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Nigerian textile industry to be revived with Bt cotton

Recently, big players in Nigeria’s agricultural biotechnology sector urged farmers to grow Bt cotton to give the country’s textile industry a shot in the arm.

Cotton
Figure: Bt cotton is genetically modified using bacillus thuringiensis, a biological pesticide, making the plant cotton variety resistant to the cotton bollworm complex.

As Bt cotton was already commercialized in 2018 in the nation, so the federal government has stated that increased adoption of the cotton plant variety will go on to create many employment opportunities in the nation.

Bt cotton is genetically modified using bacillus thuringiensis, a biological pesticide, making the plant cotton variety resistant to cotton bollworm complex, also offers several advantages including a higher yield of cotton and reduced use of chemical pesticides.

According to Abdullahi Mustapha, Director-General of the National Agricultural Biotechnology Development Agency (NABDA), “Statistics indicate  its peak, between 1970 and 1990, it comprised about 130 modern factories and supported numerous other ancillary firms, providing about 350,000 direct jobs and 1.2 million indirect jobs among farmers, suppliers, transporters, dealers, traders, and exporters.”

Besides that, about 33 factories remain standing, and the local cotton industry is comatose, primarily due to a lack of good seeds, low yields, and high production costs associated with insect damage.

So, these pests reduce yields by up to 60 percent which has implications on farmers’ profits and has also been found to be detrimental to the environment, he quoted.

In terms of farmers and stakeholders, the workshop is designed with new trends in the cotton industry, and there is a need to collect the experiences of farmers who already adopted the Bt cotton, so as to know how to help them achieve better results in the production of cotton, said Open Forum on Agricultural Biotechnology (OFAB) country coordinator Dr. Rose Gidado.

If anyone has any feedback or input regarding the published news, please contact: info@textiletoday.com.bd

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