The Raw Materials Research and Development Council, (RMRDC) in a bid to revive the Nigeria textile industry has recently organized a capacity building workshop for farmers to encourage global best practice. The capacity building workshop was organized for cotton farmers in cotton producing geo-political zones of the country.
With a total of 650,000 hectares available for cotton farming, only a third is currently exploited to produce 300,000 tonnes by an estimated 250,000 farmers in major cotton producing states. In 1980, cotton turnover in Nigeria was worth N8.9 billion, which represented 25% of the national Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Sadly, it slumped to only N300 million in 2012.
The number of Ginneries in Nigeria then was about 50, but only about 19 are currently functional and are operating at low capacity utilization.
Currently, Nigeria imports about 101,052 metric tonnes which cost $192,202, with only 20% being domestic market share.
Training for the North east was held in Gombe where 28 farmers were trained. Kotangora, in Niger state hosted the training for the farmers in the north central where 55 farmers benefited. While in Abeokuta, the Ogun state capital, the south west farmers numbering 65 got the training.
The RMRDC is also collaborating with Institute for Agricultural Research, Zaria on production of 20 tonnes of seed of long staple cotton [ Samcot 11, Samcot 12 and Samcot 13] for distribution to farmers.
The capacity building workshop was part of the strategic plan for cotton production, utilization and other fibres for textile manufacturing for 2014 to 2017.
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