The Director, Agricultural Biotechnology Department , National Biotechnology Development Agency (NABDA), Dr Rose Gidado, has urged the Federal Government to revive textile industries in the country to encourage local cotton production.
Gidado made the call while inspecting the 261 hectares of cotton farm owned by the former Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr Babachir Lawal, in Hong Local Government Area of Adamawa.
The director, who represented Prof. Abdullahi Mustapha , Director General of the NABDA said the revival would help create empowerment and improve on the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
“State governments and wealthy individuals should provide soft loans for farmers to engage in cotton production using improved seed varieties.
“The seed varieties, especially the ‘Bollgard 2’, is profitable and resistance to challenges than the conventional ones.
“This particular seed variety is of superior quality and can be exported anywhere,” she said.
Gidado enlightened farmers to adequately manage their farms using good agronomic practices.
“The Federal Government should revive the textile industry to provide ready markets for cotton production.
“The interest rate of the loans repayment to farmers should be low while they should also be supported with inputs,” she said.
Gidado noted that if farmers return to cotton cultivation, ganeries and the textile industries would have access to lots of raw materials.
Mr Ahmed Shelleng, the Manager of the farm, said that cotton production in the area had created jobs for many people.
“We pay each farmer N1,800 to work between 7 a.m to 2.30 p.m daily.
“I urge government at all levels to encourage cotton production by adequately encouraging farmers,” he appealed.