Cotton traders to promote quality, call for good pricing
The National Cotton Traders Association of Nigeria (NACOTAN) in Katsina State has initiated ways to promote quality cotton production and management, its Secretary, Alhaji Sama'ila Lawal, has said.
Lawal said in Malumfashi, Katsina State, that the move would facilitate good cotton prices.
He said the farmers at all levels were being sensitised on the dangers of adulteration and poor management of post-harvest cotton.
Lawal said such bad practices posed great threat to the cotton market in the country and abroad.
He said NACOTAN partnered with ginneries to organise workshops to enlighten farmers and cooperative societies on modern planting techniques as well as post-harvest procedures.
Lawal said that in October, 800 farmers attended such sensitisation workshops organised by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture in collaboration with NACOTAN and Cotton Ginning Company (CGC).
He said other collaborators included Dangote Ginnery, Beto Ginnery and the Cotton and Agricultural Processing Company Ginnery in Malumfashi.
Lawal said such initiatives were aimed at encouraging best cotton farming practices and management for increased production.
He called on the government to ensure good prices that would compensate the farmers with gains in the business.
Lawal commended the federal government on its agricultural value chain programmes as well as states and local government support schemes.
He noted that the schemes enhanced cotton picking, buy-back processes and harvesting practices.
The cotton farmer said adulteration w as a hitch to the growth of the cotton business in Nigeria that brought huge loss and decline in cotton and seed quality.
He decried the increased cases of cotton adulteration with water, sand, dust, wood, metallic objects and other items aimed at increasing the weight.
“For fear of adulteration, international cotton merchants are forced to find alternatives and the action has affected cotton business compared to the past,'' Lawal said.
He urged cotton farmers to embrace modern farming techniques and post-harvest procedures and reiterated NACOTAN’s support to federal and state governments' agricultural support programmes.