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Nigerian govt urged to revive textile industry through the cotton value chain.

YarnsandFibers News Bureau 2014-01-22 17:30:00 – Nigeria

The Nigerian Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development urged to empower cotton farmers the way it did cassava and rice farmers so that the crop would get a boost.

Pankaj Chawla, Regional Manager, West Africa Cotton Company (WACOT) said that until the end of the value chain was fixed, the crop might take a long way to achieve its value. Cassava farmers are getting their returns because the end of the value chain has been fixed.

For cotton, the end of the value chain which is the textile industry is yet to be fixed and until this is done, the scenario will remain the same.

Chawla said that cotton had export value as such, would bring returns into the economy. However, he noted that exporting the produce would not help the farmers unless the country’s textile industry was secured.

Chawla said that his company had in 2013 distributed close to 3,000 metric tonnnes of cotton seeds through the Federal Government to farmers and different ginneries. Farmers have started bringing back their produce; they are processing the seeds and in time they will be able to know the total quantity to be distributed for 2014 planting season

The distribution will again be determined by the Federal Government, he said.

WACOT‘s role in the Agricultural Transformation Agenda (ATA), is that the company had invested in the production of five value chain seeds of cotton.

According to him, the company participated under the Growth Enhancement Support (GES) scheme through its contribution of agricultural inputs. They participated under the GES in close to 30 states through the supply of seedlings.

This year, they plan do the same; they are just waiting for government to spell out its 2014 road map for the programme to pick it up from there.

According to Chawla, the President has a vital role to play in initiating the change. If the President can eat cassava bread, he can of course wear fabrics made out of Nigerian cotton. By so doing, he will boost the confidence of the people to begin to wear Nigerian made fabrics.

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