The National Cotton Association of Nigeria (NACOTAN) has said that with the ongoing Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) intervention on cotton production through the Anchor Borrowers Program (ABP) which covered about 151,000 farmers, at least 200,000 metric tons yield is expected.
The National President of NACOTAN, Mr Anibe Achimugu who disclosed this to Tribune Online in Abuja, said the CBN had also empowered the ginning companies to off-take the cotton from the farmers immediately it is harvested.
“The federal government through the Central Bank of Nigeria has intervened in cotton production directly, and when I say directly, I mean through the Anchor Borrowers Program, which has now basically captured about 151,000 farmers where the CBN finance inputs for the farmers.
“So all the recommended inputs and the quantities have been released for the farmers to go out and plant, and farmers have planted and they are caring for their farms at the moment.
“We would say that the intervention is holistic because part if the problem in the production is who would buy, what sort of price will I get, but CBN is looking at the entire value chain, so now that farmers are producing, they (CBN) are going to finance the cotton ginning companies that process the raw cotton for the textile people, so the ginning companies will now have the funding they need to buy from the farmers.
“A meeting will be held between the ginning companies and the cotton farmers representatives and a Memorandum of Understanding would be signed on the price the cotton would be sold”, Achimugu said.
On quality seed, Achimugu said the CBN provided enough improved seed for the farmers to produce enough cotton that would Service the existing textile companies in the country.
“As I said, the intervention is holistic, every single requirement to farm one hectare of cotton have been addressed by the CBN including our poor seed situation. So the poor seed situation has been addressed with the seed that has been brought in through this program, so seed is no longer a challenge, we have brought in excess.
“My belief is that the production of this year, the existing textile industries will not be able to take all. Yes, part of the challenge of the textile companies was that they were not getting enough cotton, so but with this intervention, they would get the quantity of cotton that they need sustainably”.
Furthermore, he said “this Anchor Borrowers Program has helped us to refocus and be able to put our system and structures in place, which means that we can now be financially sustainable, and we are now able to provide the necessary extension services.
“We are expecting nothing less than 200,000 metric tons from this CBN intervention if you compare it to the last year of 80,000 metric tons”.