Abuja — Federal Government has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding, MOU, with an Indian company, West African Cotton Company Limited, WACOT, to increase cotton yield by 400,000 metric tons per year.
The MoU also provides for increase in the export of cotton lint by 100,000 over a period of four years.
According to the terms of the MoU exclusively obtained by Vanguard in Abuja, WACOT is mandated to supply certified cotton seeds to cotton farmers through the National Cotton Association of Nigeria, NACOTAN.
Details of the MoU signed between WACOT and the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources, provides for: increase seed cotton production to at least 400,000 metric tons over a period of four years with the use of good agricultural practices, certified Seeds, recommended dosage of fertilizers, bio-fertilizers and crop protection chemicals, among others.
According to the MoU, "the Client and Investor will produce adequate quantity of breeder, Foundation Stage 1, Foundation Stage 11 and Certified Cotton Seed to achieve the seed cotton production of at least 400,000 metric tons over a period of four years.
"Increase the export of cotton lint by 100,000 metric tons over four years; provide best practices/processing techniques and market access for Nigerian cotton."
As part of its obligation under the MoU, WACOT has unveiled a new set of guidelines to Nigerian cotton farmers, which would significantly advance the achievement of set targets.
The guidelines cover land preparation, planting, fertilizer application, weed management, pest management and harvesting.
Confirming this development, Chairman of NACOTAN, Alhaji Hamma Kwajaffa, said cotton farmers, under the umbrella of the association, are already benefiting from this initiative.
He told Vanguard that under the MoU, the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources through WACOT distributes free cotton seed to farmers, while WACOT offers free technical and extension services to farmers to achieve the desired goal of increasing cotton production in Nigeria.