The Emir of Wase in Wase local government of Plateau State, Alhaji Muhammed Sambo has donated 20,000 hectares to cotton farmers in Nigeria to plant Bt. Cotton. This was revealed during the flag-off of Bt Cotton wet season harvest on 6,000 hectares flagship farm site, in Nasarawa community, Wase.
While thanking the royal father for the gift, the president, National Cotton Association of Nigeria (NACOTAN), Dr. Achimugu Hassan, said the donation will allow having the single largest biotech farm, as they were only able to farm on 6,000 hectares in the last year season.
NACOTAN organised the flag-off in collaboration with Maharashtra Hybrid Seeds Company (Mahyco) Private Limited and OFAB Nigeria.
Equally, the NACOTAN boss lauded OFAB Nigeria for the introduction of Bt Cotton in Nigeria. According to him, farmers would have had no access to the high-yielding variety of cotton if not for the untiring efforts of OFAB Nigeria in facilitating its commercialisation.
He noted that cotton farming has been revived through the introduction of the transgenic, insect-resistant, biotech, cotton.
“To sustain these achievements and increase the quantity and quality of cotton, the association has adopted a contiguous farming method – a large-scale farming system of thousands of hectares in Plateau, Kano, Jigawa, Zamfara, Taraba and Adamawa states among others. The flag-off of the NACOTAN’s harvest on the single largest Bt cotton farm in Nigeria and, arguably, in West Africa, signals new dawn. The proceeds would be used for payment of loans given to farmers through the CBN’s Anchor Borrower programme and to provide cotton for the textiles and garment sector as its bedrock raw materials. The future of cotton farming and its value chain in Nigeria is bright.”
In her remarks, the country coordinator, Gidado described the event as the “first biggest outing” of its kind and congratulated the NACOTAN president and his members for the giant stride in revamping the textile industry.
OFAB Nigeria chapter, she said, supports and identifies with such an important event and appealed to farmers and commodity associations to work hard in ensuring that cotton farmers and those interested in it have access to the new variety of cotton, otherwise known as ‘Bollgard 2’ cotton hybrid seeds, while taking advantage of CBN’s windows to reinvigorate and revamp the cotton production.
On his part, the executive governor of Plateau State, Chief Simon Lalong, who was represented by the managing director (MD) PIPC, Mr. Chris Yilzak, appreciated NACOTAN for choosing Plateau as one of the states to farm the biotech cotton and assured of the state government’s continued support to boost the cotton farming in the State.
The Emir of Wase thanked the association for finding his kingdom worthy of the pilot project and promised to make available as many as 80,000 hectares of land to farm the cotton, considering the gesture will improve the nation’s economy and well-being of Nigerians.