Nigeria and India have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on Technical Assistance Programme for the development of cotton sector (Cotton TAP).
While inking the MoU with Government of India’s representatives in Abuja, Nigeria’s Minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhaji Bukar Tijani said boosting crop production forms a part of the ruling Government’s Agricultural Transformation Agenda, according to a statement issued by the Director Information, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.
According to the statement, Mr. Tijani said President Goodluck Jonathan’s Government wishes to develop the cotton value chain, to ensure that cotton growers, textile makers and consumers of cotton apparels, all benefit from Cotton TAP, which would end in 2015.
He promised that the transformation achieved in the cotton value chain during last year would be firmed up in 2013 by almost doubling the efforts on that front.
He informed that as a part of the Cotton TAP, the Ministry would expedite setting up of a Skill Acquisition Institute for Cotton in the country.
Dr. Milan Sharma, who inked the MoU on behalf of India, said Cotton TAP is India’s South-South Cooperation Initiative with seven African countries – Uganda, Burkina Faso, Malawi, Benin, Mali, Chad and Nigeria.
She said the technical training imparted as a part of the programme benefited 15 Nigerians selected from different specialist areas of agriculture.
During last year, Nigerian Government helped cotton farmers in few Northern most states of the country by providing them seeds and agro-chemicals, so as to achieve enhanced cotton output.