Cotton from Nigeria is sold at lower prices in the international market, compared to the price of cotton from Burkina Faso, China, and India, BusinessDay reported.
The price of Nigerian cotton is less as Nigeria does not produce Biotechnology (BT) cotton because of the non-passage of the bio-safety bill which would allow cotton producers to purchase and cultivate BT cotton in Nigeria.
Speaking at a Cotton Value Chain stakeholders’ forum held in Abuja last month, Hamma Ali Kwajaffa, president of the National Cotton Association of Nigeria (NACOTAN), said BT cotton which is significantly cheaper to produce, commands higher prices in the global market.
Kwajaffa said the use of BT cotton would increase the quality and quantity of cotton output in Nigeria, reduce the spraying of insecticides, and thereby, reduce cost of production and the harm that pesticides have on farmers’ health.
He further said that currently in Nigeria, farmers get less than one ton per hectare of cotton planted, while countries that have adopted BT cotton get as much as four tons per hectare.
According to Kwajaffa, Nigeria’s cotton is currently discounted in the international market and sold for an equivalent of N80,000 per ton, whereas the same measure of BT cotton from other countries is sold for N200,000 to N300,000.
Salman Abdullahi, president of the Ginners’ Association, said there are over 42 ginneries in the country and each ginnery has a minimum of 9,000 farmers supplying it, but each ginnery is still not working at full capacity.
Abdullahi said the farmers have been receiving support from the Federal Government of Nigeria in form of inputs, but the poor productivity of the cotton farms deters young people from taking up cotton farming. (GK)
Fibre2fashion News Desk - India