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RMRDC distributes seeds to farmers to revive cotton farming

YarnsandFibers News Bureau 2016-07-06 16:00:00 – Africa

The Raw Materials Research and Development Council (RMRDC) to revive cotton farming and textile industry in Nigeria distributed over 10 tonnes of improved cotton seeds to farmers in two years. This year, they gave 4.3 tonnes of seeds of cotton comprising Samaru 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 & 13 varieties to the farmers in the 4 cotton growing zones, namely:North West, North East, North Central, South West, said Dr Gabriel G. Awolehin, Chairman, Cotton Strategic Committee, RMRDC.

Speaking at this year’s seed presentation ceremony recently held in Minna, the Director General, (RMRDC), Dr. Hussaini D. Ibrahim, represented by the Director, Agriculture and Agro-Allied Department (AAD), Dr. A. A. Ogunwusi, said that cotton production and productivity need to change from just cultivating small hectares of land to large scale farming, so as to resuscitate the Cotton, Textile and Garment (CTG) Industry.

With a total land covering about 650,000 hectares available for cotton farming, only a third is currently being exploited to produce 300,000 tonnes of cotton by an estimated 250,000 farmers in major cotton producing states comprising Katsina, Gombe Zamfara, Borno, Adamawa Kaduna, Niger, Oyo and Ogun. Currently production is largely unorganized, which has created a negative impact on the productivity level and fibre quality, the Director General RMRDC noted.

In an address, the Niger state Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, Alh. Aliyu Abdullahi, represented by the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Alh. Mahammadu D. Ibrahim, pointed out that seeds are the foundation of agricultural development anywhere in the world, because yield from the farm depends largely on the quality of the seed planted.

He advised the farmers on the use of best improved cultural and agronomic practices in order to produce tangible yield of the crop.

The Institute has successfully bred six varieties of cotton with three SAMCOT 8, 9, and 10 being medium staple and suitable for northern growing zones, while SAMCOT 11, 12, and 13 are long staple and suitable for southern growing zone and irrigated conditions.

IAR has also developed agronomic, soil and crop protection practices for successful production of the crop to achieve high yields and good economic returns.

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