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‘Insecurity killing cotton production in North’

The National Cotton Association of Nigeria (NACOTAN) has said insecurity is driving down cotton production in the North. President of NACOTAN Anibe Achimugu disclosed this…

The National Cotton Association of Nigeria (NACOTAN) has said insecurity is driving down cotton production in the North.

President of NACOTAN Anibe Achimugu disclosed this in Abuja on the sidelines of the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between NACOTAN and the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

He explained that many farmers are unable to farm cotton and some are unable to harvest already cultivated cotton due to insecurity.

He said the association’s partnership with the Central Bank of Nigeria has driven annual seed cotton output from about 80,000 metric tons (MT) in 2019 to 150,000MT in 2021.

He said the CBN intervention via the Anchor Borrowers Programme is upscaling capacity in the cotton and garment industry.

“Before we came in 2019, I think Nigeria was producing just about 80,000 metric tons of seed cotton but in 2019, we produced 123,000MT. In 2020, it went up to 132,000. On average, Nigeria is now producing about 150,000MT of seed cotton.

“In 2019, we only had five ginneries in Nigeria but as we speak, we have 23 ginning companies that are active. For the textile companies, it is more difficult to revive them because the inputs have to be sustainable.

“The collaboration also included the banks that hitherto won’t invest in the cotton industry,” he explained.

On the MoU, he said it is geared towards building a credible, robust and reliable database for the cotton industry in the country.

The database expected to be developed will cover all activities in the development, production, processing, marketing and utilisation of cotton across its value chains.

It will serve as a veritable tool for interaction between NACOTAN national agencies, development partners and investors.

Commenting during the MoU signing, the Statistician-General/CEO of NBS, Dr. Simon Harry, said statistics is key and the NBS is willing to track data in the cotton industry.

He said that will drive investments and create massive jobs in the sector.