The President, National Cotton Association of Nigeria (NACOTAN), Mr. Anibe Achimugu, says cotton has capacity to contribute not less than 15 per cent to Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Achimugu, who made this known in Abuja, said as a cash crop cultivated in most states of the federation, cotton could help turn the country’s fortune around as it did before the oil boom.
He added that some intervention programmes of the Nigerian government targeted at repositioning the agricultural sector and cotton in particular, had helped to keep the subsector afloat.
He said, “we try to encourage members of our association to take cotton farming seriously.
And I think we have succeeded in that in the sense that we have been able to bring together about 151,000 farmers on the scheme through the intervention of the Central Bank of Nigeria(CBN) through the Anchor Borrowers Programme.
It is because it addresses the immediate requirement of farmers which includes recommended quantity of inputs and marketing, which means that the farmer does not really need to struggle to look for a market or buyer.It also addresses the minimum price guarantee for the farmers.”
The national president said if the intervention could be sustained, Nigeria would do better than other African countries, not just in cotton farming but the entire value chain, including processing and marketing.
Achimugu urged government to increase the intervention scope to enable the industry to expand beyond its present state.