The Raw Material Research and Development Council (RMRDC) has trained over 150 stakeholders on industrial garment design and production.
The two-day training, which was in collaboration with the Cross River State Government, was held at the Calabar Garment Factory.
With theme ‘Entrepreneurship Training Workshop on Industrial Garment Production for Economic Recovery and Growth,’ the organiser said the training was basically on the production of garments locally for the domestic and international markets, to reduce their importation into the country.
Speaking at the event, the D-G of the council, Professor Hussaini D. Ibrahim, lamented that the textile industry in Nigeria, which was the largest in Africa, after Egypt and South Africa, is now importing textile materials from abroad.
“From 2010 to 2017, a total of $20 billion was expended on importation of textile,’’ he informed the participants.
To address the situation, the DG said the Federal Government found it mandatory to put in place, measures to revamp the sector.
He said the training workshop was part of the efforts to increase job opportunities and export potentials within the sector, adding that modernization and population growth have necessitated the need for expanding textiles and garments production globally.
He said in order to address the problem of low production, the RMRDC has been at the forefront of promoting industrial cotton production locally, which include techno-economic survey of the Nigerian textile industry conducted in 1988/89, and updated in 1992, 1996, 1999, 2003 and 2006 and 2009 and the National Survey on Cotton as an Agricultural Commodity in 2004.
Other efforts of the council, he said, included the co-funding of the development and official release of three long staple cotton varieties in collaboration with the Institute of Agricultural Research (IAR/ABU), Zaria.
“Many cotton farmers attempted to jettison cotton growing because of low yield, but the improved variety given to the farmers in 2018 by RMRDC gave yield average of 5 – 6 tons/ha contrary to 700kg – 1 ton they used to get. This has made the run-away farmers to run back to cotton cultivation,’’ he said.
The DG said apart from these, plans are also underway to implement a strategic programme that will aggressively increase the cultivation of cotton in all the producing zones of the country as well as initiate, maintain and sustain a National Programme that will lead to development of extra-long, staple cotton varieties that are suitable for cultivation at the cotton producing zones of the country.