targeting a minimum of 150,000 tonnes of cotton production under the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Anchor Borrowers Programme (ABP).

Anibe Achimugu, the President of NACOTAN, said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Abuja.

Achimugu was reacting to the recent flag-off of the distribution of improved cotton seeds to cotton farmers by the CBN-ABP in Katsina State.

He noted that 70,000 cotton farmers would benefit from the distribution of the inputs under the programme, adding that the association would also include another 30,000 farmers before the end of May.

“The next thing we are expecting is the distribution of the inputs nationwide to the approved members.

“So far, we have 70,000 farmers to be involved in the ABP, but we are expecting to clear more than 100,000, which will happen before the end of this month.

“We are targeting 150,000 tonnes of cotton production nationwide under the ABP. We have state chapters; they will do the validation of farmers which entails knowing where they are, their farms, their locations,’’ he said.

The association had, in 2018, produced estimated seed cotton of between 60,000 and 80,000 tonnes.

Achimugu had listed some challenges facing the association to include poor seeds, poor timing or delivery of inputs, inadequate extension services, poor training and guidance.

The CBN recently commenced the distribution of high-yielding cotton seeds and other farm inputs to 100,000 farmers for the 2019 planting season.

Godwin Emefiele, the CBN Governor, said the distribution would help to change the narrative in the cotton and textile industry in the country.

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