The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN-Anchor Borrower programme is intending to improve cotton production from 80,000 tonnes produced in 2018 to over 300,000 tonnes by 2020.
Speaking at the National Flag-off of the distribution of cotton seeds/inputs to farmers, held in Katsina, the Governor of CBN, Godwin Emefiele said the high yielding cotton seeds, being given to farmers, was to change the narrative on the cotton and textile industry in Nigeria.
He said, in the past, insufficient cotton seeds had been identified as one of the biggest challenges facing cotton farmers.
” With the provision of these seedlings to over 100,000 farmers cultivating over 200,000 hectares of farmland, along with extensive training on proper farming techniques, we expect to see production of high grade cotton lint at much improved yields of up to 4 Tonnes per hectare, relative to current cultivation rates of less than 1 ton per hectare” he said.
Also included in the package to the farmers, he said, are fertilizer, pesticides and knapsack sprayers, adding that: ” The National Cotton Association of Nigeria is expected to ensure compliance of its members with the stipulated terms for the support that will be provided to farmers”
He said, under the Program, CBN intend to improve the linkage between cotton farmers and ginneries by ensuring that ginneries are able to offtake the high-quality cotton produced by these farmers.
” So far, 23 Ginneries, Spinners and several Textile producing firms have been identified and we intend to support them in retooling their processing plants, while providing them with improved access to finance at single digit interest rate, in order to help sustain their operations and improve their production capacity.
“The same support will be extended to the Yarn spinners and textile weavers and producers,” he added.