The Raw Material Research and Development Council (RMRDC) has said it will ensure that cotton yield per hectare improves significantly across the producing zones of the country to boost its availability for the textile industry.
Consequently, the council said it recently distributed 30 tonnes of improved cotton seeds to cotton farmers in the zones.
Director General of the council, Professor Hussaini D. Ibrahim, who made this known, noted that in the spirit of ensuring that the productivity and yield per hectare of cotton production by farmers was increased, the council embarked on a capacity building training for cotton farmers in the four zones.
The training, which was in collaboration with the Institute for Agricultural Research (IAR) Zaria, was held in Nasarawa, Kano, Gombe and Ogun states simultaneously.
Over 500 cotton farmers, Agricultural Development Programme (ADP) staff and some interested farmers attended the training.
In a message to the event, Professor Ibrahim regretted that cotton production was still a far cry from the capacities of the ginning companies which is put at about 650,000 metric tonnes of cotton with production still below 70,000 tonnes.
He said this informed the need to continue the boosting exercise so that the raw material, which is important to the textile industry, could be readily available.
The DG said RMRDC procured and distributed 5.82 tonnes, 4.3 tonnes and 4 tonnes of improved cotton seeds varieties from IAR in 2015, 2016 and 2017 to farmers under the umbrella of NACOTAN, adding that additional 21.5 tonnes in 2018 and 30 tonnes in 2019 were sourced from Dangote ginneries and distributed accordingly.