By NAN

Minister of Agriculture, Malam Mohammad Abubakar, has called for collaboration among stakeholders to resuscitate and boost the cotton industry to enhance the economic development of the country.

Abubakar made the call when the National Association of Cotton and Textile Producers in Nigeria paid him a courtesy visit.

This is contained in a statement issued by Mr Anibe Achimugu, the President of the National Cotton Association of Nigeria (NACOTAN) on Sunday in Abuja.

According to the statement, Abubakar expressed his passion for Agriculture adding that collaboration is a necessity to boost the cotton industry.

“I will want us to collaborate, because, the cotton industry is one that needs to be resuscitated. This will go a long way to boost the economic development of the country.

“My ministry, the various departments and the seed council will collaborate with you to bring this industry back to life to be vibrant and better than before.

“I know that if we are to propose the idea of the resuscitation of the cotton industry to the president, he will do something about it,” Abubakar said.

Speaking earlier, Achimugu praised the Minister for his passion and expressing the need for collaborations.

He said the association was at the  ministry to intimate the Minister about some emerging challenges confronting the cotton industry and solicit the support of the Ministry.

The NACOTAN President said the minister’s words became significant not only in boosting large scale cotton farming in Nigeria but in reviving the textile industries that had become moribund for decades.

“It will be recalled that in the 1980s, Nigeria had about 170 textile companies with each employing not less than between 3,000 and 15,000 persons.

“Presently, only seven textile companies are functioning below maximum capacity, and reviving the remaining 160 companies will be the antidote that Nigeria needs to overcome her huge unemployment.”

 He noted that the Ministry of Agriculture was a critical bedrock to the Cotton, Textile and Garment (CTG) sector, adding that reviving the sector should first start from the ministry.

 “This association is registered under the instrumentality of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in 1997. Nigeria needs a revamp of the cotton industry, just to mention but a few of our challenges.

 “We feel that your ministry is the bedrock for raw material for CTG sector; this industry was second employer of labour next to public service.

 “The prevailing global economic development calls for a wider and more sustaining approach to dealing with the challenges in the industry.

 “NACOTAN is an umbrella organisation for the CTG sector that bring together any Nigerian or corporate organisation involved in production, marketing, processing or  exportation of cotton in Nigeria as well as Textile manufacturing organisation,” he said.

 He, therefore, solicited the support of the ministry to intensify efforts to boost the production of cotton in the country.

 Achimugu also sought for funding for institutes of Agricultural research in producing made in Nigeria organic seeds for cotton planting as it was a major concern for quality seed to go round to the farmers. 

 He solicited for a land to boost cotton production, adding that this would  encourage farmers to put more efforts in the production.(NAN)

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