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Bumper cotton harvest in Katsina, price rises in markets

Cotton farmers in Katsina State have recorded bumper harvest this season. They are also having better prices for their produce compared to last year. Previously,…

Cotton farmers in Katsina State have recorded bumper harvest this season. They are also having better prices for their produce compared to last year.

Previously, poor quality seeds, which result in low yield as well as poor market prices have made many farmers to abandon cotton cultivation in the state leaving only a few in the business.

Alhaji Kamilu Kankara, a large scale farmer and cotton dealer, told Daily Trust that cotton farming has significantly declined in recent years due to what farmers term as poor seeds as the crop was not giving them high yield as expected.

“God so kind, the few that cultivated the crop this year have a different story to tell as they recorded a bumper harvest. For example, in a farmland of a little over a hectare, I harvested 53 bags of cotton in the first pick, which I sold at N165,000 per ton,” he said.

He added that the price of cotton began to appreciate from last year with a ton of the produce rising to N80,000 and peaked at N300,000, adding that the price started at N120,000 per ton this year and is still rising.

Alhaji Kamilu said cotton has given him the highest income; more than maize this year.

“Many are of the belief that it is more profitable to cultivate maize than cotton but not this year. I harvested two tons of cotton from a farm that used to give me 40 bags of maize; and with the market price of maize at N8,000 per bag, I would have earned only N320,000 instead of N330,000 that I got from the two tons of cotton,” he explained.

A cotton farmer at Yar-goje, Malam Sani Abdullahi, expressed optimism that cotton farming has high prospect in the near future as the price was fast improving.

“The fact is that many of us have completely lost faith in cotton farming, that is why its production keeps slimming every year but with the recent significant improvement in its market price, the production of the crop has high prospects. 

“Farming nowadays is profit-driven, even among subsistence farmers, and when farmers realized that they can earn more from cotton than maize, sorghum or soybeans, certainly many will shift to its cultivation,” he added.

He added that revival of the local textile industries was the cornerstone of cotton production in the country as farmers cannot rely on international market alone to sell their produce.

Alhaji Sagir Malumfashi, a cotton dealer, told this reporter that international companies were yet to fully start buying the produce but due to its high price last year, many local entrepreneurs have now flooded the market to hoard the produce.

“There is likelihood of cotton scarcity in the state this year as only few farmers produce it. Because of this, entrepreneurs are rushing to stockpile the produce even before the international companies start buying,” he said.

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