By; BALA B. BITRUS, Minna
Thirty thousand tonnes of improved, high yielding cotton seeds were on Thursday distributed to cotton farmers in the North Central states of Nigeria as the Raw Materials Research and Development Council, (RMRDC) launched an initiative to relaunch a rebirth in cotton production in the country.
The distribution was done in Minna where cotton farmers in Niger state received 1.5 tonnes of the improved cotton seeds for this year’s planting season.
Chairman, governing board of the council, Abdullahi Waziri Tambuwal said at the distribution of the seeds that the council was making concerted efforts to rejuvenate cotton production and resuscitation of the country’s prostate textile industries.
Represented by Dr. Maji Alhassan Tsuwakwo disclosed that thirty tonnes of the seeds were made available by the RMRDC across the country.
He said the initiative was to spearhead the rebirth of cotton production for the country’s textile industries which was once the largest employer of labour in the country.
The Chairman of the RMRDC’s governing board explained that it was the concern of the council to ensure that it’s intervention translates into bumper harvest by cotton farmers in the country in the coming years.
He urged the beneficiaries of the improved cotton seeds to redoubled their efforts and ensure that cotton production was boosted and through their efforts, the country’s textile industries are rejuvenated for optimal production and better economy.
“The council, (RMRDC) wants to return the lost glory of the country’s textile industries in no distant time”.
He said the country’s individual cotton farmers including large scale cotton producers such as the Guinness Farms, textile firms and other stakeholders have crucial role to play in rejuvenating the country’s moribund textile industries by stopping the wholesome importation of raw cotton into the country.
Director General and Executive Officer at the RMRDC, Professor Hussaini Doko Ibrahim had earlier in his address at the distribution of the specialised cotton seeds, recalled with concern that out of the 54 cotton Ginneries that were once in existence across the country, thirty two have have been closed down while only a paltry 22 were subsisting but at very low capacity utilisation.
Prof. Doko Ibrahim lamented over the steady decline in cotton production by local farmers in the country and noted that stated that the council was determined to change the sad narratives by making available raw materials that would relaunch productivities.
Prof. Doko Ibrahim was represented at the occasion by John Ahmadu, the Niger state Coordinator of the RMRDC. He said the distribution of the improved cotton seeds to farmers was to revive interest in cotton production by local farmers in the country.
He listed the major set backs in the country’s textile industries to unrestricted importation of textile materials, wrong investment pattern, utilization of obsolete machinery in the textile industries.
Commissioner of Agriculture in Niger state, Haruna Nuhu Dukku assured the council of the state government support to actualise it’s target.