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North-East a is big hub for cotton production – NASC

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The National Agricultural Seeds Council (NASC) says the North-East comprising Adamawa, Yobe, Borno, Gombe, Bauchi and Taraba are fertile states making them a big hub for cotton production.

Mr Idris Aliyu, the Director of Seed Industry Development, Technical Support and Commercial Services, NASC said this in an interview with the Nigeria News Agency on Wednesday in Abuja.

Aliyu said the North-East had always been a fertile ground, and the culture of cotton production had been there since colonial times.

The director, who spoke on the new hybrid cotton varieties BG 571 and BG 567, recently approved and introduced to farmers last December, said these varieties were high-yielding.

Aliyu said that with these two high-yielding varieties, it was easy to resuscitate textile industries in Nigeria and address the challenges facing people of the north eastern part of the country.

“These two varieties will go a long way in addressing the productivity of the crop vis-a-vis the econometrics that is attached to it.

“Cotton is a very important cash crop for this country, and the maintenance of its generic purity lies with the NASC; and we are doing everything to ensure this,’’ he said.

He said that the there was no demarcation between cotton production for mass use in the textile industry, and the production for continuity for provision of seed.

Aliyu said that the NASC was doing everything possible to avoid this repetition by ensuring that it dedicated the dry season production for seed multiplications since the crop does well in both seasons.

According to him, there are irrigation facilities in Kano and  Zamfara to produce cotton in large quantities.

He said that with this development, internal demand for the seed would be addressed without recourse to having to scout around.

Aliyu said that there were other indigenous varieties developed by Nigerian scientists, which they intended to give to Nigerian farmers to enable them to choose what they wanted.

Edited by: Folorunso Poroye/Grace Yussuf

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