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CBN partners over 100,000 farmers to boost cotton output

Crackdown on textile smuggling

 

The Central Bank of Nigeria on Monday flagged off a new partnership with cotton farmers in the country to boost output by as much as 300,000 tonnes in 2020, up from the current 80,000 metric tonnes a year.

 

The bank will, as part of the partnership, distribute cotton seeds and other inputs to over 100,000 cotton farmers in the pilot state, Katsina State for the 2019 farming season, before moving to other 26 states of the country.

 

The new venture seeks to help Nigeria stem $4 billion annual payments in imports of textiles and ready-made clothing into the country, and  also revive Nigeria’s cotton, textiles and garments.

 

Godwim Emefiele, the CBN governor sees provision of cotton seeds as well as other outputs such as fertilizers and technical training helping to more than 100,000 farmers cultivate over 200,000 hectares of farmland and improving output in the oil dependent economy.

 

“If we are able to drive productivity gains in these sectors, it will undoubtedly translate to higher growth rate for the broader economy, result in increased rural incomes, and improvements in living standards for a majority of Nigerians,” he said.

 

Mr. Emefiele, who was supported at the national flag-off of distribution of cotton seeds/inputs to farmers for the 2019 planting season in Katsina on Monday, May 6, 2019, by the governors of Katsina State, Rt. Hon. Bello Masari and Kano State, Dr. Abdullahi Ganduje, as well as the Minister of Agriculture Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh, also reiterated that the foreign exchange restriction on finished textiles and other 42 items remained in force.

On the restriction of foreign exchange to 43 items, Mr. Emefiele said the measures taken by the CBN were yielding the desired results and had helped in driving interest by potential investors who are seeking to make investments to support improved production of textiles in Nigeria.

 

Katsina State governor, Aminu Bello Masari said the Federal Government initiative to promote cotton production under the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme of the CBN was a welcome development as such would support the textile industry in the country by encouraging local production.

 

Also speaking on behalf of other State Governors in the North-West geo-political zones, the Governor of Kano State, Dr. Abdullahi Ganduje equally commended President Muhammadu Buhari for the administration’s effort in agricultural development. While lauding the CBN for its initiatives, Gov. Ganduje stressed the need for strong institutions to complement monetary and fiscal policies aimed at developing the Nigerian economy.

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Written by Ruth Olurounbi

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