Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor Godwin Emefiele recently flagged off the distribution of cotton seeds and other inputs to 100,000 farmers in Katsina state for the 2019 farming season. This is part of the plan to revive the country’s cotton, textiles and garments sector and improve cotton production from 80,000 tonne in 2018 to over 300,000 tonne by 2020.

CBN had identified insufficient cotton seeds as one of the major challenges being faced by cotton farmers, according to some reports quoting Emefiele as saying. This initiative along with extensive training on proper farming techniques will boost production of high grade cotton lint with higher yields of up to four tonne per hectare from the current less than one tonne per hectare, he said.

The move would also reduce the amount spent by Nigeria on imported textiles and ready-made clothing estimated at about $4 bn annually, he said. The package included fertiliser, pesticides and knapsack sprayers, and the National Cotton Association of Nigeria will ensure compliance of its members with the stipulated terms for the support that will be provided to farmers, Emefiele added.