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The Cotton Farmers of Ogun.

Written By Anambra Farmers on Sunday, 16 September 2012 | 02:34


Together with 10, 000 hectares set aside for your cultivation of cotton this early spring in the South-West, and 6, 000 active cotton farmers across the region, the cotton crop may possibly soon spark off an financial revival

If you tell a Nigerian that cotton is it being cultivated in the South -West, he / she may not believe you, and would quickly imply you have to be mistaken, or that ones grasp of Nigeria's geography or maybe locations where cotton is cultivated, is flawed. The truth is that this cultivation of cotton is happening right now in the south-west, as well as its cultivation in Ogun and Oyo states dates back to the year 1814 while different respondents mention to Weekend Trust. At a point desire for its cultivation spread to Osun, then it appeared to die down. Cotton cultivation went on in the area now known as Ogun State for nearly a hundred years.

It had not been untill 1903 when the British colonial government create a ginnery in Lagos that men and women got to know about natural cotton cultivation in Abeokuta. The background to this is the point that the British wanted to feed their textile industries in the uk, and in this direction they set up the British Natural cotton Growers Association (BCGA). The fame of cotton elevated when another ginnery was create in Oshogbo in 1904, and so says Alhaji Abdullahi Kasali, the Secretary, South-West, National Cotton Association of Nigeria (NACOTAN) whose understanding of the cotton trade is encyclopedic.

Nowadays, two hundred years since cotton was initially grown in the Abeokuta area, cotton cultivation is undergoing a remarkable rebirth and there are many women farmers contributing to the rebirth. Cotton is not just being grown in the South-West, the crop is doing wonderfully there. The coming of President Obasanjo with 1999 saw the return of cotton cultivation in the area. The government at the time was seeking methods for developing crops for export functions, and it was thought this would have handsome implications for your country's GDP.

It was then discovered that will Long Staple cotton which requires a lot of water would do well in the South-West if it were for being cultivated there, and it provides. Altogether, there are 6, 000 farmers cultivating cotton in 7 states in the South-West. The entire cotton farmers in the South-West are expected to plant cotton on 10, 000 hectares involving land this farming season. There are hopes too that cotton cultivation would are likely involved in reinvigorating Nigeria's comatose sheet industry, sparking off an economic revival in the act.

'The best cotton in the world'

A new initiative on cotton because of the Ogun State government, and supported because of the Bank of Industry (BOI), is aimed at creating 17. 2 million jobs in the state, and raising exports to West African countries from its present 5% to 30%. The us government has injected N100 billion in the Bank of Industry in a bid to revive the textile industry. The fund which can be domiciled in the BOI would be to serve as a loan to all stakeholders involved in production around marketing, including the ginning as well as textile factories. The money is supposed to solve the various challenges confronting a. At the production level Cotton farmers beneath the umbrella of the National Natural cotton Association of Nigeria (NACOTAN) are given the loan and this credit facility have been accessed by farmers in the South-West.

Some 1, 200 hectares are already set aside for cultivation during the current planting season in Ogun Talk about, and the ginnery at Ibara Orile called above, serves not just the 1, 020 cotton farmers with Ogun State, but all the cotton producers in the entire south west. This involves Ogun, Oyo, Osun, Ondo, Ekiti, Edo as well as Kogi States. The aim is to return Nigeria towards glorious days when the country exported cotton abroad. Chief Lola Kushimo, Chairperson South -West zone in the National Cotton Association of Nigeria (NACOTAN) speaks with this.

Her words 'We can return Nigeria towards glorious past of exporting natural cotton, which happened some years ago when India came for your highly yielding product. We are considering such export prospects soon if we get the necessary support from government. Any type of cotton cultivated in the the west is the long staple cotton which is the better in the whole world '. She says that right now the cotton farmers are targeting a nearby industries. At present both India and Ethiopia are already pleading with farmers across the world to plant the Long Staple number of Cotton. This means that cotton producers near your vicinity would be in good business should they forge ahead and get the act right, since there can be a ready market in Ethiopia as well as India.

Only one tractor

The ginnery which has a staff of twenty, is located at Ibara Orile in Abeokuta North municipality of the state. In May this holiday season a significant event took location there. This was the commissioning in the reactivated Cotton double roller ginnery, by Prince Segun Adesegun, the Deputy Governor in the state. According to Prince Adesegun 'The main objective in the Cotton Transformation plan of the federal government is to grow, restructure and support a to produce at least 300, 000 metric tonnes of natural cotton by 2014 and revive the textile industry'. 400 million Naira have been given as a loan because of the Bank of Industry to NACOTAN regarding onward disbursement to farmers in the 7 South West states where cotton is cultivated.

The Cotton harvest from the states in the South Western, including Ogun, is taken towards ginnery. The ginnery is connected to the national grid and incorporates a baling machine, and a transformer, or a standby 300 KVA generator. In large sections of the ginnery, the visitor can easily see bags of cotton brought in from the various states which are shortly for being worked on.

Here the natural cotton is cleaned in large models. This means the debris that naturally came with the cotton from the farms is actually removed. After it has been cleaned then the ginning process takes place, whereby the seeds are stripped away from the cotton. Once the seeds are already removed the cotton turns into Lint, and then it is actually instantly baled. In one day the baling machine is definitely able to produce 20 bales which pertains to 2 tonnes. '

There are quite a few factors limiting the work in the ginnery today. The baling appliance is old' says Chief Kushimo, and adds'The ginning machine can be so slow'. The Chairperson says that this ginnery has signed an MOU along with Spintex of Ikorodu, but adds that the ginnery hasn't been able to meet up with all the demand from Spintex owing towards nature of the machinery available at the ginnery, and hopes an improvement may be possible this holiday season.

