In the Presidents statement, he said, It is indeed an honour to welcome you all to the Flag-Off of 2021 Cotton Wet Season Harvest in Wase, Plateau State. The choice of Plateau state for todays excercise is the combination of agricultural climate investment friendliness and opportunities in the state. His Royal Highness Emir of Wase, and National Agricultural Land Development Agency (NALDA) provided the land. Today’s event provides yet another opportunity for National Cotton Association of Nigeria (NACOTAN), the apex body for all Cotton Farmers in Nigeria, to prove its commitment in support of government’s efforts at diversifying Nigeria’s economy through cotton farming.
You all recall that Cotton played a significant role in Nigeria’s economy from the 60s to the early 70s. The cotton industry was the next highest employer , after the Public Sector. Subsequently, Cotton was abandoned for Crude Oil as Nigeria’s major revenue earner resulting in the collapse of Nigeria’s Gineries and Textile Industries, and loss of hundreds of thousands jobs for Nigerians.
Fortunately, in 2019, cotton was included among the crops to be financed by the CBN/ Anchor Borrowers’ Program. Through the efforts of NACOTAN, cotton farming has been revived and harvested cotton supplied to the ginneries with multiplier effects felt in Nigeria’s textile and garment industries.
To sustain these achievements and increase the quantity of cotton, NACOTAN has adopted contiguous farming method – a large scale farming system.. NACOTAN also bought 97 brand new John Deere tractors which were distributed to our state chapters to ease cotton cultivation thus creating more jobs for Nigerians. We increased our output through the use of Myhco, a high yield cotton seed that is resistant to pests.
Today our military and para-military uniforms are produced locally from Nigeria’s cotton.
Your Excellency and Distinguished Guests, it will interest you to know that NACOTAN is changing the narrative by cultivating cotton in South East and South South geopolitical zones of Nigeria, to take advantage of our diversity in climate. As signatory to various regional trade agreements, our production system must be competitive.
By this venture we have shown that when funds are strategically utilized, great results can be achieved. Investment and support in this critical sub sector of agriculture must continue. It must continue because Nigeria is blessed with vast arable land and water for agriculture which must be leveraged upon in our comparative advantage in global cotton production.
As we flag off this harvest, the recovery will be used for payment of loans given to our farmers by the CBN/ Anchor Borrowers program.
Let me on behalf of NACOTAN use this opportunity to express our sincere gratitude to His Excellency, the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Presdent Muhammadu Buhari for his good leadership and support to reviving cotton farming in Nigeria.
I will also like to thank the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele for his passionate support to this program, the banks, our service providers, members of NACOTAN and our dear farmers, We are grateful to the Emir of Wase for his support.
Let me conclude by saying that the state of the Nigerian economy is tied to the cotton industry
The industry must be strengthened and protected to withstand unhealthy foreign competition I urge state government to have specific policies to support and promote Cotton Industries within thier domain .
Thank you for coming and I wish you all safe journey back. I thank you for your attention.