Expansion of Funtua textile mill will revive cotton farming – Farmers
Katsina farmers react to plan by State, Federal gov’t plan to expand Funtua textile mill
Farmers in Funtua area of Katsina State have expressed their joy over a plan by the state government, in conjunction with the Federal Government, to convert Funtua Textile Mill into an Integrated Textile and Garment Park.
Last week, the state government expressed its commitment to partner with the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment to convert Funtua Textile Mill into an Integrated Textile and Garment Park (ITGP).
The development, according to the Senior Special Assistant to the deputy governor on press affairs, Ibrahim Musa, was disclosed at a meeting between Katsina State Deputy Governor Alhaji Mannir Yakubu and officials of the Federal Ministry of Industry Trade and Investment.
The statement further said besides the presence of the Central Bank of Nigeria for improvement of cotton production in the state, the state government has provided land for the take off of the project and it committed to providing more land if required.
Shehu Abdullahi Dukke, a farmer, said the step was in the right direction, most especially as lack of viable market was the bane of cotton farmers over the years.
“The decay in the textile industry in the last two decades is the cornerstone of the decline in cotton production in the state and the country in general. The market became too slim to accommodate the cotton producers resulting in poor price of the produce.
“Fixing the moribund textile companies and expanding the functional ones will create a viable and competitive market for cotton farmers,” said Dukke.
He also argued that to boosting cotton production, government should have first prioritised resuscitation of the textile industries to become functional. This, according to him, will create a ready market for the produce and stimulate the farmers’ interest to grow the crop.
Daily Trust on Sunday discovered that despite the location of Funtua Textile Mill, WACOT and Sunseeds, there were no many cotton farms in Funtua axis this year compared to Malumfashi/Kankara and Musawa/Matazu areas. Rice, soybeans, sorghum and maize were the crops that dominated farmlands in the area with only a few bearing cotton.
When contacted, some of the farmers said they were more comfortable with the production of the cereals than cotton.
Aminu Danbaba Funtua said in the past, Funtua area was well known with cotton production but with the dissipating market and quality seeds over the years, farmers reaped more profit by cultivating cereals.
“The recent effort of government to boost cotton production in the country is highly commendable; and with the revamping of moribund textile companies and expansion of Funtua Textile Mill, cotton production will soon be the dominant occupation of our farmers here, especially now that we have new improved seeds,” said Danbaba.
He added that Kankara, Malumfashi, Musawa, Matazu and some parts of Kafur Local Government, have since picked up the production of cotton in large quantities courtesy of the CBN and COPMA interventions.
One of the cotton farmers in Gyaza, Matazu Local Government, Mal. Muhammad Alti, said the new improved cotton seed is promising and thanked the CBN for its timely intervention to resuscitate cotton production in the state.
“Improved cotton seed is no longer our problem, what we want to be sure of is viable market for the produce after harvest,” he said, stressing that “massive importation of textile materials should be looked into by the Federal Government in the interest of reviving our local industries.”