She would like modern harvesting equipment, irrigation and warehouse facilities for being installed. She adds that in the past only 750 hectares were for cotton cultivation in the talk about, but that this has been increased to 1, 200 hectares by the state government, and these are leased out there to farmers by NACOTAN. Jane is quite elated and anticipates an incredible future in cotton cultivation. Her words "We want the textiles for being revived then we can upload the finished product. We also want all the textiles that have collapsed an extra shot on stream. The cotton plants can spark off an financial revival. "

But there are problems for this cultivation of the plant in the South West. Chief Kushimo points to the point that 'there is no tractor for being used at harvest time. We ordinarily have to hire a tractor while harvest time comes. The Bank of Industry promised to purchase us a good tractor that costs between 7-8 million naira. There is only one tractor for use in the entire South -West. "Also a forklift should be used at the ginnery. At present there is none. Thus 'Four men in the ginnery have to load the bales on trucks, and this is very strenuous. "

Cotton farmers involving Imala

At Imala the community where there are some 650 hectares for the cultivation of cotton, can be found a lot of farmers, both male and woman's, who are all keen within the cultivation of cotton. Mrs Olanike Okeleye is among the many cotton farmers busy at the job in Imala. She tells Sunday Trust that will cotton farming in Nigeria incorporates a future. Her words 'Cotton farming incorporates a future. This is significant as the government wants to revitalize the textile factories'. Kemi Talabi is actually another cotton farmer. She says that she has just joined the activity.

Her words' I realised with a point that cotton farming has become the in thing. If government supports us, we will have food and is likewise better off materially. 'She ends when using optimistic note. ' Formerly, sheet factories were nonexistent. With an abundance of cotton, there are hopes that this numerous moribund companies will be revived'. Oluwakemi Adeosun has invested five years cultivating cotton. On her reasons for joining the natural cotton growing business, she says "Women can't stand to farm, but I thought that when I start to farm, my example will attract other women". 'Shakirat Ishola feels that this cotton trade is good small business, and she has been in the trade for five years. Her words 'everybody must wear clothes, so the cultivation of cotton will naturally be a successful venture'.

'We need some sort of bulldozer'

Alhaji Surajudeen Gbemisola tells Sunday Trust about a number of the challenges facing the farmers. His words 'We desire a bulldozer to clear the farmville farm. There are 650 hectares here for your cultivation of cotton, but we use our money in the future here, and we are also using our hands to clear the bush. We also need good mineral water here, and a settlement too should be set up, instead of someone spending N1, 000 everyday on transport while coming from Abeokuta. 'He would also like the government to setup an irrigation system at Imala which might help in the cultivation involving cotton. He wishes for a position where government would subsidise the chemicals utilized by the farmers, because these are extremely expensive today.

He has spent five years in the cotton trade already, and adds which he wants to go into huge scale cotton farming. He ends when using optimistic note 'The enlightenment within the potentials of cotton is growing. Foreigners have been getting touching us. If government can inspire the farmers, it can go a long way for us in Nigeria. There are many groups interested in expanding the cultivation of cotton in Nigeria'. Adelani Akinde tells Sunday Trust that inside a six month period, the quantity of persons keen on cultivating natural cotton grew handsomely. He has great hopes in the future.

His words: "Cotton is a hot cake within the world market, and we would like to reactivate the collapsed industries'. A. O. Kushimo, Desk Officer as well as Ginnery Supervisor, indicates to Sunday Trust by email that this Ginnery has entered into the agreement with Spintex of Ikorodu to acquire all the Lints produced in the South-West from the Ginnery, and for now about 46 tonnes of baled Lint are already marketed. In the email he also showed the different uses of cotton to identify its significance for global promotes.

According to him Long Staple cotton is highly proteinous and can be added to the diet. Food industries can also use oil which can be extracted from Cotton seeds. It is also free of cholesterol and is actually therefore significant in preventing swings. Also the dirty lint might be processed into cotton wool which is often used in hospitals.

Abdullahi Kasali adds that very poor weather and ecological conditions in Asia and also in Europe, mean that countries in both locations would keep look towards Nigeria for the much treasured Long Staple natural cotton. His words 'Last year equally India and China had ecological problems, so they came here to Nigeria to purchase cotton, and the price gone up. It cost 600, 000 per tonne last year. They are still having very poor weather and harsh ecological circumstances, and they are encouraging people to plant the Long Staple natural cotton, so that they will have garbage for their industries. Finally, we cotton farmers in Nigeria tend to be bound to reap handsomely due to this situation.

On the future in the industry, Abdullahi Kasali says that within the next three years, Cotton farmers in Abeokuta will be happily driving exotic cars. This, he says, is on account of the cotton trade which is bringing in a lot of money, and is even the mainstay of neighbouring economies such as that of Benin Republic. He thinks that this example of Benin could be replicated here. His words 'In the following three years if you come to the South-West, you will see our farmers laughing and doing wonderful things. They will be driving Jeeps and also other exotic cars. We will become the cotton farmers in the Benin Republic the place that the cotton business is the lone activity, and the economy relies upon the industry'.
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2 comments:

  1. Nice article. i believe the Nigerian agricultural sector will gain momentum in time. i will need further information on how to contact the farmers at ibara orile and imala for research. We have some major foreign stake holders who will be interested in investing into cotton production. Kindly contact me via my email address davidadeniyi35@gmail.com. For more info on our organization you can go on our website www.africafashionguide.com. Thanks.

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  2. This is a great inciting Article I am very grateful for this write up I am interested in joining cotton farmer but I will like to know who to contact ,kindly put me through by contact me through my e-mail kaay70@gmail.com or 07035706744

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