The National Cotton Association of Nigeria (NACOTAN) says it is targeting the production of between 240,000 and 300,000 tonnes of cotton in 2019. Anibe Achimugu, the President of NACOTAN, said the set target would be achieved under the Central Bank of Nigeria’s Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP). According to him, the association produced estimated seed cotton of between 60,000 and 80,000 tonnes in 2018.

“I am saying this with confidence because of the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the fact that we have started early in engaging the CBN to participate fully in the ABP programme. It means that before planting which is usually about June of this year, we would have gotten all the required inputs. And the programme is very specific – recommending the amount of fertilisers and other inputs per hectare of land. We are going to ensure that our members have those recommended quantities and dosages and apply them accordingly.”

He further said that the figures are based on the target to have at least 100,000 farmers involved in the programme for this year on the basis of two hectares per farmer, which basically will be 200,000 hectares. Achimugu listed some of the challenges facing the association to include poor seeds, poor timing or delivery of input, inadequate extension services, poor training and guidance. He noted that the CBN programme would assist the association to source the right seeds and deliver them to cotton farmers at the right time.

On biotechnology cotton, he explained that cotton farmers were yet to commence its planting, adding that the association was yet to consult with the necessary authorities to know the way forward. He said that farmers would only use the conventional seeds for the wet season farming.