Farmers in Zamfara State have vowed to return to cotton production in the state after the introduction of the new improved seed called Mahyco Cotton Hybrid also known as Bollgard 2.
Speaking during the Farmers’ Day in Agama Lafiya community in Tsafe Local Government Area of the state, dozens of farmers told our reporter that the introduction of the new seed was encouraging and would, therefore, return to cotton production in the state.
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“Farmers have abandoned cotton production because of the problem with the seed. Lack of improved seed that would give a farmer high yields is the mother of all problems in cotton farming. The traditional seed farmers‘ plant is not yielding positive results but the problem has been solved now. You can see from this cotton farm and make a comparison with those in the past,” a farmer, Alhaji Isah, said.
“As you can see in each of the cotton plants, at least 170 to 250 cotton balls could grow, that means high yield and more profit for a farmer unlike before when the farmers were scared away by low yield and many other factors. I think the problem of seed has been addressed,” he added.
The Market Development Officer overseeing Zamfara and Katsina states, Yusuf Hamza, said this was the first time the seed was being introduced in Nigeria and it had undergone a series of tests including at Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria.
“It gives higher yields and it is resistant to pest attacking cotton plant such as bollworms. Up to three tonnes could be harvested in one hectare depending on how well a farmer treats his or her farm,” he added.
An official of the state Ministry of Agriculture, Muhammad Ma’aruf, enumerated low awareness on the part of farmers, late planting, use of a different and mixed variety of seeds, and low price as bane of cotton farming in the country.