By Michael Adesanya/Abeokuta
Determined to increase cotton production and revive textile industry in the country, Ogun State has commenced the cultivation of cotton on 4,500 hectares of land and entered into a partnership with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and Prime Anchor.
This was made known in a statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the Ogun State governor, Kunle Somorin, on Tuesday in Abeokuta.
According to Somorin, the farmland located in Aworo-Pedepo in Yewa North Local Government Area of the state, was a follow up to the 10,000 hectares earlier provided to the Cotton Growers Association in the state.
He explained that apart from the partnership with the CBN, which according to him will provide the needed fund to the growers, the state government has also entered into a synergy with Prime Anchor to link cotton producers to the industrial processes, especially the Joint Cotton Growers Association of Nigeria and Gateway Cotton processing Limited, in which Ogun owns 20 percent share.
The State Commissioner for Agriculture, Dr Adeola Odedina had led representative of the National Cotton Association of Nigeria, who also doubles as the Regional Manager of Arewa Cotton, Adebayo Olayemi; the Permanent Secretary, Ogun State Ministry of Agriculture, Dr. Dotun Sorunke; Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Agriculture, Tolu Bankole; Sunday Adegoke of the Department of Tree Crops and others officials in the Ministry of Agriculture, to carry out an on-the-spot assessment of the 4,500 hectares of land.
The spokesperson to the Governor revealed that with the new moves by the state government, no fewer than 14,000 direct and indirect jobs will be created in the cotton production sector.
Somorin disclosed that 18 new tractors have been made available and deployed by the Anchor to facilitate the project, adding that the “Ogun State Agricultural Development Programme (OGADEP) will also provide free extension services for the beneficiaries to ensure high productivity”.
“The 14,500 hectare farmland being cultivated for cotton production is to link farmers and youths who registered on the Ogun State Job Portal for job opportunities in cotton value chain, ” he said.