THE National Cotton Association of Nigeria (NACOTAN) has appealed to the Federal Government to fund the Institute of Agricultural Research to ensure quality seeds for cotton production and textile industries.
The President of the Association, Mr Anibe Achimugu, made the appeal in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Wednesday.
Achimugu explained that there was no way textile industries could be successfully revived without quality cotton production or quality seeds; hence the need to adequately fund the research institute.
He said that farmers in Nigeria were ready but needed to plant good seeds that would enhance cotton production for textile industries.
“During the recent retreat organised by the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, we have been able to tell the government that we need funding.
“We also need structural funding but most importantly we need a good policy to back it up.
“For instance, planting seeds; if we don’t have good seeds, the sector is dead on arrival.
“The government must make sure the Institute of agricultural research, the only institute mandated to work on cotton in Nigeria is well funded to function well to produce good quality seeds for farmers,’’ Achimugu said.
The president said that in spite that some efforts in the past to revive the industry, did not yield desired results did not mean we should give up.
Achimugu commended the present administration for its commitment to ensuring that textile industries were revived to function again.
He said that the commitment of the two ministers in the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment to achieve the desired result was unprecedented.
“We hope that this personal commitment by the ministers will materialise and turn into the sector’s benefit.
“We are aware that the Central Bank of Nigeria has also come up with certain intervention known as textile intervention fund to boost the sector,’’ Achimugu said.
NAN reports that the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, recently organised a high-level stakeholders’ retreat on Cotton, Textiles and Garments (CTG)’s policy in Abuja for all the players to suggest the way forward.
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