Cotton stakeholders in Nigeria have agreed that Bt cotton has potential to revive the deteriorating cotton textile industry in the country. A stakeholders meeting held in Abuja on November 8, 2017 that comprised seed companies, government ministries, agencies and farmers resolved that embracing Bt cotton is a viable way of addressing cotton farming challenges.
Speaking in the meeting, Nigeria’s Minister of State for Trade and Investment Mrs Aisha Abubakar said that the country has no option but to embrace the technology in order to better the lives of farmers and create jobs for the teeming population. “We cannot allow people to import Bt cotton into Nigeria, we now have the people, the technology and the land to practice how to take full advantage of the technology to address our own challenges,” she said.
All Farmers Association of Nigeria president Arc. Kabiru Ibrahim said that it was important that Nigeria took its pride in cotton production by embracing Bt cotton exuding confidence that it will alleviate poverty among the farmers.
The National Biosafety Management Agency approved Bollgard II cotton for on-station/on-farm trials in Nigeria in 2016 and it is currently undergoing last stage of multi-location trials in over 72 locations in the nation’s cotton growing zones. The project has already been endorsed by the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Mr Audu Ogbe and stakeholders in the country are now strategising for the eventual uptake and release of Bollgard II cotton to farmers.
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