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Gambian govt releases D2.6mn to boost cotton production
May '13
Eyeing to revive cotton production in the country, the Government of the western African country of Gambia has injected a sum of D 2.6 million for providing inputs to the farmers for forthcoming season, the Minister of Agriculture, Solomon Owens, has said.
Distributing farm inputs like pesticides and fertilizers for cotton farming from the Governor’s Bantaba in the Upper River Region (URR), the Minister said the Government’s move being executed through his Ministry, forms a part of efforts to revive cotton cultivation in the country and empowering farmers in cotton production to boost their earnings. 
The sum would be used to distribute 430 bags of nitrogen fertilizers, 1,555 litres of three varieties of pesticides and fertilizers, the Minister said while appreciating President Jammeh’s vision and interest in helping country’s farmers.
According to a Daily Observer report, the Minister said earlier cotton used to be Gambia’s second most important cash crop, next to groundnut. During 1974-1986 its production expanded from 300 hectares to 3,000 hectares, and hence the Government is now once again looking forward to revive its production through various efforts.
Further, highlighting the importance of early sowing in cotton, the Minister called on the farmers to timely plant their seeds and pay enhanced attention to weed control, to reap good crops, both quality and quantity-wise.
Noting that in 1974, when cotton production started in the country, the yield was 272 kg per hectare, Mr. Owens said based on allocation of 1,000 hectares by the Government, they now expect a yield of at least 800 kg per hectare.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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